Everywhere you look you see automakers propping up their latest ’skateboard’ platforms jampacked with batteries, each with more power than the last and each offering a lower center of gravity and extended mileage. But there are still people who stick with the age-old combustion engine and try to make it better. Camcon Automotive is trying to do just that by implementing the first fully-digital valve system out there.
It’s common knowledge that an engine needs camshafts to operate. The camshaft is a rod that spins and, with its cams, opens the intake and the exhaust valves which then spring shut before they’re reopened again by the camshaft’s action. This motion is timed with the motion of the pistons, and it directly affects the engine’s performance and efficiency. That’s why people have been trying to find ways to improve this area of the engine for decades. A case in point is the invention of engines fitted with desmodromic valves that are no longer closed shut by a spring, but by using two cams and two actuators which open and close the valves. Delage used this setup on its 1912-1914 Grand Prix cars. The solution we’re talking about now takes care of the camshaft in the sense that it eliminates the need of one, or multiple, big camshafts.