This is more speculation than a certainty, but Autocar is reporting mumblings across the F1 team’s Top Brass that they’d like to work with sponsors Infiniti on a road car.
The industry weekly attributes RBR chief Christian Horner as saying “Red Bull used to be known only as an energy drink company, but now it is recognised as an engineering team. It’s a natural evolution for us to get involved in road car engineering.”
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn — the Japanese company owns Infiniti — was also asked about such a thing by Car magazine for its August issue, coincidently. His reponse was “Why not?”, so it would seem something both parties are taking seriously. That Red Bull Racing’s base in Milton Keynes is just down the road from Nissan’s UK R&D Centre in Cranfield would help things along.
Red Bull Racing has already dipped outside of Formula One when it created a fantasty road car, the ‘X2010’ for the Gran Turismo 5 video game, with a notional 1,479hbp and 292mph top speed. However, their first foray into real road cars is unlikely to be as ambitious a vehicle…
Being discussed is an arrangement similar to that which existed between road car manufacturer Renault and the Williams grand prix team in the 1990s, an union that spawned the critically acclaimed Clio Williams. Renault now effectively controls Infinity and parent Nissan.
Likely beneficiary of the Red Bull Racing touch will be the Infinity G37 coupe, which is based on the Nissan 370Z. It’s 316bhp would be upped and the chassis modified to cope with the extra power, with revised suspension and beefed up brakes. What the two companies are aiming at for power delivery or price is unknown, but we’re sure Infiniti would love a halo car to take on arch rivals BMW and their M3, which packs 420bhp.
Certainly something is needed to bring further focus to Nissan’s upmarket division, which wants to leap from the 500 cars it sold in the UK last year to 10,000 annual sales by 2015.
The red Bull energy drinks company got involved in F1 when it bought the ailing Jaguar Racing F1 team in 2004. For the past two seasons it has dominated the sport, taking both the Drivers and Constructors World Championships in 2010. It is leading both championships in 2011 with half the season left to run.