Infiniti’s new variable compression ratio engine could make diesels redundant

Engine technology in cars, from variable valve timing to low pressure turbo, has brought to light many familiar acronyms such as VVT-i or VTEC. Now, there’s a new tech in town, and its called the VC-T, short for variable compression ratio developed by Infiniti.

Nissan’s luxury arm just revealed the 2.0-litre variable compression-turbocharged  petrol engine, which is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. As the name implies, the engine’s compression ratio varies depending on situations, made possible by seamlessly raising or lowering the height of the pistons’ travel.

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Want the extra oomph for speed? The compression ratio will go as low as 8.0:1 for high performance. How about saving fuel? Not a problem as well, as the engine’s compression ratio can go as high as 14.0:1 to achieve optimum fuel economy. The engine control logic is responsible for facilitating the entire process.

This technology took Nissan two decades to develop, and seeks to deliver the best traits of a turbocharged diesel and petrol engine. Not only does this improve fuel consumption and emission figures, but the new engine is also lighter and is lower on noise and vibration levels. However, no details have been unveiled on the engine’s output at this point of time.

This brings to the question: does this mark the end of the oil burner? By looking at the recent “dieselgate” scandal and with cities looking to ban diesel vehicles, this high-tech lump from Infiniti could put a nail into the diesel’s coffin. However, we might need to wait for more details on this impressive tech during its official unveiling at the Mondial de l’Automobile on 29 September 2016.


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