Infiniti Introduces World’s First Production-Ready Variable Compression Ratio Engine


Infiniti has introduced an all-new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Heralded as the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, the VC-Turbo is on display for the first time in Paris and promises to be one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created. Sporting an advanced multi-link system, the VC-Turbo engine can seamlessly raise or lower the stroke of the pistons, while detecting the car’s driving condition and driver intputs. As a result, it can instantly select the most suitable compression ratio for the driving conditions, anywhere between 8:1 and 14:1. Lower compression ratios as typical for high-performance engines, while high-compression ratios are often used for high efficiency.

According to the Japanese automaker, “the result is an engine that combines the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced diesel powertrain – without the equivalent emissions – offering a compelling alternative to similarly-powered four-cylinder diesel engines.”

2016 Paris Motor Show Coverage

Infiniti claims the powerplant has been in development for two decades and will go on sale starting 2018. The company has tested and developed over 100 engine prototypes as it perfected the variable compression technology, having spent over 1.9-million miles [3-million kilometers] of equivalent road testing and 30,000 hours on the test bed. Infiniti’s engineers are targetting 27-percent greater fuel efficiency over similarly-powered V6 gasoline engines and hopes to offer around 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque with the powerplant.

The company noted that its partnership with the Renault Sport Formula 1 team helped develop and accelerate the VC-Turbo’s prototype testing in the later stages of its development.

“In future, new Infiniti products will benefit from the application of downsized, high-efficiency engines, such as VC-Turbo, which do not compromise performance,” said Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti. “Infiniti’s progressive customer base is receptive to new technology, and the VC-Turbo engine is designed to meet this desire to buy innovative products.”

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  • smartacus

    this one has me really divided because i know peak cylinder pressures have swollen from 1500 to 2200psi in the past decade.

    On the one hand; i agree with being able to lower the compression for more maximum power and raising the compression ratio for max torque and efficiency.

    But on the other; they should have just stayed with a fixed high or semi-high compression
    and just let the octane, variable cam-timing, and direct injection take care of most of it.

  • Joe

    “Lower compression ratios as typical for high-performance engines, while high-compression ratios are often used for high efficiency.” Isn’t this backwards? I can see lowering the compression ratio to run a higher boost level, but as a general statement it seems backwards.

  • Benny Benjamin

    Excuse me but doesn’t raising or lowering the amount of inert gas, IOW EGR do almost the same thing without the complexity?

  • Juha Bly

    Interesting. Saab was testing the same concept with 1,6 l SVC giving equal output to 2,3 l regular turbo.