This could be the future of the ICE

The Paris Motor Show opened its doors to the press today, and over at the Infiniti booth we got to lay eyes on a new evolution of design for the 2016 QX Sport Concept, along with the 2017 Infiniti Q50. But, more importantly, Infiniti also broke cover on its brand new VC-Turbo variable compression engine. We’ve talked about this engine back in August when Infiniti first announced this new technology, but at the time we didn’t know very much about it. Now, Infiniti has spilled the beans, or at least a few more of them, anyway.

To put it simply, this engine is basically a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, gasoline mill that can deliver the torque and efficiency of an advanced diesel engine without all the nasty noxious gasses normally associated with oil burners. Shown in operating condition in the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept, the engine has a targeted output of 268 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. Its compression ratio can be changed from 8:1 to 14:1 depending on the conditions at the time. 8:1 compression is used when there is a need for high performance while 14:1 comes into play when fuel economy is of the utmost importance.

In order for this variable compression technology to work, Infiniti designed a special multi-link system that can raise or lower the height of the pistons on demand. According to Infiniti, this little 2.0 little will be able to deliver the same power of V-6 units while remaining rather compact and significantly more efficient.

Why it Matters

At the end of the day, it seems like the manufacturers of the world are slowing working toward the death of the ICE, but this design could help prolong the life of internal combustion should it prove to be reliable. Right now, the overall design seems to be a little sketchy. There are a lot of extra parts moving in tandem with that crankshaft to help create the variable compression ratios. If this system is really going to see production, Infiniti better be damn sure that it can handle the rigors of everyday driving over the long term. Either way, it’s a new technology, and if it turns turn out to be worth all the hype, it could turn out to be a pretty cool advancement for the ICE.

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