Here’s the New Infiniti QX50 and Its Variable Compression Engine

The QX50's engine can continuously alter its compression ratio from a punchy 8:1 to a fuel-sipping 14:1.

Another week, another luxury crossover revealed. This time around, Infiniti has shown off its 2019 QX50 sporting a new design, sitting on a new platform, and rocking the firm’s new, variable compression ratio engine—the very first production car in the world to do so. 

Infiniti’s 2.0-liter VC-Turbo motor delivers 268-horsepower which is par for the course when it comes to turbocharged four-cylinders, but simultaneously boasts 280 lb-ft and 27 miles per gallon which are torque and efficiency figures more in line with a four-cylinder diesel mill. It achieves this by, you guessed it, variable compression ratios. Thanks to a multi-link system that mechanically adjusts piston reach, the engine can continuously alter its compression ratio from a punchy 8:1 to a fuel-sipping 14:1. 

“Variable compression ratio technology represents a breakthrough in powertrain development,” said Infiniti VP Randy Parker. “The QX50, powered by our VC-Turbo, is the first production vehicle ever to give drivers an engine that transforms on demand, setting a new benchmark for powertrain capability and refinement.”


Keeping in line with the theme of continuously variable ratios, power is transmitted to the wheels via a CVT. Compared to the old V6 model, Infiniti is claiming fuel efficiency improvements of 35 and 30 percent for front and all-wheel drive, respectively. The new QX50 is said to be 23 percent more torsionally rigid than the outgoing model as well.

Serving as an alternative to stuff like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the 2019 Infiniti QX50 is expected to start in the mid $30,000s.