Infiniti QX50 packs world's first variable compression engine

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Infiniti has revealed its new mid-size SUV, the QX50, ahead of its official unveiling at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 broke cover while most of us napped in a turkey-induced slumber.

The car's new platform enables tighter packaging, which, Infiniti claims, gives its Audi Q5 and BMW X3 rival best-in-class interior space.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 will be riding on a new front-wheel-drive platform and it will be powered by a 268hp engine with 360Nm of torque.

Given the medium SUV segment is booming, there is little doubt the auto will make it to Australia, especially given Infiniti has no entrant locally and remains a sales minnow here. It's built using an industry-first SHF (Super High Formability - 980 MPa) high-tensile steel.

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But even though the new QX50 offers plenty of improvements on the current vehicle, it's the new variable compression ratio petrol engine which is the really interesting thing. As a result, it combines the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and fuel consumption of a four-cylinder diesel.

The engine uses a multi-link system to continuously raise or lower the pistons' reach to vary the compression ratio between 8:1 when maximum performance is needed and 14:1 under calmer conditions when efficiency is desired. In doing so, the engine can offer optimum performance or efficiency. With the All-wheel drive model, drivers can hit the same speed at 6.3 seconds.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 will also feature ProPILOT Assist technologies help the driver control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving.

The new model will go on sale next year following its public debut at the LA auto show next week. The relatively nascent luxury brand may be looking for a new flagship with more technology, a defining sedan or crossover to shape the automaker's mold going forward, or a new powertrain to cement its status as a forward-thinking, fuel efficient marque. "It's the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world's fastest growing segments".

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