The gas engine that could kill diesels


The Japanese automaker Nissan proposes a new type of petrol engine about which it says it will make modern diesels redundant.

The new engine uses the variable compression technology. Nissan engineers claim that this technology allows the engine to choose at any time the optimum compression ratio, a key feature in petrol engines.

The new engine produced by Nissan combines the power of a turbo-charged petrol engine with the efficiency of the diesel, thus obtaining an equilibrium which petrol engine could not achieve so far.

The innovation from Nissan comes in a delicate moment for diesel engines, after the Dieselgate emission scandal when some people lost their trust in the diesel engine technology.

The German carmaker admitted it used software systems to trick emissions tests, a scandal which lead to a worldwide car recall campaign and also triggered resignations of top people of the Volkswagen Group.

“We believe this new engine of ours is an ultimate gasoline engine that could over time replace the advanced diesel engine of today”, said Kinichi Tanuma, a Nissan engineer who leads model development for the premium Infiniti brand.

“Increasing the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines is critical to automarkers. Not all consumers will accept a battery electric vehicle solution. But significant challenges remain, such as increased complexity and cost, as well as potential vibration issues.”, stated James Chao, Asia-Pacific managing director at consultant IHS.

The new Variable Compression-Turbo (VC-T) powertrain, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, is expected to be used on a future Infiniti model, but Nissan engineers gave no additional information. Ultimately, it can be expected to be showcased on Nissan cars but also by their partner Renault.

The turbo-charged of 2-liter and VC-T technology engine offers a 27-percent greater fuel economy compared to the 3.5-litre V6 engine it replaced, the available power and torque being comparable.

Nissan also declared that the new engine is cheaper to manufacture than advanced diesels and meets the emissions regulations.

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