It’s no mystery that Johan de Nysschen is a visionary in the auto industry. Sure, he may have a hard time seeing his projects through to the end, but his vision of how to make a luxury carmaker great is not up for debate. One of his projects during his brief stint at Infiniti was to create a super-sedan that used the body of a Q50, and the engine and all-wheel-drive system of the famed GT-R. This project was dubbed the Q50 Eau Rouge, and it was simply incredible. However, with de Nysschen now heading the Cadillac brand, the former Infiniti boss is claiming that the brand may be giving up on the Eau Rouge.
The report from Jalopnik quotes a post from de Nysschen’s Facebook page that reads: “I heard a rumor that Noboru Tateishi is going to cop-out and shelve the Eau Rouge project now that I’m not there to pressure him. Tell any Cadillac or Audi engineer ‘build me a 560hp sports sedan’ and you have to reign them in. At Infiniti, it seems easier to push water uphill. More enthusiasm for ‘driver’s aids’, apparently, than ‘driver’s cars’, in some quarters, it would seem.” The man he mentions in that quote, Noboru Tateishi, is the CVP of Infiniti’s Vehicle Test Technology and one of the folks who would have to give the Eau Rouge the go-ahead.
While this is still simply a he-said, she-said sort of Facebook trolling, it does hold water simply because it comes directly from de Nysschen himself. To see Infiniti scrap the Q50 Eau Rouge — a car that drummed up so much buzz in the automotive industry — would be a shame. Millions of dollars have gone into developing it and the desire for this type of rig from Infiniti appears to be present, so shelving it just seems irresponsible through my eyes.
Let’s just hope that this is just a former employee stirring the pot a bit, and that the Eau Rouge will continue on its path to production. Fortunately for de Nysschen, his wish for insane-performing luxury sedans has been fulfilled twice over at Cadillac with the ATS-V and CTS-V.