In the age of electrification revolution, Japanese automaker Nissan is going to present the message that the conventional combustion engines are not dead and gone and are here to stay. Nissan, which is very much preparing for the future electric vehicle competition and is the maker of the world’s top selling EV - the Leaf, is going to present this idea at the upcoming 2017 Los Angeles auto show. Apart from working on advanced future EV models, Nissan is also working on the fuel powered engines and evolving them, so that they can live on in the years to come, despite highly strict emission norms in place.
While speaking on the development, the head of the gasoline engine project group at Nissan, Shinichi Kiga told the media that the Japanese car maker is committed to keep enhancing internal combustion technology to ensure that it can be used for decades to come. The just unveiled Infiniti QX50 sport utility vehicle comes with one such technology that Mr. Kiga is planning to use. The QX50 will be officially unveiled at the LA auto Show and will be the industry’s first vehicle to be using a variable compression ratio system. The engine has a highest thermal efficiency of about 40 percent, which is twice as much as the level of the gasoline engines which are currently used in the modern auto industry that is in average about 20 to 30 percent. Thermal efficiency refers to the amount of the power that an engine can generate from one unit of fuel.
The Nissan/Infiniti VC Turbo presents a challenge for the policy makers who are more than eager to put a permanent end to the conventional internal combustion engines and the way they rule the present mobility system. The battery costs for the electric vehicles are being brought down considerably, while the enhancements in the internal combustion engine efficiency might mean that that the electric vehicles would be pushed further to achieve cost equality without government subsidies in the future.
In today’s modern global auto industry, all the auto majors are very busy on alternate vehicle development, advanced EVs and autonomous technologies, while the technology for the advancement of the internal combustion engine has been relegated as one of the most overlooked things in the industry, said James Chao, the Asia-Pacific chief of consultancy IHS Markit Automotive. Nissan’s project on the internal combustion engines puts forward the challenging question of whether the Electric Vehicles are actually the best solution to the pressing threat of vehicle emissions.
The novel engine, which has been named as the VC-Turbo for presentations makes use of new electronics and software to constantly choose the best compression ratio for combustion which has been till now a primary factor in the tussle between power and efficiency in the gasoline fueled engines.
The 2L turbocharged, 4-cylinder VC-Turbo engine offers an average of 30 to 35 percent better fuel efficiency than the far larger 3.5L V6 engine that it replaces, without compromising on power output. Nissan also says the new engine can match a diesel engine’s torque and thrust which determines a car’s acceleration capability.
Kiga said that the new VC Turbo engine costs far less than an equivalent gasoline-electric hybrid system, although a VC Turbo hybrid might be offered.