Engine Technologies


Many different designs for rotary mechanisms have been attempted over the last 400 years, but what makes the NSU-Wankel engine, which Mazda adopted, stand out is its "rice ball-shaped" (triangular) rotor housing. Because of this design, three separate chambers are created between the rotor and the inner wall of the rotor housing. These chambers smoothly expand and contract in a constant cycle as the rotor spins. See the rotary engine in motion on the right.
The Rotary Engine of Mazda continues to evolve farther into the future. The new generation Rotary Engine "RENESIS" makes it superbly environmentally friendly with zero CO2 and almost zero NOx emissions. Mazda began commercial leasing in 2006, and currently many organizations and government bodies are enjoying the RX-8 Hydrogen RE.

New generation rotary engine "RENESIS" stands for "the RE(rotary engine)'s GENESIS". The RENESIS was given to the engine as exhibited in Tokyo Motor Show, 1999 of the RX-01, after which RENESIS was meticulously prepared for series production.
By capitalizing on the instrinsic benefits of the RENESIS rotary engine—namely, low weight, compact size and high performance, Mazda was able to develop the RX-8, a sholly new concept, 4-door 4-seater Genuine sports car.
RENESIS is a 654cc ×2 rotor engine that generates an outstanding 250 PS(184kW) maximum power at 8500rpm and 216 N.m (22.0 kg-m) maximum torque at 5500rpm.* RENESIS also shows a vast improvement in terms of fuel-efficiency and exhaust gas emissions.
*Figures are for the 6-port engine. Maximum power output is the specification for Japan and North America.

Side-Exhaust and Side-Intake Ports
A key innovation for the RENESIS is its side-exhaust and side-intake port configuration. Previous RE designs located the exhaust ports in the rotor housing (peripheral port, #1), whereas the latest version has its exhaust ports in the rotor housing #2, where the intake ports are also located.

The chief advantage of this side-exhaust / side-intake port layout is that it permits elimination of intake/exhaust port timing overlap, elimination the retention and carry-over of exhaust gas and encouraging more stable combustion. In addition, where the previous engine had one peripheral exhaust port per rotor chamber, RENESIS has two side ports, approximately doubling the port area. The new exhaust arrangement reduces exhaust gas flow-resistance, and while assuring ample exhaust port area, allows delay of the exhaust port opening for a longer expansion cycle, to raise thermal efficiency, power output and fuel economy.
Another major advantage of the side exhaust port is that it allows engineers more freedom to optimize port profiles. With RENESIS, both the 6-port engine and the 4-port engine have intake port cross-sectional area almost 30% greater than the previous engine.



VANOS (Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung) is an automobile variable valve timing technology developed by BMW in close collaboration with Continental Teves. VANOS varies the timing of the valves by moving the position of the camshafts in relation to the drive gear. This movement varies from 6 degrees of advanced to 6 degrees of retarded camshaft timing.

Single VANOS

VANOS is a combined hydraulic and mechanical camshaft control device managed by the car's DME engine management system. The VANOS system is based on a discrete adjustment mechanism that can modify the position of the intake camshaft versus the crankshaft. Double-VANOS adds continuous adjustability to the intake and exhaust camshafts.VANOS operates on the intake camshaft in accordance with engine speed and accelerator pedal position. At the lower end of the engine-speed scale, the intake valves are opened later, which improves idling quality and smoothness. At moderate engine speeds, the intake valves open much earlier, which boosts torque and permits exhaust gas re-circulation inside the combustion chambers, reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Finally, at high engine speeds, intake valve opening is once again delayed, so that full power can be developed. VANOS significantly enhances emission management, increases output and torque, and offers better idling quality and fuel economy.VANOS was first introduced in 1992 on the BMW M50tu engine used in the 5 Series.

