Hyundai to build innovative engine in Alabama

Hyundai to build innovative engine in Alabama
The new CVVD SmartStream engine will be produces at Hyundai's plant in Montgomery. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) will be among the first plants in the world to produce an innovative engine the automaker has developed.

Hyundai unveiled the world’s first continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) engine in South Korea earlier this month alongside the Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi engine that will feature the new technology.

“The development of the CVVD technology is a good example how Hyundai Motor Group is strengthening our powertrain technology,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of the Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue our innovation efforts to bring forth paradigm shifts and ensure sustainability of our business model.”

HMMA opened its new $388 million engine plant on its Montgomery manufacturing campus in May. HMMA told Alabama NewsCenter the plant will produce Smartstream engines later this year to go into two of the vehicles produced at the plant.

“Hyundai Motor Company invested more than $300 million to prepare Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama for the next generation Smartstream engine for the Sonata and Santa Fe,” said Robert Burns, vice president of Human Resources and Administration at HMMA. “Our team members are pleased to be a part of bringing this innovative technology that optimizes both engine performance and fuel efficiency while also being eco-friendly to the marketplace. These engines will begin production this fall.”

The valve control technology regulates the duration of valve opening and closing according to driving conditions, achieving a 4% boost in performance and a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency. The technology also cuts emissions by 12%.

Internal combustion engines have typically operated on variable valve control technology that adjusts the timing of valve opening and closing and depth of the valve’s opening, with engine power produced through the fuel intake-compression-expansion-exhaustion cycle. Such engines manage the timing of the valve’s opening and closing or control the volume of air admitted by adjusting the depth of the opening. Those technologies could not regulate valve duration. CVVD takes the technology in a new direction by adjusting how long a valve is open.

Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi engine

Unveiled alongside the new CVVD technology is the new Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi Engine, a four-cylinder gasoline turbo unit with 180 horsepower and 27.0 kgm of torque. The new powertrain is the first to use the CVVD technology. It features low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation (LP EGR) to further optimize fuel efficiency by returning some of the gas burned by the engine to the combustion chamber, producing a cooling effect and reducing the emission of nitrogen oxides. The G1.6 T-GDi also features a low-pressure system that redirects the burned emission gas to the front of the turbocharger compressor, rather than the intake system, to increase efficiency under the high load condition.

Watch this video to see the engine and learn more.

The new Smartstream engine will be installed in the Hyundai Sonata Turbo, which is set for introduction later this year. This premiere will mark the first in a series of new Hyundai and Kia vehicles featuring the engine. The first Kia vehicle to feature the engine will be revealed near the vehicle’s launch date.

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