Infiniti's new QX50 crossover features the world's first combustion engine with variable compression.
A few weeks ago, Infiniti proudly teased that it will be presenting its most advanced vehicle at the 2017 LA Auto Show. We assumed the car would be the new Infiniti QX50 crossover – and it looks like we were right. Ahead of its public debut next week, Infiniti has revealed the first image of the QX50 and detailed its potentially revolutionary engine tech. Glance at the photo, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the QX50 concept shown at Detroit earlier this year – they look eerily identical.
We're not complaining though, since we were enamoured with the concept's elegant looks. It also rides on a new front-wheel drive platform that's 23 percent more rigid than the old model while offering more interior space. The real highlight of the new 2019 Infiniti QX50 crossover, however, is its revolutionary engine technology. Like the concept, the QX50 features a variable compression ratio combustion engine – a first for a production vehicle. Infiniti describes the VC-Turbo as "a breakthrough in combustion engine design," as the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit can adjust its compression ratio to optimize both power and efficiency.
This means you get the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a four-cylinder diesel engine. It's the best of both worlds. A multi-link system continuously raises or lowers the pistons' reach to transform the compression ratio. High compression ratios aid efficiency, while low ratios enable greater power and torque, with compression ratios ranging between 8:1 for performance and 14:1 for efficiency. Output is rated at 268 hp and 280 lb-ft, making the VC-Turbo the best in its class for power. 0-62 mph takes 6.3 seconds with all-wheel drive and 6.7 seconds with front-wheel drive, while the top speed is listed at 143 mph.
The 2019 QX50 also delivers a combined US fuel economy of 27 mpg with front-wheel-drive and 26 mpg with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models offer a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous V6 gasoline QX50, while all-wheel drive models offer a 30 percent improvement. Like many other new Nissans, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 includes ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving technology that can take over steering, acceleration, and braking on single-lane highways. "The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched," said Infiniti's Global Division Vice President Christian Meunier.
"It embodies everything the brand stands for: beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance. As a luxury, mid-size crossover, it's the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world's fastest growing segments." The Infiniti QX50 will be making its world debut at the LA Auto Show next week.