Skip to main content

Hyundai claims its new CVVD engine will boost gas mileage and performance

2020 Hyundai SonataEven as electric cars become more common, automakers are still trying to squeeze more efficiency out of internal-combustion engines. That’s led to more complex solutions to the age old task of mixing air and fuel, including this new effort from Hyundai. The Korean automaker claims its continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) system will improve both fuel economy and performance. It should start to appear in production cars later this year.

Hyundai claims CVVD can achieve a 4% increase in performance over a conventional gasoline engine, while boosting fuel economy by 5%. The system also reduces emissions by 12%, the automaker claims.

CVVD works by manipulating the engine’s valves. These valves admit fuel and air into the combustion chambers; changing their operation changes that fuel-air mixture. Many engines have variable valve timing systems that automatically adjust when the valves open and close. Hyundai’s CVVD system takes things a step further by adjusting duration — how long the valves stay open.

When the car is cruising along at a constant speed, requiring less power from the engine, CVVD opens the intake valve from the middle to the end of the piston’s compression stroke. This reduces resistance, helping to improve fuel economy, according to Hyundai. When more power is needed, the system closes the intake valve at the beginning of the compression stroke, forcing more air into the engine and improving combustion, according to Hyundai.

Hyundai will use CVVD in a new engine, dubbed Smartstream G1.6T-GDi. It’s a gasoline (“G”) 1.6-liter turbocharged (“1.6T”) four-cylinder engine with direct injection (“Di”), making 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. In addition to CVVD, the Smartstream engine also features exhaust gas recirculation to improve efficiency. Previously seen on engines from other manufacturers, exhaust gas recirculation reuses the exhaust for productive purposes, in this case to cool fresh air going into the engine. Hyundai claims the system will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, some of the most common pollutants produced by burning fossil fuels.

The first vehicle to get the CVVD-equipped Smartstream engine will be the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Turbo, which goes on sale later this year. The technology will be used in other vehicles from Hyundai and sibling brand Kia, but Hyundai did not mention any applications for its Genesis luxury brand.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Watch this famous musician fly in a car with wings
watch this famous musician fly in a car with wings aircar

Jean-Michel Jarre is world’s first passenger to take off in KleinVision’s flying AirCar

The legendary French synth musician Jean-Michel Jarre has become the first passenger to take to the skies in Klein Vision’s incredible flying car.

Read more
The Tesla Model Y is at its lowest price yet — but should you buy one?
Tesla Model Y

Despite increased competition in the space, the Tesla Model Y is still one of the best EVs out there. It has access to the best charging network, plus it offers among the best software experiences, as well as a solid range, especially in the longer-range models. And the Model Y is now down to its lowest price yet, meaning that if you were considering getting one, now is probably the time to buy.

The base price of the Tesla Model Y is down to $42,990 at the time of this writing, which represents a pretty huge price cut. That's before any tax incentives too -- and considering the car is eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit, that means you could get it for as low as $35,490.

Read more
Here’s how EVs charge as they drive on a stretch of Michigan road
Tech of the Week Electreon

Charging remains one of the biggest hurdles for mass EV adoption. Public charging infrastructure still isn’t extensive enough to merit driver confidence, and even the fastest chargers still require lengthy stops compared to refueling a gasoline car. But the State of Michigan and Israeli startup Electreon hope to prove that EVs can charge as they drive.

As detailed in a recent CleanTechnica explainer, the Michigan Department of Transportation is demonstrating in-road wireless charging hardware from Electreon on a quarter-mile stretch of 14th Street in Detroit. It’s being billed as the first such roadway in the U.S.

Read more