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  • First Look – 2019 Infiniti QX50

First Look – 2019 Infiniti QX50

Variable-Compression Turbocharged Engine Powers Infiniti’s New Small Crossover

Nov 28, 2017
The first-generation Infiniti QX50 (formerly known as the EX35) was more of a slightly tall wagon than an actual SUV, sharing most of its bones with the G35 and G37 sedans. That sport-wagon form factor will head off into the sunset for 2017, replaced after a one-year hiatus with the vehicle you see here, the 2019 QX50 compact luxury crossover.
Sporting a more upright, traditional SUV stance, the new QX50 draws inspiration heavily from the QX50 concept that was shown at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in January. In fact, the concept's styling (and that of the showcar before it) has been only slightly altered for production, with more conventional lighting, larger sideview mirrors, and more wallet-friendly materials (sayonara, brushed steel skidplates and bodyside garnish).
However, more interesting than the attractive styling is the powerplant, which is the world’s first production variable-compression engine. A multi-link crankshaft is capable of varying the compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1. A turbocharger makes good use of lower compression ratios, improving power and torque, while the higher compression ratios help provide a cleaner, more complete fuel burn for increased efficiency in low-load situations.
Photo 2/2   |   Infiniti VC T Engine
The so-called VC-Turbo system is applied to a 2.0L I-4 that produces 268 hp and 280 lb-ft, paired to a CVT that sends power to either the front or all four wheels. The former should hustle to 60 mph in a respectable 6.7 seconds, dropping to 6.2 seconds when optioned with all-wheel drive. Those numbers compare quite favorably to the larger QX60 crossover, which makes 295 hp and 270 lb-ft from a much larger 3.5L V-6, hitting 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.
Infiniti boasts that VC-Turbo “challenges the notion that only hybrid and diesel powertrains can deliver high torque and efficiency,” a claim backed up by the QX50’s estimated 27 mpg combined for the FWD and 26 mpg for the AWD. Those numbers are equal to or better than even Infiniti’s subcompact QX30, which achieves 27 mpg as a front-wheel-driver and just 25 mpg in AWD form. Of course, the QX50’s fuel economy numbers are just Infiniti estimates; final EPA numbers are still in limbo.
The QX50 abandons its forebear’s Nissan FM platform, which was a rear-wheel-drive platform with all-wheel capability. The new crossover’s all-new architecture uses a transverse-engine, front-wheel-drive setup, and Infiniti says it was designed with flexibility in mind (a Q40 subcompact sedan, perhaps?). Furthermore, it represents the industry’s first application of SHF high-strength steel, improving rigidity by 23 percent over the current QX50 while also saving weight.
Infiniti is still holding out on us with regard to the QX50’s interior styling, but we should get a chance to inspect the crossover in person this week at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Stay tuned.
Source: Infiniti
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