Double VANOS

Later, BMW added "double" VANOS to its M52tu series of inline 6-cylinder engines, which changed the mechanism from fixed position operation to continuously variable, and added the same functionality to the exhaust camshaft, on a number of its cars. Double-VANOS (double-variable camshaft control) significantly improves torque and emissions since valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts is adjusted to the power required from the engine as a function of gas pedal position and engine speed. On most BMW engines that use single VANOS, the timing of the intake cam is only changed at two distinct rpm points, while on the double-VANOS system, the timing of the intake and exhaust cams is continuously variable through a range of ~40 crankshaft degrees for the intake, and 25 degrees for the exhaust. The advantage of double-VANOS is that the system controls the flow of hot exhaust gases into the intake manifold individually for all operating conditions. This is referred to as "internal" exhaust gas re-circulation, allowing very fine dosage of the amount of exhaust gas recycled.

BMM M5 2008


VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) is a valve-train system developed by Honda to improve the volumetric efficiency of a four-stroke internal combustion engine. This system uses two camshaft profiles and electronically selects between the profiles. This was the first system of its kind. Different types of variable valve timing and lift control systems have also been produced by other manufacturers (MIVEC from Mitsubishi, VVTL-i from Toyota, VarioCam Plus from Porsche, VVL from Nissan, etc). It was invented by Honda R&D engineer Ikuo Kajitani. It can be said that VTEC, the original Honda variable valve control system, originated from REV (Revolution-modulated valve control) introduced on the CBR400 in 1983 known as HYPER VTEC. In the regular four-stroke automobile engine, the intake and exhaust valves are actuated by lobes on a camshaft. The shape of the lobes determines the timing, lift and duration of each valve. Timing refers to an angle measurement of when a valve is opened or closed with respect to the piston position (TDC or BDC). Lift refers to how much the valve is opened. Duration refers to how long the valve is kept open. Due to the behavior of the working fluid (air and fuel mixture) before and after combustion, which have physical limitations on their flow, as well as their interaction with the ignition spark, the optimal valve timing, lift and duration settings under low RPM engine operations are very different from those under high RPM. Optimal low RPM valve timing, lift and duration settings would result in insufficient filling of the cylinder with fuel and air at high RPM, thus greatly limiting engine power output. Conversely, optimal high RPM valve timing, lift and duration settings would result in very rough low RPM operation and difficult idling. The ideal engine would have fully variable valve timing, lift and duration, in which the valves would always open at exactly the right point, lift high enough and stay open just the right amount of time for the engine speed in use.

VTEC was initially designed to increase the power output of an engine to 100 ps/liter or more while maintaining practicality for use in mass production vehicles. Some later variations of the system were designed solely to provide improvements in fuel efficiency, or increased power output as well as improved fuel efficiency.In practice, a fully variable valve timing engine is difficult to design and implement. The opposite approach to variable timing is to produce a camshaft which is better suited to high RPM operation. This approach means that the vehicle will run very poorly at low RPM (where most automobiles spend much of their time) and much better at high RPM. VTEC is the result of an effort to marry high RPM performance with low RPM stability.

Additionally, Japan has a tax on engine displacement, requiring Japanese auto manufacturers to make higher-performing engines with lower displacement. In cars such as the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX, this was accomplished with a turbocharger. In the case of the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8, a rotary engine was used. VTEC serves as yet another method to derive very high specific output from lower displacement motors.

Honda's VTEC system is a simple method of endowing the engine with multiple camshaft profiles optimized for low and high RPM operations. Instead of one cam lobe actuating each valve, there are two: one optimized for low-RPM stability & fuel efficiency; the other designed to maximize high-RPM power output. Switching between the two cam lobes is controlled by the ECU which takes account of engine oil pressure, engine temperature, vehicle speed, engine speed and throttle position. Using these inputs, the ECU is programmed to switch from the low lift to the high lift cam lobes when the conditions mean that engine output will be improved. At the switch point a solenoid is actuated which allows oil pressure from a spool valve to operate a locking pin which binds the high RPM cam follower to the low rpm ones. From this point on, the poppet valve opens and closes according to the high-lift profile, which opens the valve further and for a longer time. The switch-over point is variable, between a minimum and maximum point, and is determined by engine load; the switch back from high to low rpm cams is set to occur at a lower engine speed than the up-switch, to avoid surging if the engine is asked to operate continuously at or around the switch-over point. The DOHC (Dual Over Head Cam) VTEC system has high and low lift cam lobe profiles on both the intake and exhaust valve camshafts.

