Infiniti has taken the wraps off its brand new Variable Compression-Turbocharged (VC-T) gasoline engine which has been in developed over the last two decades. The production-ready unit is rated at 268 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and 288 pound-feet (390 Newton-meters) of torque and can automatically adapt to lower or raise the height the pistons reach. It effectively means the compression ratio can vary between 8:1 and 14:1, thus offering the best of both worlds: high performance and fuel economy. Depending on the driving conditions, the engine’s control logic can apply the optimum ratio for maximum performance or efficiency.
According to Infiniti, the new engine is smaller and lighter in comparison to conventional units, and it also has lower noise and vibration levels. The four-cylinder, 2.0-liter VC-T unit is approximately 27 percent more efficient than the 3.5-liter V6 it will replace. At the same time, it is going to be cheaper to manufacture than today’s crop of comparable turbodiesel engines. Infiniti’s parent company Nissan explained at a briefing in Tokyo the engine should comply without any costly modifications with nitrogen oxide and other emissions rules in markets with more stringent laws.
Nissan senior engineer Kinichi Tanuma believes the new engine has what it takes to replace turbodiesels or at least become a viable alternative. He went on to specify performance and fuel economy can be further increased by implementing a gasoline-electric hybrid setup which is currently being considered.
In an interview with Motoring, Infiniti global boss Roland Kruger explained the technology can be adapted for V6 engines to cut down emissions and fuel consumption.
More details about the engine will be disclosed on September 29 at the Paris Motor Show, with the next-gen QX50 due in 2017 set to become the first production model to use it.
Gallery: Infiniti's production-ready variable compression ratio engine
INFINITI VC-T: The world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
INFINITI will present VC-T (Variable Compression-Turbocharged), the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine and one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created, on September 29 at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l'Automobile).
More than 20 years in development, INFINITI's new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology.
"VC-T technology is a step change for INFINITI," said Roland Krueger, president of INFINITI Motor Company. "It is a revolutionary next-step in optimizing the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. This technological breakthrough delivers the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with a high level of efficiency at the same time."
VC-T technology signifies a new chapter in the story of the internal combustion engine – engines are no longer limited by a fixed compression ratio. The ingenuity of VC-T engine technology lies in its ability to transform itself and seamlessly raise or lower the height the pistons reach. As a consequence, the displacement of the engine changes and the compression ratio can vary anywhere between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The sophisticated engine control logic automatically applies the optimum ratio, depending on what the driving situation demands.
VC-T technology delivers multiple customer benefits including significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions, greatly reduced noise and vibration levels; it is also lighter and more compact than comparable conventional engines.
More information on the world-first VC-T engine will be presented by INFINITI at Mondial de l'Automobile on September 29, with the company's press conference taking place at 12:30 p.m. local time.