Hyundai Debuts Frugal 1.6 Turbo Engine With Industry-First Valve Tech

9 July 2019 - Motor1

Hyundai Debuts Frugal 1.6 Turbo Engine With Industry-First Valve Tech

Improving efficiency and performance while decreasing emissions sounds like a win.

Some are already penning the internal combustion engine's obituary believing the powertrain is set for the greener pastures of automotive history and nostalgia. However, automakers are continuing to invest in ways to improve engine efficiency, and Hyundai has announced a new technology that does just that. It's called Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD), and Hyundai claims the new tech can improve performance and efficiency by 4% and 5%, respectively and decrease emissions by 12%. Those figures may seem trivial, but even the smallest of incremental improvements can add up to significant gains.

To understand how Hyundai's CVVD engine technology works, you have to understand how engine valves are controlled – valve timing and valve lift. A system that varies valve lift controls the volume of air allowed into the engine while valve timing controls when the valve opens and closes during the engine cycle. Hyundai's system works by adjusting how long the valve is open. This allows the engine to better manage performance for the intended driving conditions.

During constant-speed driving, CVVD leaves the intake valve open until the middle of the compression stroke, closing it near the end. This helps improve fuel efficiency by reducing compression resistance. However, when engine output is high such as when the vehicle is traveling at high speed, the intake valve closes at the beginning of the compression stroke to maximize the amount of air used for combustion, which improves torque, acceleration, and engine performance.

Hyundai's CVVD system will launch with its new Smartstream engine family, first debuting in the company's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower (134 kilowatts) and 195 pound-feet (264 Newton-meters) of torque. The new mill will launch in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Turbo in the second half of this year. The engine will find its way into a Kia model, too; however, information on the Kia to feature the technology will come later.

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