Raise your hands if you feel a little hoodwinked by Infiniti and its Q60 Red Alpha Concept. I know I have my hands in the air because I expected something completely different from this concept. But, that’s the beauty of the auto industry. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, it gives us a car like the Q60 Red Alpha. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought that the concept would be a traditional go-faster iteration of the performance coupe. You know, something along the lines of the Q50 Eau Rouge with some extra luxury offerings thrown in for good measure.
Instead, Infiniti went a completely different direction in achieving the same goal. There may be a significant power and performance increase, but any hints of wood or carbon fiber trim are not just in short supply, they’re non-existent, to begin with. What we do get is a gutted interior with a roll cage in the back, Mickey Thompson drag racing tires, and a racing parachute in the back. A racing parachute! Did anybody see that coming? Granted, the concept does also come with a range of performance parts that will be available in the future for Red Sport 400 versions of the Q50 and Q60. We can at least look forward to that. But everything else about the Q60 Red Alpha speaks about a car that’s been heavily modified for one purpose: drag racing. I will admit though that I’m a little curious on how it’s going to fare on a drag strip, even if it’s something that I completely did not expect.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept
- Matte Red paint finish
- Mickey Thompson drag racing tires
- Bogart Racing wheels
- Carbon fiber rear wing
- Racing parachute
Boy, oh boy, where do I even start? On the one hand, the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept still looks like a Q60. The front end still looks the same though it does get somewhat of a more sculpted bumper. The striking headlights are still the same. The front grille is still the same. The sloping hood is still the same too. It’s a similar story in the side and rear sections of the coupe, at least when you disregard the accessories that were fitted into the Q60 by Infiniti and AMS Performance.
In essence, this concept isn’t so much about aerodynamic bits being added to the car as much as it is about the new equipment it’s actually carrying. Let’s start with the wheels because no Q60 coupe will sit on a set of Bogart Racing wheels and Mickey Thompson drag racing tires unless there’s a purpose behind it. The adjustable carbon fiber wing could be an exception, except that it’s been bolted in at such a weird angle that it makes you think once again that there’s a reason behind why it looks the way it does.
Not only does the wing cover the taillight, but opening the trunk with that thing looks complicated unless Infiniti and AMS Performance designed it in a way that the trunk becomes an afterthought. And then there’s the racing parachute. Obviously, there’s no explanation needed for its inclusion because from the way the concept was prepared, it’s not something that you’d be driving to Whole Foods, but something you’re more likely to see in a drag strip.
- Carbon fiber racing seats
- Harness bar
Apparently, there’s not a lot going on in the interior of the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept, at least if your concern is what kind of new luxury upgrades it has. Infiniti actually went the opposite direction for this coupe, preparing the cabin in such a way that it becomes more race-focused than it once was. There are no clear photos of the interior, but I can at least make out the presence of a harness bar at the back of the front seats. Speaking of which, the seats themselves are now of the carbon fiber bucket seat variety, specifically added to not just shed some pounds off of the car’s total weight, but also to serve its new purpose as a full-fledged drag racer. It’s unclear as to how the dashboard and the center console look like but, if it the same philosophy applies, I don’t expect to see too much in the way of luxury trims and accents in those areas of the interior.
- Red Alpha Intercoolers
- Red Alpha Intakes with Dry Media Filters
- High Flow Exhaust Downpipes
- Red Alpha Catback Exhaust System
- Red Alpha ECU Calibration
- High Capacity Overflow Tank
- High Capacity Red Alpha Center Heat Exchanger
As surprising as the intent was of presenting the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept as a coupe fit to drag race, there’s nothing surprising about the work that was done under its hood, especially since AMS Performance is involved. For those who are unaware, AMS Performance is responsible for some of the sickest and gaudiest aftermarket programs in the business today. This is the same tuner that was responsible for the 2,500-horsepower Nissan GT-R Alpha G R35. If there’s a tuner that knows how to crank up a car’s power and performance abilities, it’s AMS Performance.
And as expected, it did just that to the Infiniti Q60, which benefits from a long list of upgrades to its 3.0-liter V-6 engine, including the addition of new intercoolers, intakes with dry media filters high-flow exhaust downpipes, a high capacity heat exchanger, and the age-old ECU tuning kit. All together, it’s been reported that the Q60 Red Alpha Concept has around 467 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. The numbers have yet to be finalized though because Infiniti hasn’t confirmed - or denied - the exact power of the Q60 Red Alpha. What it did say is that the work of AMS Performance on the engine helped increase the latter’s output by 29 percent from its standard output of 400 ponies and 350 pound-feet of torque. Do the math on that and the numbers mentioned above ware the fact ones that come as a result of this extensive engine upgrade.
I actually expected a little bit more owing to AMS Performance’s involvement in the creation of the concept, but I’ll let it pass on account of Infiniti’s plan to actually offer some of the products at its dealerships in North America. Likewise, AMS distributors will also get their hands on some of these upgrades in the near future. Either way, I do think that there’s still a lot more to the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept than meets the eye. I can’t place my finger what the purpose there is in the creation of the Q60 Red Alpha, but rest assured, I’m all ears to learn more about it.
This is a bit of pickle, isn’t it? Personally, I’m impressed that Infiniti and AMS Performance were able to turn the Q60 Coupe into a full-spec racer with drag racing credentials. That’s a difficult task in of itself, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that the Q60 Coupe isn’t exactly the first performance car you’ll think of as far as getting a drag racing makeover is concerned.
That said, I don’t really know what the plans are for the concept beyond using it as a showcase of the new engine upgrades that Infiniti and AMS Performance cooked up for the former’s existing lineup of coupes and sedans. Is there a bigger play involved here, one that’s going to conclude with the Q60 Red Alpha becoming the kind of performance car that makes the whole auto world stand up and take notice? Or is this the extent of the what the concept is all about? The answers should hopefully come soon enough because at this point, it’s hard to see what the real purpose of the Q60 Red Alpha Concept really is. I suppose it’s a mixture of a lot of different things, but I still don’t know if it’s going to be anything more than what’s been presented by Infiniti.
Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti Q60.
Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.