You probably overlooked the "Qamless" Concept at the Beijing auto show

Earlier this year, I brought you the breakdown on the FreeValve camless engine and how it worked. The technology itself had been fiddled with for a while from various companies, but up until now, it hasn’t been a feasible option to use production vehicles, so the camless engine has yet to take off. Well, all that is about to change, as Freevalve – a sister company of Koenigsegg – has found a home for its camless engine with Chinese automaker Qoros.

It was probably one of the most unnoticed vehicles, but a Qoros concept named “Qamless” was actually on display at the Beijing Auto Show this year along with a display model of the freevalve engine sitting next to it. The concept car was based on the Qoros 3 Hatchback that is already on sale in the Chinese market. There is no telling when the concept car will move over into production, but Freevalve’s CEO Urban Carlsson has said that the partnership between freevalve and Qoros will help the company move into a production application.

For those of you who don’t know about Freevalve’s camless engine, it uses pneumatic-hydraulic-electric direct valve control that, in theory, allows infinite valve timing and cylinder deactivation. The engine doesn’t have the need for a throttle body and relies on pressurized air and oil for vital operation functions. As Christian von Koenigsegg has put it, the switch to camless engines is comparable to the leap from carburetors to direct injection. It is impossible to say how long it will take for the camless engine to hit major manufacturers, or if it ever will. Surely, that will depend on how reliable and efficient the engine proves to be when the Qoros Qamless goes into production.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

I can imagine the comments I’m going to see about how “electric cars are the future” and “this technology came along a little too late.” While electric cars have found themselves in the eye of the future, we are still a way off from the electric car becoming feasible for everyone. I mean, the Nissan Leaf gets just 100 miles of range, and the new Tesla 3 will surely beat that, but unless you live in certain areas or have a short commute, an electric car still isn’t for you.

The freevalve engine could – if things play out correctly – serve as an efficient solution as the world transitions between fuel-powered vehicles and electric-powered vehicles. Sure, the Freevalve engine still relies on gasoline and oil, and it does create some emissions, but it should prove to be significantly more efficient and emissions friendly. It won’t have the same run as the camshaft-equipped internal combustion engine, but if it proves reliable, it’ll be around until combustion engines are inevitably banned for use in automobiles. Not to mention the fact that it could surely have its place in motorsport thanks to the advanced tuning and performance gains made possible by the advanced valvetrain system.

Qoros 3

2013 Qoros 3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2013 Qoros 3 here.

Press Release

In 2016 Beijing International Auto Show, Qoros Auto will not only show its brand new new-energy EV electric car, but also reveal the technical cooperation with Christian von Koenigsegg, founding father of “Ghost Sports Car”. Through the cooperation, it will provide the industry and consumers with a revolutionary engine, QamFree engine.

Supported by patent technology from FreeValve under Christian von Koenigsegg and Urban Carlson, QamFree engine is a revolution to the traditional internal combustion engine. It achieves independent control of every engine valve through Pneumatic-Hydraulic-Electric-Actuator(PHEA), and replaces traditional camshaft-control engine valves, giving more freedom to the engine design and combustion development. Compared with traditional camshaft engines, QamFree engine can achieve stronger power output, lower fuel consumption, lower emissions, and a smaller physical engine size for a given displacement .
Advanced Technology to Free Engine’s Potential

Throughout over one hundred years of automobile development, the technical innovation of engines has never ceased. As an important component of the engine, the overhead camshaft controls the opening and closing of intake valve and exhaust valve to find the best compromise for the combustion.

As we all know, most cylinders of engine have only one intake valve and exhaust valve at the beginning. With the improvement of the engine’s rotating speed, traditional two engine valves were not enough, which hindered the improvement of the engine’s performance. Under the circumstances, multiple-engine-valve technology was born. And later, variable valve timing and variable valve lift of engine valve under usage of very complex mechanical technology emerged to maximize the engine’s efficiency under different rotating speeds. However, the unified control is always made by two pieces of the camshaft, and the adjustable scope of every valve has always been limited.

The idea of controlling the engine valves with an actuator rather than camshaft exists for decades. However, the birth of PHEA technology innovated by FreeValve made it really come true.

In short, in the QamFree engine, the traditional overhead camshaft valve control technology is replaced by PHEA, achieving the independent control of every valve. This also means that the intake and exhaust of every combustion cylinder can be more effectively and precisely controlled, which gives more freedom to the engine design and combustion development. Under different operating condition demands of the engine, both the timing and lift of intake valve and exhaust valve can be independently programmed and controlled, which guarantees best combustion under each condition.

The mode of traditional camshaft valve control is like a piano player who plays the keys all together. However, when the piano player can play the keys with his fingers independently, it enables more precision to the artist. This is the engine valve control finesse that QamFree brings to the conventional engines.

Compared with traditional engine with crankshaft-driven valve, the QamFree engine will bring remarkable benefits:

Better fuel economy—QamFree can effectively reduce fuel consumption. The fuel economy of the engine with the same displacement (ie.1.6L) can be reduced by about 15%.
Better engine performance —The combustion efficiency under different operation conditions has been significantly improved. The intake side does not need a throttle body. PHEA can directly adopt the function of the throttle, thus getting the optimal engine response. Turbocharger does not need a snuffle valve anymore, so there is less turbo lag.
Lower emissions—Better combustion reduces emissions. High compression ratio can be realized without high-pressure direct injection system, thus reducing particles generally brought by the direct injection system.
Lighter engine weight —QamFree system is smaller and lighter than the camshaft engine valve control mechanism it replaces, so the overall size of the engine also can be reduced, making it lighter. This also can provide more space for the model of the front of finished vehicle and aerodynamic and ergonomic design.

Inject New Energy for Qoros Auto

Koenigsegg Automotive AB enjoys great popularity in the world’s supercar industry. Its “Ghost Sports Cars” have broken the Guinness World Record four times for its outstanding power performance (production car speed records, lap record of "Top Gear" track, 0-300-0 km/h time). As the sister company of Koenigsegg Automotive AB, FreeValve, under the leadership of Urban Carlson, has been consistently seeking breakthroughs, and devoted itself to developing and carrying out revolutionary technical and component solutions, adding vitality to the development of auto products through innovation.

As a distinctive, vibrant innovation-and-growth-oriented auto enterprise, Qoros Auto has had a world-class capability in design, vehicle integration and manufacturing since its founding, and never ceased to innovate and explore new business models, technology development and customer experience. After the creation of FreeValve, Qoros was acutely aware that it is an important technical innovation for enabling the future. Being top in their own areas and with the same philosophy of persisting in innovation and daring to be different, Qoros Auto and FreeValve decided to work together. Qoros Auto introduced the technology of FreeValve on the basis of its strong R&D ability and named the technology "QamFree engine". A concept car, which houses the QamFree engine, has been built and displayed at the Qoros booth to demonstrate the advantages of space ergonomy and aerodynamics of the advanced QamFree engine. The concept car is designed by an international team and shows a hint of future development of Qoros Design DNA, which speaks to the modern explorers. Qoros’ world-class manufacturing processes bring unprecedented new technology to its future products that will help fulfill the company’s promise to consumers—building the most refined products with world-class technology and quality standards.

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