Transformative by nature, the VC-Turbo engine is paired with INFINITI’s new XTRONIC continuously-variable transmission (CVT), a ‘shift-by-wire’ system which eliminates the need for traditional gears. The QX50 is the only car in its class to offer a CVT, resulting in super-smooth gear shifts and seamless power delivery.
The XTRONIC CVT reacts instantly to driver inputs, with an infinite number of gears matched to the transformation of the engine through different compression ratios. The transmission adjusts immediately under hard acceleration as the engine transforms to a lower compression ratio. A higher gearing ratio for cruising speeds matches the higher compression ratio of the engine, enhancing efficiency. A high final gear ratio (5.846) creates an instantaneous and decisive acceleration character – empowering the driver to accelerate more urgently when desired.
The final drive ratio works seamlessly with the wide-range single-scroll turbocharger, allowing the engine to operate at lower compression ratios, and deliver the immediate acceleration to match the transforming, variable performance delivered by the VC-Turbo engine. Pre-programmed gears allow drivers to change engine speeds on demand, in line with their driving style.
The new XTRONIC CVT adopts the latest transmission technologies to enhance efficiency and acceleration. A torque converter ensures a direct connection between the accelerator pedal inputs and the engine response. An electric oil pump system works in-tune with the Idle Stop system, distributing oil throughout the transmission to enable immediate restarts and enhance fuel efficiency.
This ‘shift-by-wire’ transmission enhances the QX50’s powertrain packaging, with the fully-electronic system replacing the mechanical transmission linkage. This means the XTRONIC CVT takes up less space, eliminating the need for a large transmission case or tunnel mount. This enhances cabin space in the process, and results in a larger central armrest and center console area for maximum elbow room.
The shift-by-wire configuration also empowers the driver with quicker gear shifts, with more immediate and instantaneous shifts in manual mode. Driver inputs are transmitted directly to the CVT by wire, while a short stroke for the shifter itself delivers a high quality, silent gear change feel.