Brad Leach | Mar 28, 2017

All engines currently have cylinders of equal size - three, four, five, six, eight, ten or twelve, for example - arranged in either a straight line, a ‘V’ or even a ‘W’ (except rotaries of course) – but Hyundai may be about to change that.

The Korean giant has filed a patent for a four-cylinder engine with variable cylinder displacement.

Why? Well, according to Hyundai, fixed displacement is inherently inefficient, even wasting energy in the effort to idle smoothly.

In its patent application Hyundai envisions a four-cylinder engine with two pairs of different cylinder sizes (so you might have two cylinders displacing 0.4-litres and two displacing 0.35-litres) – and running an electric motor to switch between multiple drive modes.

Another electric motor balances torque output and offset the obvious NVH challenges. Watch this space.

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