Infiniti QX50 concept previews new SUV ideas

Infiniti QX50 concept previews new SUV ideas
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Infiniti showed off an all-new SUV concept Monday, but it’s what’s under the hood that really sets the truck apart.

It’s called the QX50 Concept and it made its premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The midsize SUV includes gee-whiz technology like potential self-driving capabilities and connectivity to the latest devices. The concept strongly suggests what we’ll see in the upcoming production version of the new QX50.

Powering the concept is a 2-liter turbocharged engine that has an intriguing trick up its sleeve. Making use of some extra levers and shafts, the engine can vary its compression ratio to suit the needs of the moment.

Simply put, the compression ratio refers to how much a piston compresses the air/fuel mixture in an engine’s cylinder. High compression engines (typically higher than 10:1) can be very efficient and get a lot of mechanical energy out of the burning gas. However, they are also more sensitive to a fuel’s octane rating (typically requiring a high octane fuel) to avoid engine damage.

The QX50’s engine features the ability to vary the compression from a low 8:1 ratio all the way up to a high 14:1. That wizardry allows the engine to generate 268 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque from only four cylinders. Infiniti leaders say the mill will be 27 percent more fuel efficient than a V6 engine that makes the same amount of power.

Here’s a little animation courtesy of Infiniti showing the insides of the engine:

Notice the extra little lever at the bottom of the engine between the piston that moves up and down and the crankshaft, which rotates, ultimately turning the wheels of the car.

And Infiniti says this engine is ready for production. Though there has been no announcement as to which model will get it first, the company said it plans to have it on the streets sometime in 2018.