Mechanically actuated valves may soon be a thing of the past. We've made over a century's worth of improvement on the same basic combination of a camshaft, followers (or lifters), a poppet valve and a spring. We've gone from using pushrods and rocker arms to actuate the valvetrain to direct-acting buckets motivated by an overhead camshaft with variable phasing and lift. While engineering ingenuity has managed to wring incredible performance and flexibility out of these setups, there's only so far you can go before bumping into the laws of physics. French automotive supplier Valeo SA has been working on camless engine technology for quite some time and they e xpect to have their system on the street by 2010 or 2011. Valeo is working with several automakers to implement the camless technology. Eliminating a traditional valvetrain is expected to yield efficiency improvements nearing 20 percent. An increase in performance and emissions decreases will also be realized from the system.
More after the jump
[Source: Valeo via Autoweek]