The VTEC system was originally introduced as a DOHC system in the 1989 Honda Integra and Civic CRX SiR models sold in Japan and Europe, which used a 160 bhp (119 kW) variant of the B16A engine. The US market saw the first VTEC system with the introduction of the 1990 Acura NSX, which used a DOHC VTEC V6 with 270 hp. DOHC VTEC engines soon appeared in other vehicles, such as the 1992 Acura Integra GS-R (B17 1.7 liter engine). And later in the 1993 Honda Prelude VTEC (H22 2.2 liter engine) and Honda Del Sol VTEC (B16 1.6 liter engine).

Honda has also continued to develop other varieties and today offers several varieties of VTEC: iVTEC, iVTEC Hybrid and VTEC in the NSX and some Japanese domestic market cars.

As popularity and marketing value of the VTEC system grew, Honda applied the system to SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) engines, which shares a common camshaft for both intake and exhaust valves. The trade-off is that SOHC engines only benefit from the VTEC mechanism on the intake valves. This is because VTEC requires a third center rocker arm and cam lobe (for each intake and exhaust side), and in the SOHC engine, the spark plugs are situated between the two exhaust rocker arms, leaving no room for the VTEC rocker arm. Additionally, the center lobe on the camshaft can only be utilized by either the intake or the exhaust, limiting the VTEC feature to one side.

Honda's next version of VTEC, VTEC-E, was used in a slightly different way; instead of optimising performance at high RPM, it was used to increase efficiency at low RPM. At low RPM, one of the two intake valves is only allowed to open a very small amount, increasing the fuel/air atomization in the cylinder and thus allowing a leaner mixture to be used. As the engine's speed increases, both valves are needed to supply sufficient mixture. A sliding pin, which is pressured by oil, as in the regular VTEC, is used to connect both valves together and allows the full opening of the second valve.

Honda also had a demonstration engine back in end 1999 where a 1.4 liter DOHC Honda engine was equipped with a VTEC-DI system. This was Honda’s first demonstration of direct injection to the public. The engine was installed in a Honda Logo (the predecessor to the Honda Fit/Jazz) and made power and torque outputs of 107 hp at 6200 rpm and 133 Nm at 5000 rpm.

3-Stage VTEC
Honda also introduced a 3-stage VTEC system in select markets, which combines the features of both SOHC VTEC and SOHC VTEC-E. At low engine speeds, one intake valve is opened off an economy lift cam lobe, and the second valve is just cracked open a little to help promote better swirl in the combustion chamber. Used in conjunction with a 5-wire, wideband O2 sensor, great fuel ecomomy can be realized. At medium engine speeds, both intake valves open off the economy cam lobe with equal lift allowing the engine to produce more power, but at the expense of economy. At high engine speeds, both intake valves are actuated by a high lift cam lobe and produce much higher performance than at the medium speed range, but at an even greater expense of economy.
The 3-stage VTEC system was only offered in the Asian and European markets and not in the US market at all.

i-VTEC (intelligent-VTEC [4]) introduced continuously variable camshaft phasing on the intake cam of DOHC VTEC engines. The technology first appeared on Honda's K-series four cylinder engine family in 2001 (2002 in the U.S.). Valve lift and duration are still limited to distinct low- and high-RPM profiles, but the intake camshaft is now capable of advancing between 25 and 50 degrees (depending upon engine configuration) during operation. Phase changes are implemented by a computer controlled, oil driven adjustable cam gear. Phasing is determined by a combination of engine load and rpm, ranging from fully retarded at idle to maximum advance at full throttle and low rpm. The effect is further optimization of torque output, especially at low and midrange RPM.

