The Atkinson cycle engine is a type of internal combustion engine invented by James Atkinson in 1882. The Atkinson cycle is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power density, or total power extracted per unit of displacement per rotation. A modern variation of this approach is used in some modern automobile engines, most currently most used by Toyota for the Toyota Tacoma.
Toyota’s new 2016 Tacoma mid-size pickup will feature two engines: a 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder with VVT-i and an all-new V6 with a segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligent Wider Intake) equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection.
While standard Otto cycle gas engines employ an intake, compression, power and exhaust cycle, that though it is reliable does not take full advantage of its compression cycle. Atkinson cycle engines, like those found in the new 2016 Toyota Prius, attempt to use all of the energy within the piston cylinder. This is accomplished by leaving the air intake valve open longer, creating a shorter compression stroke. By using the entire length of the piston travel, the new Toyota Tacoma will be more efficient than ever.
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