Infiniti’s Variable-Compression Turbo Engine Gets More Accolades

The Infiniti Variable Compression engine (The KR20DDET, in engine-code parlance), which we brought you back in 2017, and was named to Wards Ten Best list at the end of 2018, is continuing to rack up awards with not one, but two more accolades under its belt this week.

The revolutionary new engine designs uses a pair of connecting rods which allow for compression ratios between 8.0:1 and 14.0:1 to be utilized based on the given demands of the engine. From lower compression ratios and the turbocharger at maximum output for peak power, or maximum compression under light loads to maximize efficiency, the engine does it all.

The first award comes from automotive residual value authority, ALG, with their Powertrain Innovation Award, which is bestowed on the powertrain that best embodies the driving experience. The judging criteria for the award blends elements of power, efficiency, and handling dynamics.

“While alternative fuel and electrification are trendy topics, internal combustion is still the dominant engine choice worldwide. Infiniti engineers are proving there is still room for innovation with the introduction of the variable compression, VC-Turbo engine,” says Eric Lyman, senior vice president, ALG. “The ability to adjust compression ratio unlocks optimal power or efficiency depending on driver inputs. The result is an innovative engine with enhanced flexibility and applications.”

Rated at 268 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 to 4,800 rpm, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine packs a decent punch. Plus, its compact dimensions allow vehicle designers to devote less space to the engine in new vehicle designs.

The second award of 2019 comes from Roadshow by CNET, the automotive branch of the well-known consumer technology giant. They have bestowed their “Shift Award” for Driveline Technology of the Year on the Infiniti 2.0L Variable Compression Turbo engine. The Shift Award recognizes the most innovative and important developments in the car industry each year.

“This 2.0-liter powerplant is a peach, delivering strong real-world fuel efficiency and ample power on demand,”  says Chris Paukert, executive editor, Roadshow by CNET. “Its new motor-driven, multi-link system, which varies piston reach, is an elegant solution only made possible by sophisticated electronic controls.”

With the awards continuing to roll in, it’s obvious that the market is ready to accept wild new technologies in the difficult pursuit of decent economy without sacrificing performance on demand. While MPG is important, consumers aren’t ready to give up the kick in the seat delivered by a performance-oriented engine.

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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