VC-Turbo – the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine

  • QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for INFINITI’s VC-Turbo engine
  • Packaging benefits for a mid-size SUV, powered by a compact engine with high specific power and efficiency
  • INFINITI engineers target a 27% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6 gasoline engines

The INFINITI QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for INFINITI’s advanced new VC-Turbo engine. INFINITI is yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized SUV could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.

The QX50 Concept’s packaging efficiency and spacious cabin are due in part to a compact, space-efficient engine bay design. With its proportionately shorter hood, the QX50 Concept suggests how the 2.0-liter gasoline engine could power a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.

INFINITI’s production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium SUV segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the HMI (human-machine interface) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine’s current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.

With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine’s production debut in 2018, INFINITI engineers are targeting a 27% improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.