Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner made an appearance at the Paris Motor Show during a Q&A session with new Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen. And Auto Express took the opportunity to ask Horner about how he saw the relationship with Nissan’s luxury arm developing.
“We’re evolving,” Horner told us. “Our primary focus is as a Formula One team – I mean we’re a 100 per cent subsidiary of Red Bull, an energy drinks company. But we’ve formed a great relationship with Infiniti over the last 18 months or so and it’s exactly the right partner for us moving forward.
“It’s not impossible to conceive that the relationship could develop in other areas.”
Horner also seemed enthusiastic about the potential for a Red Bull Racing performance sub-brand within the Infiniti line up – although he refused to be drawn on whether an Infiniti RBR was something we would be seeing in the near future.
“Who knows,” he told us, but went on to hint: “Johann has some very clear visions and I’m sure it’s something we’ll sit down and discuss in coming months.”
An RBR sub-brand would certainly seem to fit in with Johan de Nysschen’s vision for the future of Infiniti. During the Paris press conference, the new chief said: “I imagine that F1 will continue to be a strong platform for us to communicate the Infiniti brand.”
And he even hinted that a world-beating halo car is in the pipeline. “I would like to see more high performance models become part of the Infiniti brand,” he said. “And who knows, perhaps even a model to sit above the M as a flagship.”
The Red Bull Racing brand would certainly be a strong asset if he hopes to achieve his ambitions for Infiniti. De Nysschen made it clear that he is aiming for the top. “We are now working on the plan to take Infiniti from where we are now to join the tier one global automotive brands.”
What do you think about the potential for Infiniti to develop a RBR performance sub brand? Would that kind of tie-up get you more interested in the luxury marque? Or can the firm compete with the likes of Audi, Mercedes and BMW without that kind of branding?