The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. earlier unveiled a new engine technology that offers a balance between power, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency as well as low emissions. Nissan's new engine valve system combines the technologies behind the newly developed Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL)*1 and continuous valve timing control (C-VTC) to produce dramatic improvement in the vehicles' performance.
Nissan's new engine valve technology is available to customers around the world through the Nissan and Infiniti product lines. The automaker has intimated its plan to install the new technology on its vehicles starting this year. The new system, under the Nissan Green Program 2010, contributes up to a ten percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions.
The Infiniti G37 coupe is the very first to offer the VVEL technology. The said coupe debuted at the recently held New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Traditional engines control air intake using a throttle valve is a part of the whole vehicle. The VVEL-equipped engines, on the other hand, control air intake directly at the valves. Moreover, it continuously controls valve events and lifts to boost the performance of the vehicle. Both the VVEL and the C-VTC control the valve phases, valve events and lifts to ensure efficiency. This is to allow free-control of the valve timing and lift. The new system is further bolstered by the equally efficient Nissan radiator.
The result of such a remarkable system is the more efficient airflow through the cylinder. It also significantly enhances responsiveness as well as optimizes the balance between environmental performance and power.
Specifically, the new engine from the Japanese automaker offers higher fuel efficiency. At low-to-mid load ranges, Nissan's new system controls air intake at the intake-valve, immediately before it enters the combustion chamber. This is in contrary with the traditional engine air intake via a throttle valve. As a result, efficiency is achieved by easing airflow through the cylinder. To decrease camshaft friction and advance fuel efficiency, intake-valve lift is kept low in the low- and medium-rpm ranges.
Another advantage of the new system is cleaner emissions. The intake-valve timing is optimized on startup. When the engine is still cool, the timing quickly increases the temperature of exhaust gases and swiftly activates the catalytic converter.
Additionally, hydro-carbon emissions are decreased in the low-to-medium range by keeping intake-valve lift low, accelerating intake flow, and diffusing the fuel into a finer mist. This process results in more efficient full combustion.
Nissan's VVEL enhances fuel efficiency in the low-to-medium operating range, thus it is best complemented by the multiple-cylinder and higher displacement engines. These engines usually operate within that range. Under the Nissan Green Program 2010, the automaker has announced plans to develop gasoline-powered engines with CO2 emissions slashed to levels analogous with diesel engines. These engines are expected to be available worldwide by 2010.
With powerful engines, a better response, cleaner emissions and advanced functions, Nissan's new system is expected to create a warm access in the auto world.
Ryan Thomas is a native of Denver, Colorado. He grew up in a family of car aficionados. He now resides in Detroit where he owns a service shop and works part time as a consultant for a local automotive magazine.