Infiniti QX50 at the 2017 LA auto show | CAR Magazine

New 2018 Infiniti QX50 shown - with world's first variable compression engine

Published: 24 November 2017 Updated: 24 November 2017

► First look at new Infiniti QX50
► One photo released ahead of LA
► See it in full at Los Angeles show

This is the new 2018 Infiniti QX50, the new mid-sized crossover to target the Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace and BMW X3. It’s being prepared for the LA auto show which starts on 28 November.

The QX50 is notable for boasting the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, dubbed VC-Turbo. It’s a 264bhp 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder, said to have the efficiency of a four-pot diesel.

It’s the car we scooped earlier this spring; check out our spyshots here.

What can we expect of the new Infiniti QX50?

Infiniti has only issued teaser information at this stage. We know it’s based on an all-new platform, said to be unusually stiff and spacious (they’re claiming class-leading accommodation and a 23% stiffer structure).

‘The QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance,’ said Christian Meunier, Infiniti’s global vice president. ‘As a premium, mid-size SUV, it’s the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world’s fastest growing segments.’

Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration

Infiniti showed the 4690mm-long QX Sport Inspiration (above) at the Beijing motor show in 2016; that car showed what we can expect from the newcomer, which is expected to arrive in European showrooms in 2018 or 2019 as a rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

A world first: Infiniti’s Variable Compression Ratio engine on the QX50

Most notable new feature in the QX50 is the Nissan-Renault Alliance’s new Multi Link Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) engine tech; a multi-link system continuously lifts or lowers the pistons’ reach, effectively juggling the compression ratio between 8:1 (performance) and 14:1 (for frugal economy).

Impressively, for a 2.0-litre petrol engine developing 264bhp and 280lb ft of torque, the Infiniti VCR boasts a claimed 35% improvement in fuel economy, compared with the previous V6 gasoline engine.

This engine will only be offered with a CVT automatic transmission; the QX50’s new platform is front-wheel drive, to trim fuel economy further.

The video below shows how the Infiniti VCR tech works.

Click here for our full LA motor show preview guide

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words