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Lotus, the company that made its name on "adding lightness" and clever engineering, is at it again. This time, it's the engineering wing of the Group Lotus concern. Lotus's efforts have been directed at banishing seperate exhaust manifolds. We groaned when we heard the news, and assumed it to be a very discouraging development. Then we got to thinking -- with this type of cylinder head, you'll never have leaky manifold gaskets again. That's a big plus for those of us who keep our cars forever an

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 fa

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