Nissan knew a long time ago that, from a purely mechanical perspective, the multilink system would work in a production engine. But Kiga said Nissan engineers only recently perfected the engine control system needed to manage the multilink technology, with a turbocharger, port and direct-fuel injection and variable valve timing, as well as a cooling system with four circuits.
Kiga says Nissan holds about 300 patents on the VC-Turbo's technology. The engine is about 10 percent more expensive to produce than a traditional four-cylinder turbo, and the multilink system adds about 22 pounds of weight over regular four-cylinder motors.
During a test drive of a preproduction 2019 QX50 in Phoenix, the VC-Turbo, mated with a continuously variable transmission, delivered effortless performance from 0 to 100 mph. The results were quiet and smooth. As the variable compression system worked, there were only the sounds of the engine ingesting air.