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Infiniti, Nissan set to debut four-pot variable compression engine

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 28 July 2016

INFINITI’s innovative variable-compression four-cylinder petrol engine with the power of a V6 and fuel efficiency of a 2.0-litre diesel is expected to make its debut in the new-generation QX50 mid-sized luxury SUV due next year.

The QX50 sits between the small Infiniti QX30 and the large QX70 (formerly FX) and QX80.

The five-door QX50 is thought to be loosely based on Infiniti’s QX Sport Inspiration concept shown at this year’s Beijing motor show in April.

When that concept was shown in China, no powertrain was detailed.

Now, however, Infiniti executives have revealed to British journalists in Japan that a new engine equipped with variable compression is set to make its entrance in the production version of the second-generation QX50.

This technology has been a holy grail of powertrain engineers seeking the benefits of big-engine performance and small-engine economy for years.

Infiniti parent company Nissan itself has been working on it for decades, and apparently has hit the jackpot with technology to make it work.

Such an engine would be a boon for Infiniti sales in the world’s biggest markets, China and North America, where petrol vehicle sales dominate.

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Given that Infiniti frequently unveils its production cars a year after the concept, the new QX50 might step into the public spotlight at the Shanghai Auto Expo or New York motor show about April next year.

The current first-generation QX50 was launched as the EX in late-2007 in the US before making its European debut in 2008.

The vehicle was rebadged QX50 in 2013 as part of a major makeover that is now running out of marketing steam.

Until now, the QX50 has stuck with V6 engines in petrol and diesel forms, but if the overseas reports are correct, the innovative four-cylinder petrol engine is on the cards.

This engine will almost certainly be rolled out into other Infiniti models and, perhaps, Nissan and Renault vehicles.

Reports out of Europe also suggest that Infiniti is preparing to wheel out a variety of hot ‘S’ variants of its latest range, employing warmed over VQ-series V6 petrol and hybrid powertrains to help take the fight up the German manufacturers.