The K-Series motors have two different types of i-VTEC systems implemented. The first is for the performance motors like in the RSX Type S or the TSX and the other is for economy motors found in the CR-V or Accord. The performance i-VTEC system is basically the same as the DOHC VTEC system of the B16A's, both intake and exhaust have 3 cam lobes per cylinder. However the valvetrain has the added benefit of roller rockers and continuously variable intake cam timing. The economy i-VTEC is more like the SOHC VTEC-E in that the intake cam has only two lobes, one very small and one larger, as well as no VTEC on the exhaust cam. The two types of motor are easily distinguishable by the factory rated power output: the performance motors make around 200 hp or more in stock form and the economy motors do not make much more than 160 hp from the factory.

In 2004, Honda introduced an i-VTEC V6 (an update of the J-series), but in this case, i-VTEC had nothing to do with cam phasing. Instead, i-VTEC referred to Honda's cylinder deactivation technology which closes the valves on one bank of (3) cylinders during light load and low speed (below 80 kph) operation. The technology was originally introduced to the US on the Honda Odyssey minivan, and can now be found on the Honda Accord Hybrid, the 2006 Honda Pilot, and the 2008 Honda Accord.

An additional version of i-VTEC was introduced on the 2006 Honda Civic's R-series four cylinder SOHC engines. This implementation uses the so-called "economy cams" on one of the two intake valves of each cylinder. The "economy cams" are designed to delay the closure of the intake valve they act upon, and are activated at low rpms and under light loads. When the "economy cams" are activated, one of the two intake valves in each cylinder closes well after the piston has started moving upwards in the compression stroke. That way, a part of the mixture that has entered the combustion chamber is forced out again, into the intake manifold. That way, the engine "emulates" a lower displacement than its actual one (its operation is also similar to an Atkinson cycle engine, with uneven compression and combustion strokes), which reduces fuel consumption and increases its efficiency. During the operation with the "economy cams", the (by-wire) throttle butterfly is kept fully open, in order to reduce pumping losses. According to Honda, this measure alone can reduce pumping losses by 16%. In higher rpms and under heavier loads, the engine switches back into its "normal cams", and it operates like a regular 4 stroke Otto cycle engine. This implementation of i-VTEC was initially introduced in the R18A1 engine found under the bonnet of the 8th generation Civic, with a displacement of 1.8 L and an output of 140PS. Recently, another variant was released, the 2.0 L R20A2 with an output of 150PS, which powers the EUDM version of the all-new CRV

With the continued introduction of vastly different i-VTEC systems, one may assume that the term is now a catch-all for creative valve control technologies from Honda.

Honda’s i-VTEC I Engine is a variant of the K-series DOHC engine family featuring gasoline direct injection. It made its debut in the previous generation 2004 Honda Stream 7-seater MPV in Japan, but the current Stream does not use this engine anymore, instead using a 2.0 liter version of the R-series i-VTEC SOHC engine. The engine featured the ability to use ultra-lean air-fuel mixtures of about 65:1, much leaner compared to the usual direct injection engine 40:1 ratio, and extremely lean compared to the stoichiometric air-fuel mixture of 14.7:1. As a result of this ultra-lean mixture fuel consumption dropped to 15km per liter. Power ratings remain the same at about 155 horsepower.

Advanced VTEC
A September 25, 2006 press release announced the launch of the Advanced VTEC engine by Honda. The new engine combines continuously variable valve lift and timing control with the continuously variable phase control of VTC (Variable Timing Control). This new system permits optimum control over intake valve lift and phase in response to driving conditions, achieving improved charging efficiency for a significant increase in torque at all engine speeds. Under low to medium load levels, the valves are set for low lift and early closure to reduce pumping losses and improve fuel economy. In comparison to the 2.4L i-VTEC these advancements claim to increase fuel efficiency by 13%. Honda also claims that new engine also meets exhaust emission standards compliant with U.S. EPA - LEV2-ULEV regulations and Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport requirements for Low-Emission Vehicles, with emission levels 75% lower than those required by the 2005 standards. Advanced VTEC engines should go into production for 2009 models.

