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Toyota: Gas-saving valve in engines by 2010

"Valvematic" technology will make gas engines 5 percent to 10 percent more efficient, Japanese automaker says.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
2 min read
Toyota says it's revamping its gas engine lineup to boost fuel economy and lower emissions.

The company has designed a new valve system for gas engines that will reduce fuel usage per mile, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance performance, the company announced this week in Japan.

The valve system, called Valvematic, controls both the valve timing and valve lift in an engine, according to Toyota.

That means that a gas engine with Valvematic will adapt intake to give each cylinder as much air as necessary for ideal performance or combustion. The system varies airflow for things like engine speeds, driving habits and differing terrain, and should translate into better overall performance and fuel economy, Toyota claims.

Toyota says the system could improve fuel efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent. The company plans to implement the new technology in all its gas car engines within the next three years.

"As a part of its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through high fuel efficiency and to achieve cleaner exhaust emissions, (Toyota) plans to completely revamp its gasoline engine and transmission lineup by 2010," the company said in a statement.

The company cites corporate social responsibility as its incentive for developing technology that supports "energy diversification" and the environment.

A more fuel-efficient car with enhanced performance could translate to better sales for the company's line of gas engine cars, especially as fuel prices rise.

The Valvematic system doesn't apply to Toyota's diesel engine lineup. Since Toyota garnered a stake in Isuzu, a company known for its expertise in diesel engines, many have been waiting to see if diesel engines will play a more prominent role in Toyota's consumer product lines.