Honda filed a patent for an innovative engine back in March of 2014 and it was finally published this January on Japan’s Patent Office website but, the diagram have since been removed. Maybe Honda is trying to keep it under wraps. Luckily, AutoGuide managed to save the diagrams for your perusal.
What’s so special about this engine are the cylinders. Where most cylinder displacements in an engine are the same size, Honda’s variable displacement engine contains cylinders of varying sizes. It will most likely still use cylinder deactivation but, because the cylinders are different sizes the engine can have a larger range of displacements depending on which cylinders are deactivated.
For example, you have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and each cylinder has 500cc of displacement. That means it can only change in increments of 500cc, so in a four cylinder engine you can only go from 500cc to 1000 cc and etc. If Honda uses the new displacement technology in the four-cylinder engine, you could see the cylinders displace 300, 350, 400, and 550 (all random numbers). With this, the engine will offer you 15 possible displacements instead of four and there’s a smaller gap between them unlike the 500cc increments in the traditional engine.
The new engine is compatible with inline engines, from 2 cylinder to 4, and V type engines like the V6. We could one day see it used in cars to increase fuel economy and efficiency, maybe it’ll even make an appearance in their motorcycle lineup where the V-Twin and V4 are used.