Honda Accord Coupe 2008

VTEC in motorcycles
Apart from the Japanese market-only Honda CBR400F Super Four HYPER VTEC, introduced in 1983, the first worldwide implementation of VTEC technology in a motorcycle occurred with the introduction of Honda's VFR800 sportbike in 2002. Similar to the SOHC VTEC-E style, one intake valve remains closed until a threshold of 7000 rpm is reached, then the second valve is opened by an oil-pressure actuated pin. The dwell of the valves remains unchanged, as in the automobile VTEC-E, and little extra power is produced but with a smoothing-out of the torque curve. Critics maintain that VTEC adds little to the VFR experience while increasing the engine's complexity. Drivability is a concern for some who are wary of the fact that the VTEC may activate in the middle of an aggressive corner, potentially upsetting the stability and throttle response of the motorcycle.

Honda CBR 400F


VVT-i, or Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, is an automobile variable valve timing technology developed by Toyota, similar to the i-VTEC technology by Honda. The Toyota VVT-i system replaces the Toyota VVT offered starting in 1991 on the 4A-GE 20-Valve engine. The VVT system is a 2-stage hydraulically controlled cam phasing system.

VVT-i, introduced in 1996, varies the timing of the intake valves by adjusting the relationship between the camshaft drive (belt, scissor-gear or chain) and intake camshaft. Engine oil pressure is applied to an actuator to adjust the camshaft position. In 1998, "Dual" VVT-i (adjusts both intake and exhaust camshafts) was first introduced in the RS200 Altezza's 3S-GE engine. Dual VVT-i is also found in Toyota's new generation V6 engine, the 3.5L 2GR-FE V6. This engine can be found in the Avalon, RAV4, and Camry in the US, the Aurion in Australia, and various models in Japan, including the Estima. Dual VVT-i is also used in the Toyota Corolla (1,6 dual VVT-i 124bhp). Other Dual VVT-i engines include the 1.8L 2ZR-FE I4, used in Toyota's next generation of compact vehicles such as the Scion XD. By adjusting the valve timing engine start and stop occurs virtually unnoticeably at minimum compression. In addition fast heating of the catalytic converter to its light-off temperature is possible thereby reducing hydrocarbon emissions considerably.

In 1998, Toyota started offering a new technology, VVTL-i, which can alter valve lift (and duration) as well as valve timing. In the case of the 16 valve 2ZZ-GE, the engine has 2 camshafts, one operating intake valves and one operating exhaust valves. Each camshaft has two lobes per cylinder, one low rpm lobe and one high rpm, high lift, long duration lobe. Each cylinder has two intake valves and two exhaust valves. Each set of two valves are controlled by one rocker arm, which is operated by the camshaft. Each rocker arm has a slipper follower mounted to the rocker arm with a spring, allowing the slipper follower to move up and down with the high lobe with out affecting the rocker arm. When the engine is operating below 6000 rpm, the low lobe is operating the rocker arm and thus the valves. When the engine is operating above 6000 rpm, the ECU activates an oil pressure switch which pushes a sliding pin under the slipper follower on each rocker arm. This in effect, switches to the high lobe causing high lift and longer duration.

Toyota has now ceased production of its VVTL-i engines for most markets, because the engine does not meet Euro IV specifications for emissions. As a result, some Toyota models have been discontinued, including the Corolla T-Sport (Europe), Corolla Sportivo (Australia), Celica, Corolla XRS, Toyota Matrix XRS, and the Pontiac Vibe GT, all of which had the 2ZZ-GE engine fitted.

Toyota Corolla S3 2009

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butterfly valves said...

Wow! Very nice post. Actually i was researching with the different kind of Valves, the Industrial type and suddenly I swooped down into your blog but its all good though... love your post man...im quite a car enthusiast too..

thanks again
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Ambey said...

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john said...

Well written, very informative