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Infiniti announces “Red Sport” performance sub-brand

March 5, 2016

With the big three German carmakers each having a special sporty sub-brand, Infiniti is now ready to face-off, launching its unique performance branding. Vehicles will wear a distinct red “S” badge.

2016 Infiniti Q50

Infiniti will soon launch a number of models under a new label called Red Sport. Models will wear a red “S” logo on the rear and on the front guards, signalling the underlying performance credentials. These models will be different to the current sports models that feature a grey “S” badge.

The first model to kick off the sequence will be the Q50 Red Sport 400. As revealed late last year, the high-performance Q50 introduces a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 pumping out 298kW and 475Nm. It will join the market as the most powerful mid-size premium sedan, this side of the higher-end BMW M3 and C 63 AMG and the such.

Customers going for the Red Sport Q50 will not only get the high-power V6, but also special 19-inch alloy wheels wearing staggered tyres sizes, unique exhausts, and sports suspension and brakes. Keith St. Clair, Infiniti’s US director of product strategy, said:

“This is the new strategy of our sport lineup in the future. Whenever you see the red S… it means the car gets a different powertrain, and typically a different suspension and different brakes than the vehicle it supersedes.”

Loyal Infiniti fans will remember the Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) which was introduced in 2011. The sub-brand came to an end in 2015. This new Red Sport philosophy will essentially replace that.

Infiniti says it’s not about going for outright power and speed, like the top-shelf BMW M and Mercedes AMG cars, but it is seen as the first step in that direction. Infiniti is expected to use the sub-brand to gather further experience in performance engineering before it unleashes a fully-fledged sports car lineup.

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.