Nissan Altima’s 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine has been named to Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems list for 2020. The team behind the innovative powertrain was recognized on January 16 in Detroit.
The engine leverages an industry-first production technology to achieve its goals of offering high levels of power and efficiency from the same powerplant. Monitoring driver inputs several times per second, the engine adjusts the compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1 as needed, optimizing power and efficiency.
The range comes from using a multi-link system that adjusts the length of the piston’s stroke, while adjusting the engine’s compression ratio on the fly. When the driver demands power, an internal actuator reduces the throw of the connecting rods allowing compression to drop, while tapping the turbocharger for maximum output. Conversely, when cruising the highway, the engine adjusts to a higher compression ratio, offering higher efficiency.
“The Nissan VC-Turbo performs complex technical feats that amaze engineers and enthusiasts and provides exciting performance and outstanding fuel economy that everyone can appreciate,” said Drew Winter, Wards senior content director.
Winners were evaluated on horsepower, torque, noise, fuel efficiency, comparative specifications and applications of new technology. To be eligible, a vehicle’s base price may not exceed $65,000. There were 26 engines tested.
This marks Nissan’s 18th time to be listed in the 26 years Wards has been evaluating engines.
Nissan manufactures the Altima at its Smyrna, Tennessee vehicle assembly plant and at its Canton, Mississippi vehicle assembly plant. The company’s Decherd Powertrain Plant, in Decherd, Tennessee, manufactures all engines for the complete lineup of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles produced in the United States. At the Decherd plant, every 19 seconds a new Nissan engine is completed. Nissan employs 1,600 workers at its Decherd plant, which began producing engines in 1997.