You know what variable valve timing is. You’re quite familiar with Honda’s VTEC system. Now Infiniti has something new for you dive into, and it’s all about changing an engine’s compression ratio. The Infiniti VC-T engine can change its compression ratio from a low of 8:1 to a high of 14:1. How does it work? Engineering Explained is here to clue us all in.
Using a turbocharger and the variable compression ratio, the engine in question can alternate between power and fuel economy needs. Most engines are better in one area while losing out a bit in another. In this case, though, there’s none of the compromise that you get in an engine that cannot alter it’s compression. The VC-T engine appears to be the best of both worlds.
When you want power, the compression ratio drops and the turbocharger makes use of more boost. If you’re just cruising, the compression ratio will rise, the engine will run on the Atkinson cycle, and you’ll see improved fuel economy.
It’s a marvel of engineering, and it’s honestly a lot to take in. As he usually does, however, Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained does a great job of turning a complex idea into something that is easy to understand.