Published on January 10th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Infiniti QX50 Concept Shown – Might Sport Infiniti’s Variable Compression Turbo Engine
Making its global premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Infiniti QX50 Concept showcases Infiniti’s vision for a next-generation mid-size premium crossover.
Demonstrating how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, its conceptual forebear, could be adapted for a future production model, the QX50 Concept confidently articulates Infiniti’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language. A ‘cabin-forward’ silhouette combines with muscular lines and flowing surfaces to telegraph its purpose as a dynamic and practical crossover.
Infiniti’s latest concept is the next step toward the company’s future autonomous drive support technologies. Central to the strategy for the development of all future Infiniti autonomous drive support systems, they ensure the driver retains ultimate control over their vehicle – in keeping with Infiniti’s focus on driver engagement.
The Infiniti QX50 Concept’s Graphic User Interface shows how new technologies could be incorporated into future Infiniti vehicle cabins.
The centre of the dashboard features a wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface). As well as displaying navigation and infotainment features, the QX50 Concept’s touchscreen could display to occupants the current status of other technologies in the vehicle. The dashboard could display to all occupants the status of the vehicle’s various driver assist technologies, as well as how the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine adapts as it shifts seamlessly between offering greater fuel efficiency and performance.
The Infiniti QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for Infiniti’s advanced new VC-Turbo engine. Infiniti has yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized crossover could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.
Infiniti’s production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine’s current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine’s production debut in 2018, Infiniti engineers are targeting a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.