CONTROLLING valve timing with a camshaft is like “playing a piano with a broom”, according to Christian von Koenigsegg – the man behind the bonkers Swedish hypercars that wear his name.
But, according to Jalopnik, Koenigsegg has created an engine that puts camshafts in the bin for a powertrain that is like “playing a piano with your fingers”. And it’s ready for production.
While von Koenigsegg has been grabbing headlines for his hyperbolic road cars, the company has quietly been building up a skunkworks operation called Freevalve, which has been working on the cutting-edge camless engine tech.
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After years of gestation, it looks like the engine is about to be slotted under the composite bodywork of the next major Koenigsegg creation.
Pricing is far from confirmed, but, if you know anything about Koenigseggs, you’ll know that adding one to your garage won’t come cheap. Top Gear has thrown some light on the potential ticket price, reporting the camless unit is slated to go into a limited-run hybrid supercar with a price tag of roughly €1 million (A$1.5 million).
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Instead of using a traditional camshaft to open and close valves, the Freevalve engine uses pneumatic actuators, providing infinite valve timing and lift, and dramatically improved control over induction and exhaust flow.
Koenigsegg claims the Freevalve engine can run on diesel, petrol, or alcohol with no mechanical changes (but not at the same time), and can even switch from a two-stroke to a four-stroke cycle.
“The idea is to prove to the world that even a combustion engine can be completely CO2 neutral."
It’s likely the technology will be implemented in the upcoming replacement to the Agera RS.
For the full lowdown on camless engines, read our Explained piece.