INFINITI’s VC-Turbo engine, the world’s first production variable compression ratio engine, was named to Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems list for the second year in a row.
“When developing the VC-Turbo engine, we wanted to create a powertrain that had the power and performance of a far larger engine while still retaining the favorable fuel consumption of a turbocharged four-cylinder,” said Jeff Pope, group vice president, INFINITI Americas. “This engine’s ability to continuously adjust its compression based on driver’s input allows it to provide peak performance in any given situation, making it an ideal engine for a variety of vehicles and applications.”
In the 26th year of Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsions Systems competition, the VC-Turbo engine was pitted against a wide range of new and significantly improved powertrains (26 nominees in all) from manufacturers around the world.
A breakthrough in combustion engine design, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power and efficiency. The VC-Turbo engine continuously changes its compression ratio with an advanced multi-link system by raising or lowering the pistons’ reach, which provides the power and strength of a sprinter with the efficiency and endurance of a marathon runner.
In operation, the QX50’s VC-Turbo engine offers any compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The engine delivers 268 hp at 5,600 rpm and 280 lb ft at 1,600 – 4,800 rpm. The VC-Turbo’s specific power output is higher than many of its rivals’ turbocharged gasoline engines, and it comes close to the performance of some V6 gasoline engines. The unit’s single-scroll turbo also ensures immediate accelerator responses on demand.
The VC-Turbo’s favorable power-to-weight ratio and small overall size allows the cabin of the QX50 to be moved forward, providing significantly more overall interior space while accommodating sliding and reclining seats for rear passengers. The QX50 also boasts rear legroom of up to 38.7 inches and a trunk that can accommodate a stroller situated length-wise without letting down the back seats, with space for additional cargo.