Described as a huge technological leap forward, Infiniti’s variable-compression turbocharged inline 2.0 litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine was revealed to the public at this week’s Paris Auto Show.

The small, lightweight mill is capable of producing diesel-like torque, without the nasty emissions, while maximizing fuel-efficiency when the demand for power subsides. A fixed compression engine could never achieve this level of adaptability between output and consumption.

Infiniti’s engine can vary its compression from 8:1 for high output to 14:1 for greater efficiency. Horsepower is targeted at 268, while torque is expected to reach 288 ft-lbs. No fuel-economy figures released as yet, but expect the unexpected.

A pivoting multi-link connecting-rod system allows the pistons to travel higher, thereby increasing the compression ratio commensurate with demand. An electronic control module manages the setup, which functions seamlessly.

A spin-off benefit of variable compression management is a reduction in engine vibration and unpleasant harmonics.

This new technology will be available in Infiniti models beginning model year 2018. These will be the first variable compression engines in mass production for the passenger car market, and you can bet that vicariousmag.com will be among the first to test their mettle.

About The Author

Rob Rothwell has been involved in automotive journalism since 2002, writing for multiple online and print publications. He lives on the West Coast and is a member of the AJAC (Automotive Journalist Association of Canada). Rob’s passions include long drives on country roads in his convertible sports car, as well as cycling, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. Rob can often be found at the beach with his classic 80s Rainbow Laser, or tinkering in his workshop on his latest project.

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