The YouTube series Drive has been doing weekly videos on Koenigsegg, and in this latest they get into the Free Valve technology being developed by Swedish company Cargine AB and Koenigsegg. Free Valve uses a small, individual pneumatic actuator to open each valves and either air pressure or springs to close them. The setup omits the need for camshafts and the related paraphernalia, as well as increasing the programmability, precision and efficiency of valve operation. Engines using the Free Valve system can also be smaller and lighter.
It has been tested for the last two years on a Saab 9-5 wagon that's done 60,000 kilometers so far. Koenigsegg says that compared to a traditional four-cylinder engine, horsepower and torque using Free Valve go up by 30 percent each, while fuel consumption drops by 30 percent and emissions drop by 50 percent.
It won't be ready for mass production for a while yet, and even then it will probably start at the top of the automotive food chain. Nevertheless, it points to a potential new future for the internal combustion engine. Check out the video below to see it in action.