How does 47% torque increase, 45% power increase, 15% fuel consumption reduction, and 35% emission reduction sound to you? Is it too good to be true?
That’s the results Christian Von Koenigsegg have been able to achieve in his prototype 1.6 liter engine that he’s been tooling around with. No, you won’t see this 1.6 liter engine floating around in your next Koenigesegg, this is a different project that he’s been working on with the hypercar’s sister company, Freevalve.
In the latest episode of /Inside Koenigsegg, Christian talks about what the Freevalve technology is all about. Judging from what we’ve seen and heard so far, this may just be the next technological leap in engine technology, even more significant than what direct injection has done for engines recently.
The basis of the Freevalve technology is the use of electro-hydraulic-pneumatic actuators to move the intake and exhaust valves of an internal combustion engine. In traditional engines camshafts are driven off the crankshaft via a timing belt or timing chain. These camshafts contain cam profiles that dictate the opening and closing of the valves, allowing the engine to intake fresh air and exhaust the byproducts. All of these moving components have to slide and rotate, which contribute to the overall drivetrain losses due to the added inertia and frictional losses of those components.
If you were to remove all of those mechanical components and substitute it with actuators that can be electronically controlled, you’d be able to squeeze out additional power potential while also reducing harmful emissions. Since the valves are no longer mechanically tied to each other, the valves can open and close independently of each other, providing an incredible amount of control that can make cylinder deactivation and optimizing combustion a relative breeze.
Just give Christian Von Koenigsegg a listen as he describes all of the incredible added benefits he has been able to extract out of his prototype engine:
This is pretty breakthrough stuff! Not only does the Freevalve technology improve the power and emissions performance of the engine, it also reduces the volume and weight that the engine takes up, allowing engineers to improve weight distribution, increase structural rigidity, and improve the safety of these cars.
While we fantasize about 1.6 liter engines pushing over 240 horsepower (over your traditional 160) and doing less harm for mother nature, we wonder just how reliable these systems can be in the long run once it’s ready for public consumption and how much it will cost. Most importantly though, we want to know when it will be ready, because when it comes out it will certainly destroy the competition.