Infiniti's Variable Compression Engine is the Chameleon the World Wants

infinitis variable compression engine is the chameleon the world wants

Infiniti has a revolutionary new engine in the works that’s both a high-compression mileage-maker and a low-compression pavement burner, giving drivers the option of being lean or mean at any given time.

The world’s first variable compression engine, dubbed the VC-T, ate up 20 years of design work before Infiniti went public with its achievement. The automaker plans to unveil the revolutionary engine next month, at the Paris Auto Show.

VC-T (Variable Compression-Turbocharged) is two engines in one. The 2.0-liter turbocharged mill is able to change both its compression and its displacement at will, depending on the type of driving required.

The VC-T’s Jekyll and Hyde personality is the latest leap forward in gasoline engine efficiency and powerplant versatility. By raising and lowering the height of the pistons’ reach, the engine allows for low-compression (8:1) cruising under light loads, and high-compression (14:1) performance.

“It is a revolutionary next-step in optimizing the efficiency of the internal combustion engine,” said Infiniti president Roland Krueger in a statement. “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.”

Infinity claims the technology improves fuel economy, lowers noise and vibration levels, and allows for a smaller, lighter engine.

Performance specifications and mileage estimates should drop at the engine’s September 29 unveiling, but rumors about the mill’s output already abound. Several media sources put the VC-T’s power between 265 and 270 horsepower. Expect to see the new engine offered in the 2018 QX50.

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  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Aug 16, 2016

    My inner geek is screaming with glee My inner pragmatist is likening this to the toilet machine from the Simpsons Australia episode. People dump on the Prius, but you scale that thing's powertrain up and you get the RX350h, which makes more power/torque than this thing and by Nissan's own estimates still gets significantly better gas mileage for what I imagine is much less cost. Someone needs to answer the question of why manufacturers are rushing to turbos when hybrids are the clearly superior solution.

    • See 1 previous
    • Ajla Ajla on Aug 16, 2016

      @Snail Kite Is this thing going to be faster or more efficient than the current Infiniti hybrid offerings (which use an older system in the first place)? Infiniti is still ostensibly a "luxury" brand so it would be nice if they didn't just settle for "it's way cheaper". I don't think the best solution for an Altima SL should be the same for the Q50.

  • Lost Lost on Aug 16, 2016

    I wince at the picture thinking the mechanism will break. And turbo chargers offer variable compression as needed.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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