The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition is a special-edition version designed to celebrate Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One success with Red Bull Racing.
The Formula One racing team, which won both the 2012 constructors’ and drivers’ championships, has just revealed Infiniti as its lead sponsor, with the team taking the name of Infiniti Red Bull Racing from the 2013 season onwards.
Only 150 of the Vettel cars will be made, and all will use the FX’s 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine and seven-speed automatic gearbox.
The biggest difference between the Vettel Edition and the standard FX is the exterior styling, which gets a carbonfibre front splitter and rear diffuser.
Mechanically, a new exhaust system boosts power by 29bhp to 414bhp, and torque is up by 15lb ft to 384lb ft. The suspension has been modified to sharpen the big SUV’s handling.
A big rear spoiler is the only optional extra. This will add £4600 to the Vettel Edition's £100,800 asking price – which is already £40,000+ more than that of the standard FX50.
What’s the 2012 Infiniti FX Vettel Edition like to drive?
For an SUV that weighs more than two tonnes, the Vettel Edition delivers quite surreal acceleration, along with an appealingly throaty exhaust sound.
However, even the standard FX suffers from an overly firm ride, so with its 21-inch alloys and stiffer, lower suspension, the Vettel Edition is even less compliant.
The suspension has two settings – Auto and Sport – but neither provides a forgiving ride. In ‘Auto’ mode, the FX thumps violently over potholes, and fidgets around over smaller bumps and ruts. ‘Sport’, as you'd expect, only serves to amplify the problem.
The sports suspension does at least tighten up body control. You’re always aware of the FX’s considerable size and weight, but it’s one of the most responsive and controlled of all SUVs. It also steers with precision, giving you more confidence to push on.
Even so, the Vettel Edition falls a long way short of the benchmark ride and handling compromise of the Porsche Cayenne.
What’s the 2012 Infiniti FX Vettel Edition like inside?
The Vettel Edition has what’s essentially a standard Infiniti FX cabin, but with carbonfibre trim and a Vettel badge on the centre console.
The seats are Alcantara and leather-clad, and there are further swathes of Alcantara lining the roof and pillars.
As with every FX, the interior is rather cramped, especially considering the car's exterior bulk.
As you’d expect for this sort of money, you get every conceivable luxury fitted as standard – including a sat-nav, heated and cooled seats, a sunroof, and a high-end sound system.
Should I buy one?
This limited-edition FX offers a particular sort of image and rarity factor that little else can match, and that will appeal to some.
However, considering what else you could buy for the same money, the Vettel Edition is impossible to recommend.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
Up to the minute news from around the globe