Infiniti QX50 breaks cover ahead of LA debut

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Perhaps the biggest news for the new model is the introduction of the world's first variable compression ratio engine.

Based on Infiniti's new front-wheel drive platform, power comes now comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine called VC-Turbo.

The vehicle will be publically unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week. Created to challenge the notion that hybrid and diesel powertrains are the only engine options that can deliver high levels of efficiency and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo has an adjustable compression ratio that can be optimized according to driving conditions. Maximum power is rated at 272 PS and 380 Nm of torque which is then sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transsmision (CVT).

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Flat out, the QX50 is claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in 6.3sec and reaching a top speed of 143mph/229kph.

Looking at the first official photo of the new QX50, we can see that Infiniti has remained faithful to original QX50 concept car's design. That does mean that fuel consumption is reduced by up to 35 per cent.

Infiniti claims that the structure has also enabled a 23 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, reducing flex and vibrations, thus improving refinement.

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According to Nissan's head powertrain engineer, Shinichi Kiga, the V-CT-powered QX50 should accelerate from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) nearly one second quicker than its four-cylinder rivals.

Infiniti says the new QX50 is the most important vehicle that it has ever introduced and given how popular premium SUVs are becoming these days, it is likely to become the Japanese brand's best seller. It consists of functions that help the driver accelerate, brake and steer the auto in single-lane highway driving conditions, providing autonomous-like functionality, activating at the push of a button. More photos and other details are expected to be released once it has been fully revealed.

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