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What Is VTEC? Are i-VTEC And VTEC Different?

Honda has developed VTEC technology to make their cars drive faster, more efficient and more enjoyable. The frequent appearance of this technology in the “Fast and Furious” films has made it more widely known. You may have heard of this technology, but do you know what VTEC is and how it works? Through this article, you will have a clear understanding of this system.

What is VTEC Honda?

VTEC meaning is Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control – a phase-variable gas distribution and electronic valve lift control system developed by Honda automobile company. It will control the parameters of the intake valve, exhaust valve or both so that the air enters the combustion chamber or the exhaust gas exits in the most appropriate way.

VTEC is a phase-variable gas distribution and electronic valve lift control system

Honda’s VTEC is one of many variable valve timing technologies in the world such as Toyota’s VVT-i or Porsche’s VarioCam plus. Honda engine design engineer, Kenichis Nagahiro is the creator. The function is to optimize engine performance and increase fuel economy.

Structure of Honda VTEC system

The engine has its own configuration for each camshaft. Two lower profile cams are located on either side of the high profile cam, each with a dedicated rotary arm. The larger center cam is supported by a “Lost Motion Assembly” – a spring that provides tension to the cam so that it does not rattle during normal operation.

The VTEC solenoid that regulates the oil pressure is sent to the locking pins (VTEC eliminator) for attaching or disengaging the center regulating arm. Upgraded pins are available to further enhance system performance, such as those made of titanium. Manufacturers use VTEC systems most in DOHC (aerial twin camshaft engines) but have also seen some used in SOHC engines.

Structure of Honda VTEC system

How It works?

The main goal of the VTEC system is to improve fuel efficiency at lower RPMs and increase performance at higher RPMs. This means providing more fuel and air to the engine at higher speeds. The oil pressure transmitted through the system forces the pins to move causing the center cam to operate, high-performance lobe triggering for more lift and longer duration. When decelerating, these pins retract again to free up the center control arm allowing the two low profile cams to operate individually. In addition to the benefits arising from variable valve timing and control, the system’s mechanics allow the fuel to rotate in a way that maximizes combustion.

Which Honda models have VTEC?

Now that you understand the engine, now let’s talk about which Honda models have the VTEC system.

  • Honda Accord: Using 1.5L DOHC VTEC TURBO engine, for a maximum capacity of 188 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 260 Nm at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm.
  • Honda City: Using 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine, for a maximum capacity of 119 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4,300 rpm.
  • Honda Civic: Equipped with 1.5L DOHC VTEC TURBO engine block, for a maximum capacity of 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, maximum torque of 240 Nm at 1,700 – 4,500 rpm.
  • Honda CR-V with 1.5L DOHC VTEC TURBO engine, for a maximum capacity of 188 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, maximum torque of 240 Nm at 2,000 – 5,000 rpm.
Which Honda models have VTEC?

The above models all have optimal performance and impressive fuel economy, proven after rolling in the Philippines.

What are the differences between VTEC and i-VTEC?

  • i-VTEC is a system developed based on the combination of VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) system and VTC (Variable Overlap Timing Control) system. In which VTC is the valve control system with time variation. VTC helps to change the angle of deviation of the intake and exhaust cams on the same cylinder to change the overlapping angle of the intake and exhaust valves.
  • The difference of this newly improved technology compared to the old technology is that the engine operation can continuously control the opening / closing time of the intake cam continuously throughout the engine speed range. i-VTEC works thanks to a combination of many different factors such as camshaft position, oxygen sensor signal, throttle position, ignition timing. As a result, engine performance is optimized to a much higher degree than with the original VTEC technology. This helps the engine operate at higher efficiency and the maximum power output significantly increases.
What are the differences between VTEC and i-VTEC?
  • The “i” in the phrase “i-VTEC” stands for intelligent. The aforementioned development has created a balance between engine performance and emissions to the environment. In other words, the engine has worked in the most intelligent way to achieve the desired power but consume less fuel and emit less emissions to the environment.


Honda’s VTEC system marks an important milestone in gasoline engine research and development as it has successfully identified and addressed a very delicate issue of any internal combustion engine – performance. The birth of VTEC not only increases the combustion efficiency of gasoline engines, but also offers customers the perfect combination of low fuel consumption and performance characteristics from a single engine.

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