Honda has filed an interesting patent that could reveal what it is working on for its next generation of engines.
Found on Japan’s patent office database, it appears that Honda is working on a solution that would vary the stroke of each cylinder in an engine, allowing each cylinder to have a different displacement. For example, if you take a current Honda 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, that means each engine has 500cc of displacement and depending on how many cylinders are firing, total displacement for the engine can be 500cc, 1000cc, 1500cc or 2000cc.
The new technology could offer more than four different total displacements working at the same time, with a smaller gap between each of them. Given four cylinders of varying sizes, there are a total of 15 different combinations of one-to-four cylinders firing. Yes, that essentially means an engine could have 15 different displacements working at a time.
Interestingly enough, the patent describes how the technology would work on inline- two, three and four-cylinder engines as well as a V6. Presumably, this type of setup would help increase fuel efficiency, but Honda didn’t disclose what the purpose was. Got any ideas? Let us know in the comments.