It was a laborious process, one bordering on the mythical, but more than a decade ago,
Honda shattered the engine myth when it combined high power, high responsiveness and
high fuel economy into one functional engine design. The world has come to know this
engine genius as VTEC or Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control.
The engine’s valve timing and lift largely determine its character. That is, the time at
which the valves open and how long they remain open.
The VTEC engine broke technological barriers when it combined the best features of two
engines in one. It revolutionized the way car engines were made when it employed two
differently shaped cam lobes that switch between two different combustion settings
within the same engine.
The VTEC engine has four valves per cylinder: two for intake and two for exhaust. Engine
RPM causes the intake valves to switch between (large) high-profile cam lobes and (small)
low-profile cam lobes.