This year’s Paris Auto Show saw the debut of the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engines, courtesy of Infiniti.
The goal for this new VC-Turbo technology is to combine the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol unit with the torque and high-efficiency of a modern-day diesel powertrain.
“The pioneering new VC-Turbo powertrain represents a leap forward for engine development,” said Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Company. “Vehicle engineers believe the breakthrough in internal combustion technology would come from mastering the variable compression ratio. INFINITI will be the first to bring this technology to the market in 2018. This new generation of powertrains will help our global growth and expansion of the INFINITI product portfolio.”
By using an advanced multi-link system to raise or lower the reach of the pistons, VC-Turbo technology will detect the car’s driving condition and driver inputs and instantly select the most suitable compression ratio. This way, the engine can offer any compression ratio between 8:1 (high performance) and 14:1 (high efficiency).
Its development target output is set at 272 PS (268 HP) and 390 Nm (287 lb-ft) of torque, which according to Infiniti makes it comparable to certain six-cylinder petrol powertrains in terms of performance, while still outperforming them in efficiency.
Furthermore, the four-cylinder VC-Turbo engine produces lower levels of noise and vibration compared to other units (especially diesel ones), and is said to be lighter and more compact than V6 engines with similar power outputs.