INFINITI boss Roland Krueger says the company's new variable compression ratio engine is a revolutionary leap forward similar to turbocharging and fuel injection for the internal combustion engine.
He said the VC-T engine, which will be shown at the Paris Auto Show in September in 2.0-litre, turbocharged four cylinder form ahead of a production debut in the 2018 QX50 mid-size SUV, will be the first of many such engines based on this new technology.
Infiniti claims the VC-T engine has 27 percent better fuel economy than conventional internal combustion engines, and delivers performance to match a 50 percent bigger 3.0-litre V6 engine.
The first production version of this engine will have 200kW and 390Nm.
"This is just the beginning," Krueger told Wheels during a July visit to Infiniti's R&D headquarters. "This is [an] east-west [application], we will also announce north-south configuration."
East-west front-engined configurations - where the cylinders are aligned transversely in the engine bay – are typically found in front-drive vehicles.
North-south - or longitudinal - configurations are generally found in rear-drive applications.
Krueger said Infiniti's VC-T engine family would not be limited to an in-line four cylinder configuration, or 2.0-litre capacity.
"I can share with you we are working on other configurations, but we haven't decided [which will go into production] yet.
"This engine gives us the flexibility to scale it up and down. There are other opportunities within that technology for scalability: The size of the engine, the power output, and the opportunity to achieve new levels of fuel economy and emissions."
Krueger also confirmed the engine family's potential for performance applications, but declined to say when or in which models.
"Do you see me smiling? That's all I will say. I am smiling.
"We are quite confident about the next steps we are taking with the brand and with the product."
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