Infiniti VC-T: World’s first variable compression ratio engine

INFINITI four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine

Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti has revealed a production-ready variable compression ratio engine called VC-T (Variable Compression-Turbocharged) — claimed to be the world’s first. It’ll debut at the upcoming 2016 Paris Motor Show. This advanced 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine can change compression ratios on the fly, and help achieve better fuel efficiency.

INFINITI four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine

Infiniti told Reuters that the 2.0-litre VC-T engine improves efficiency by 27% over Nissan’s 3.5-litre V6, which it will eventually replace, with similar output figures of around 280 bhp and 360 Nm of torque more or less.

The VC-T engine technology lies in its ability to seamlessly raise or lower the height of 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.

The company says that the VC-T technology delivers multiple customer benefits including significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions, greatly reduced noise and vibration levels; it is also lighter and more compact than comparable conventional engines.

It is a revolutionary next-step in optimizing the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. This technological breakthrough delivers the power of a high-performance 2.0-litre turbo gasoline engine with a high level of efficiency at the same time. – Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti Motor Company

Varying compression ratios are a part of the Atkinson-cycle engine. Usually seen on hybrids, Atkinson-cycle engines hold the intake valve open during the engine’s compression cycle, effectively reducing the compression ratio as the air escapes. Which means, this engine will switch between Atkinson and regular combustion cycles without interruption.

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