Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

McLaren details the 4.0-liter V8 Senna

Megane R.S Video

Ahead of it public debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next month, McLaren has released further information on the Senna. Fitted with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 – McLaren’s most powerful IC engine ever produced for a road car – the limited release hypercar will develop 800ps and 800Nm.

Ford Ranger returns to the USA with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine

ecoboost_video

Fitted with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine taken from the Focus RS, the 2019 Ford Ranger marks the OEM’s return to America’s mid-size truck segment. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford promises torque comparable to a V6 and the efficiency of a four-cylinder.


Click here/on image to watch video

The next issue of Engine Technology International will bring you an extended HCCI technology feature, but will this innovative powertrain development ever jump from concept to mainstream production?

Web Exclusives

« back to listing

Infiniti unveils groundbreaking VC-T engine

First impressions: ETI travels to Arizona to test Infiniti’s innovative VC-T engine

 

When I first started out as a car journalist, the likes of Saab, Hummer, Saturn, Pontiac – hell, even Oldsmobile – were still kicking around. They were all trying their best to survive in a rapidly changing automotive world, but ultimately, they were doomed.

Numerous reasons were behind the demise of these once great automotive brands – Saab in particular for me is a sad case in point – but I guess history will show that they just simply didn’t sell enough cars. No income ultimately equals the dreaded ‘closed for business’ sign on the factory door.

But actually, it’s too simplistic just to blame a lack of action in dealer showrooms for the disappearance of these automotive players. These giants caught themselves up in a vicious circle that was hard to break. Dramatically falling sales equals reduced production that equals less demand that equals shrinking market share that equals less income that equals slashed R&D budgets that equals no new modern products.

With innovation shelved – and crucially the competition pushing forward – old architectures, engines and technologies are reused to the point where things just get embarrassing. ‘New’ cars are actually rehashed old cars, and that ‘new’ engine was actually really new 15 years ago. Just look at Rover and its desperate struggles for new architectures 15 or so years ago for the 25, 45 and 75 products.

All this came to my mind as I was catching a plane back to London from Phoenix, Arizona, where I had only arrived the day before. But the ultra-rapid 47-hour trip, just under 20 hours of which was spent in the air, was well worth it. Why? Because I had become one of the first people in the world (outside Infiniti/Nissan circles, of course) to experience the organization’s VC-T engine.

It was around this time last year that Infiniti announced to the industry that it had cracked the powertrain engineering impossible. An engine had been successfully created that had a real-world variable compression ratio – in this case of 8:1 to 14:1. I still remember the day I first learned about this landmark moment, but being sworn to secrecy by Infiniti and not being able to tell a soul.

This really was supposed to be just-can’t-be-done technology – just ask Lotus Engineering, or perhaps Saab, which was made to abandon its research project shortly after GM’s takeover at the turn of the millennium. Talk about sliding doors moments.

So there I was, on a humid November afternoon at Nissan’s Arizona Testing Center, a 3,050-acre state-of-the-art facility in the Sonoran Desert, to drive a prototype of this most important piece of IC engine technology.

And I use those words with the utmost respect to all other engineering innovations – the inventions that have come and gone, the creations that are currently changing our lives for the better, and of course ongoing work that will improve tomorrow’s world.

My time with the VC-T – housed in something I can’t write about yet (sworn to secrecy again!) – was limited to just a few hours. However, the prototype engine I spent time with in Arizona is production-ready and is really rather refined, even if the prototype vehicle I’m in isn’t...

But, and here’s the bit that matters, the technology works. And it works really well. I have written already a lot about Infiniti’s VC-T project over the past 12 months – see the January 2017 issue of ETI for an in-depth insight – so I won’t revisit old areas like how it actually works, or the challenges Infiniti engineers faced. Instead, all I’ll say is this: aside from gaining a big advantage over rival brands with this technology, Infiniti/Nissan just might have saved the IC engine as we know it. And in doing so it has secured its own future too, because innovation brings success – as those at Saab know only too well.

The next issue of ETi will bring you an exclusive feature interview on Infiniti’s
VC-T technology and how it fared during testing in Arizona!

Written by Dean Slavnich

 

16 November 2017

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

International Engine of the Year Awards
Read Latest Issue
Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusive Articles

Mazda reaffirms its commitment to the IC engine
“We’ll create the first HCCI engine and be the last with BEVs,” said Kenichiro Saruwatari, vice president of R&D at Mazda Europe, at the 2016 Geneva motor show. While HCCI technology is just around the corner two years later, Mazda has reiterated that it has no plans for battery electric vehicles. 
Read Now

Mahle Powertrain reveals how it supports powertrain development amid tightening regulations
As RDE regulations begin to take effect and OEMs look to reduce the emissions and increase efficiency of their vehicles, Mahle has invested US$11.2m in an all-new state-of-the-art facility devoted to real-life vehicle optimization
Read Now

WMG details the graphene battery technology that could double EV battery life
When Fisker relaunched two years ago the company’s namesake CEO promised graphene-based supercapacitor technology in its first car. But while the battery technology didn’t come to fruition, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) has utilized graphene to potentially double an EV battery’s lifecycle.
Read Now


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the engine technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the engine technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to d.slavnich@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com