The Koenigsegg Freevalve Camless Engine Dec 19, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
If you know anything about cars, you know that traditional gas engines require camshafts to control the timing of the intake and exhaust valves on the top of the engine. However, after years of development Koenigsegg has developed a functional camless engine. The engine has been developed by the Freevalve subsidiary of the Swedish supercar manufacturer in partnership with the Chinese automaker Qoros. They recently announced that the new engine is close to production and released tantalizing hints about the potential increase in power, efficiency, and torque.
How It Works
The Freevalve replaces the mechanical camshaft with computer-controlled pneumatic actuators fitted with springs that individually open and close each valve. You can take a look at a rendering of the inside of the Freevalve in this video:
While an experimental engine is one thing, Koenigsegg is close to production due to their partnership with Qoros. Their engine is known as Qamfree, and it doesn’t have a camshaft drive, a throttle body, a pre-catalytic converter, or a wastegate, although it does have the conventional port injection. The Qamfree engine has high compression, lower backpressure, dramatically improved cold start, complete valve control, and individual cylinder shutdown. The engine uses pneumatic actuators to open the valves then closes them with springs or air pressure. Compared to traditional methods, this allows for more precision, including complete customization in terms of lift and valve duration. The production engine is said to be a turbocharged 1.6-liter block with 236 pound-feet and 230 horsepower. This marks the first time an engine of this kind was designed to be mass-produced, potentially changing the future of how our vehicles operate.
The new Koenigsegg camless engine that may be available on an upcoming model shows that these changes are well worth it. The engine produces 35 percent fewer emissions and uses 15 percent less fuel along with reducing manufacturing costs. The engine is also lighter and smaller, which can improve handling. In fact, the ability to skip some components of the engine lets the engine drop an impressive 44 pounds (20 kilograms) of weight. Just those benefits would be enough to make the camless engine a great choice, but it gets even better. The Qamfree also has a reputed 45 percent more power and 47 percent more torque than a comparable traditional engine with camshafts of the same size. We will have to wait and see if those numbers stack up on the road, but we are still excited about any further developments.
Plans for the Future
This engine collaboration between Koenigsegg, FreeValve, and Qoros made its debut in the Qoros 3 hatchback that appeared at the recent Guangzhou Motor Show. Qoros will continue the advancements by creating a fleet full of test vehicles to evaluate more closely. Assuming everything goes according to expectations, the camless engine will be available to the public in China and hopefully around the world in the future.