An all-in-one engine?
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.