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RBR to Tune Infiniti Performance Model

Infiniti wants to let loose Red Bull's championship racing engineers on one of its luxury cars. But which one will it be?

What's the point in an automaker financing an F1 team if it can't translate that performance to its road cars? That's what they've been asking over at Infiniti, which has been growing closer and closer in its support of the Red Bull Racing team. As Red Bull and its star driver Sebastian Vettel were wrapping up their third consecutive world title this month, Infiniti announced that it was not only renewing its sponsorship of the team, but increasing it as well.

Infiniti stresses, however, that the deal is not just a marketing ploy, but will translate to real-world applications of Red Bull's F1 technologies to Infiniti's production cars. The road-going application of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System is said to be a cornerstone of the collaboration between the Japanese automaker and the world-champion racing team, but the two have long been reported to be planning a more comprehensive project. That project, it appears, is now back on the table, but just what form will it take? Autocar has some insight after speaking with an Infiniti spokesman at the LA Auto Show this week.

The joint effort will apparently involve Red Bull's accomplished engineers thoroughly reworking one of Infiniti's products to their own specifications for public consumption. The scope of the collaboration will apparently run deeper than Sebastian Vettel's input into the Infiniti FX special edition that bears his name, and will likely go beyond any of the Infiniti Performance Line (IPL) models offered to date. Just what vehicle Infiniti and Red Bull will pick for their first project remains to be seen, but if the Lexus LS recently tuned by Toyota Motorsport GmbH - another Japanese luxury sedan tuned by F1 engineers - is any indication, it could be rather tasty indeed.

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