Infiniti have confirmed that their variable-compression engine first announced in 2016 at the Paris Auto Show is now production-ready. This makes it the worlds first to go from the research and development stage to actual production.
Designed, as the name suggests to have a variable-compression ratio, the ‘VC-Turbo’ as it’s being marketed by Infiniti, has been labelled to have the power of a V6 petrol engine, with the efficiency and torque of a diesel equivalent.
The engine is able to offer any compression ratio between 8:1 (typical for high performance engines) and 14:1 (used by many manufacturers for high efficiency). It is able to change the compression ratio’s on the fly, based on input from the driver, and throttle response.
The four-cylinder, 2.0 Litre, VC Turbo is being touted to have lower noise, vibration, and emissions than a conventional internal combustion engine, and lighter and more compact than a V6 with similar output.
The efficiency, reduction in noise and vibration (which is inherent with four-cylinder engines), will be what wins the engine the prestige and place on the world stage that Infiniti are chasing.
Will the VC-Turbo outperform a diesel in torque and efficiency? Infiniti believe it will, but I think we’ll have to wait for it to hit the real world market and real world conditions to see.