Infiniti Just Created A First-Of-Its-Kind Production Engine

So, Infiniti has done something that no one else has done before. We’re all a little flabbergasted by this one, but in the best way imaginable.

Infiniti isn’t known for its industry leading innovations, but being the luxury brand of an automaker as large as Nissan affords Infiniti the resources few others have. They have proven themselves insanely resourceful by bringing to the world the first ever VC-T. Usually those letters, C V & T, are associated with a truly horrible abomination of a transmission, but not this time. VC-T stands for Variable Compression-Turbocharged. What that exactly means can be better said by Infiniti themselves.

More than 20 years in development, INFINITI’s new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology.

“VC-T technology is a step change for INFINITI,” said Roland Krueger, president of INFINITI Motor Company. “It is a revolutionary next-step in optimizing the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. 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.”

VC-T technology signifies a new chapter in the story of the internal combustion engine – engines are no longer limited by a fixed compression ratio.  The ingenuity of VC-T engine technology lies in its ability to transform itself and seamlessly raise or lower the height the pistons reach. As a consequence, the displacement of the engine changes and the compression ratio can vary anywhere between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The sophisticated engine control logic automatically applies the optimum ratio, depending on what the driving situation demands.

VC-T technology delivers multiple customer benefits including significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions, greatly reduced noise and vibration levels; it is also lighter and more compact than comparable conventional engines.

What this essentially means is that the engine will vary the compression ratio in real-time from 8:1 for a higher performance to 14:1 for a higher efficiency. This is technology that could render diesel engines completely obsolete. This also gives the efficiency of a smaller displacement without power loss, so expect power anywhere from 250hp to 300hp.

This is a truly remarkable development in engine technology. Expect to see this all over the Infiniti range of vehicles and potentially replacing their V6.

(Source: Infiniti News)

Written by Gregson

Gregson's love affair with cars began at a young age thanks to his father who introduced him to racing. He's been a fan ever since he saw his first race live at Watkins Glen at the age of 5. He loves GT3, F1, Rally, Touring, and Le Mans styles of racing. Intermediate knowledge of internal combustion engines. Any reading done for pleasure is devoted to automotive journalism. Gregson owns a WRX and can 4-wheel drift directly into your hedges, no sweat. He currently is a Senior Copywriter for McCann Torre Lazur specializing in pharmaceutical advertising. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kate and their dog Savannah.


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    • More air plus more oxygen equals high performance. In a naturally aspirated engine this is accomplished by squeezing a bit (and i mean a bit) more air in the same space with compression.

      With a turbo, your fuel-air mixture is effectively blown into the cylinder with a massive pump, so having a lower compression allows you to use this pump to force more fuel/air in. If you try to do both you need to be either nitromethane, or only want your engine to survive for double-digit minutes. (Google: “Detonation)

    • Bob, The article doesn’t explain very well, but it has to do with the fact it is turbocharged. In a normally aspirated engine, you are correct, higher compression equals higher power output, as well as higher efficiency. Turbo engines jam more air and fuel in, than would ordinarily fit, through the use of the turbo, which acts as a compressor. The increased volume of air and fuel in the cylinder artificially drives the actual compression ratio realized higher. Lets say you stuffed 1.5x as much air and fuel into a cylinder and piston with a 14:1 static compression ratio. The realized compression ratio would be something like 21:1. Unfortunately, the air/fuel mixture would pre-detonate, that is to say it would detonate while the piston was on its compression stroke. If this happens, it is very bad and can and will destroy the engine. Turbo engines are therefore set to lower compression ratios to compensate for this effect. An 8:1 compression engine at a half bar of boost therefore might actually operate around 12:1, which would be fine, and would generate the performance of a 3 liter engine, out of a 2 liter, when it is on boost. The compromise is that when not on boost, it is a 2 liter with low compression, suffering low power and efficiency. This engine jacks up the compression when off boost, then drops compression to allow for boosting without pre-detonation. This is a massive game changer. This makes a turbocharged engine far more desirable and allows for fantastic performance and efficiency. It doesn’t get rid of the maintenance cost issues or longevity issues of a turbo engine, but for creating a low weight, high performance engine with excellent efficiency, this is an awesome idea!

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