TOKYO — Hyundai and Kia are rolling out an engine system that boosts power and fuel economy, extending fresh life to traditional internal combustion in the age of electrification.
The new approach controls the duration of valve opening and closing at different points in the piston stroke. Hyundai Motor Group calls the setup continuously variable valve duration, or CVVD, technology and says it's a world's first.
The South Korean automaker says the approach can boost engine performance 4 percent and fuel economy 5 percent, while cutting emissions 12 percent.
The technology comes as automakers race to squeeze extra mpg from their internal combustion engines as they develop next-generation electrified drivetrains.
Rivals such as Mazda Motor Corp., for example, are developing new high-compression engines, while Nissan Motor Co. is branching into variable compression technology.
Hyundai's CVVD will debut this year in a new turbocharged engine planned for the redesigned Sonata sedan, Hyundai said. That will be the first of several Hyundai and Kia vehicles to get the new engine.
The upcoming Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi powerplant is an inline-four turbo generating 180 hp. It also features low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation to further cut emissions.
It does so by returning some of the exhaust gas to the combustion chamber and to the turbocharger compressor. Recirculating it to the chamber cools it and reduces output of nitrogen oxides, while cycling it back
to the turbo increases efficiency.
The new engine will gradually replace the outgoing Gamma 1.6 T-GDi engine, a Hyundai spokesman said. The Gamma is used in the Veloster and Elantra. It was also the powerplant for the turbo version of the previous-generation Sonata.
CVVD works best in small-displacement engines, the Hyundai spokesman said. The company plans to deploy the technology across other engines but isn't yet disclosing details.