New Infiniti QX50 revealed with world’s first production variable compression ratio engine
New large SUV’s groundbreaking petrol powertrain promises diesel-like fuel efficiency; public debut will come at the LA motor show
The new Infiniti QX50 has been revealed, with confirmation that it will use the world’s first production variable compression ratio engine.
The large SUV, which is also built on an all-new platform, has a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine called VC-Turbo that can adjust its compression ratio from 8:1 (for performance) to 14:1 (for fuel economy).
It produces up to 268bhp and 280lb ft, while offering up to 35% efficiency improvements over the previous QX50’s V6 engine. The new QX50 uses a CVT gearbox and is most efficient in front-wheel-drive form, although all-wheel-drive variants still offer a 30% improvement.
Flat out, the QX50 is claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 6.3sec and reaching a top speed of 143mph.
The car’s new platform enables tighter packaging, which, Infiniti claims, gives its Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rival best-in-class interior space. Boot space has grown to 895 litres with the rear seats in place and 1048 litres with them folded down.
Infiniti claims that the structure has also enabled a 23% improvement in torsional rigidity, reducing flex and vibrations, thus improving refinement. The QX50’s sleeker new shape is also said to help with this, due to its 6% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency.
The QX50 also features a raft of new driver assistance technology, utilising the ProPilot Assist system developed by parent company Nissan. This can assist with the accelerator, brakes and steering to keep the car safely within a motorway lane, although Infiniti says it hasn’t equipped the car with a fully autonomous mode because its customers “have stated their desire to remain a key element in driving”.
The QX50 will make its public debut at this month’s LA motor show, at which time more images and technical details will be released. The car is due on sale in the US in 2018, but when it’ll reach the UK is yet to be confirmed.
Infiniti’s presence in the UK has slowly grown, partly thanks to its lack of diesel offerings, but remains small. The QX50’s new bold claims for efficiency and the UK’s changing attitude to diesel in view of the Government’s upcoming tax hikes could put the Japanese brand in a better place.
Source: Autocar Online