Currently reading: New Infiniti engine to make Paris motor show debut
Infiniti's new 2.0-litre petrol engine promises significant economy gains for future models, and could make its way into the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover in time
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2 mins read
14 August 2016

Infiniti will become the world’s first car maker to sell an engine with a variable compression ratio when its new VC-T unit goes on sale in 2018. 

The all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit promises “diesel economy and V6 power and smoothness”. It will, in effect, replace a 3.5-litre V6 in future Infiniti transverse-engined models. 

It’s expected to make its debut in the upcoming GX80, a global mid-sized seven-seat crossover. In time, the engine could also be fitted to the compact Q30 and QX30 models. The engine will be shown in public at the Paris motor show in October.

Infiniti engineers say the production turbocharged unit develops around 270bhp and 288lb ft of torque while being around 27% more economical than an equivalent conventional petrol engine. That makes it roughly as frugal as a typical 2.0-litre diesel unit. 

 

Infiniti engineers told Autocar the new engine’s NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics are similar to a petrol V6’s. Autocar understands the VC-T is also cheaper to build than a typical Euro 6-compatible diesel unit.

The VC-T has two parallel fuel injection systems, one direct and one into the intake manifold, and can switch between the standard combustion and fuel-saving Atkinson combustion cycles.

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The VC-T’s compression ratio is altered seamlessly from 8:1 (ideal for high performance) to 14:1 (for high efficiency) by a mechanical actuator arm that is connected to the piston’s conrods through a slot in the side of the engine block. 

The conrods are made in two halves and joined together by a lever-type link. The actuator arm - which is operated by an electric motor mounted on the outside of the engine block - pushes these links, changing the effective length of the conrods. Longer gives a higher compression ratio and shorter a lower one.

Infiniti engineers also said the VC-T engine, which has been under development since 1998, could be hybridised for an estimated further 10% improvement in economy.

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Harry P 15 August 2016

Perfect timing

Perfect timing if Infiniti can produce a cost effective petrol engine with the true economy of a diesel, without all the drawbacks associated with diesel. I am sure Mercedes will be keen to draw closer their relationship with Infiniti if it means they can get access to this engine / technology?
Marv 15 August 2016

Looks impressive....

Would like to see it achieve all the claims. If it allows them to move away from diesels without losing economy and performance then the deserve to succeed.
I was curious who would and how they would get this tech to work. Seems a simpler option to the one Saab were working on.
xxxx 15 August 2016

Really Stunning

Nice to see such a big change to ICE tech. 27% will make it as economic as a 180 hp diesel but without adblue, pdf, smoke, noise and vibration. They won't have to undercut the price of a equivalent diesel car on the floor court as this will be the preferred engine now that's economy being the same