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Detailed Explanation On How The Variable Compression Engine Works

Not too long ago Infiniti just unveiled a first of it’s kind production engine, the Variable Compression Turbocharged engine, or VC-T for short. Up until now production engines have fixed compression ratios, as in the distance between the lowest and highest point of the piston’s travel does not change. What Infiniti did with their VC-T is allow the total stroke of the engine to change resulting in a compression between 8:1 to 14:1, meaning it’s capable of fine tuning the engine to produce somewhere between an “efficiency” and “power” modes. Saab has tried to do something similar but with a different approach. Sadly, they never took it into production.

Infiniti achieved this by adding a multi-link in addition to the regular crankshaft, connecting rod, and piston assembly. In combination with a harmonic drive and actuators, the multi-link is able rotate and change the total travel of the piston. If that sounds a bit too confusing then you should watch the video below as Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained has done a very good job explaining what actually happens inside the VC-T engine. Take a look at the diagram below, watch the video, and learn!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 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.

(Source: Engineering Explained)

About Hansen

The engineer amongst the crew, Hansen once built a mini baja car with his bare hands. Hansen had the opportunity to join Honda’s R&D team in Ohio but chose the life of the east coast and the defense industry instead. A die hard auto enthusiast he religiously follows the auto industry and loves long walks in the auto shows.

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