Infiniti has taken the wraps off its new QX50 ahead of the crossover’s official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, billing it as the first production vehicle ever to feature an engine with variable compression.

Built on what the Nissan-back automaker calls an “entirely new platform” (in a front engine/front-wheel drive configuration, with the option of all-wheel drive), the QX50’s powerplant is badged as a “VC-Turbo” petrol engine.

The 2,0-litre turbocharged unit is capable of adjusting its compression ratio to optimise both power and efficiency, which Infiniti says lends its similar torque to a four-cylinder diesel mill. The turbo-petrol is mated to a continuously variable transmission and makes 200 kW and 380 N.m, and sipping at a claimed 8,7 L/100 km in front-wheel-drive form and 9,1 L/100 km in all-wheel-drive guise.

Set to take on the likes of the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi A5, the new QX50 also incorporates Infiniti’s ProPilot “autonomous drive support technologies” that assist the driver when accelerating, braking and steering during single-lane carriageway driving.