Look, I’ve got an engineering background, and I love nerding out with other TI-89 totin’, khaki wearing, pocket protector-having math geeks. And yet, I knew the best way to explain Infiniti’s Variable Compression engine would be to talk with one of their engineers. Well, there wasn’t one around, so here goes nothing.

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When Infiniti reps told me there wasn’t an engineer in the house, I figured I’d try to explain the engine on my own, and, well, it wasn’t quite as straightforward as I expected.

Don’t get me wrong, the system is not really all that complicated, but there are quite a few new moving parts in play, each with unique names, and it’s hard to keep it all straight. I did a writeup on it a few months ago, but I’ll admit that I couldn’t remember what half the stuff was called.

Clarity of my explanation aside, this is a beautiful bit of tech. If you’re coming to the Detroit Auto Show, definitely take a look at this animated cutaway. It will change your life.