Infiniti has revealed a new production-ready turbocharged gasoline engine featuring a variable compression ratio that allows it to deliver outstanding power with near diesel-like fuel efficiency. To be fully detailed at the upcoming Paris Auto Show, Infiniti says its new 2.0-liter/4-cylinder VC-T engine represents “a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology” and is the end result of more than 20 years of development pioneered by its parent company, Nissan.

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By using a patented computer-controlled multi-link adjuster mechanism in place of a traditional one-piece connecting rod, the setup can change the length of the piston stroke. As a result, Infiniti’s new VC-T engine can seamlessly and instantaneously vary its compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1 depending on the real-time driving demands. The lower pressure allows full exploitation of its turbocharging to create maximum power, while the high-compression mode switches to a more efficient valve-timing operation to boost overall fuel economy.

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Despite additional mechanical complexity, Infiniti says its new VC-T engine will offer a host of tangible consumer benefits beyond better performance, reduced fuel use and lower emissions when it launches in 2018. Lighter and more compact than comparable conventional alternatives, it’s also quieter and smoother. No word yet on output/mpg estimates although more details -- including which members of the lineup might be the first to benefit from VC-T tech – will be forthcoming in Paris.

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