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I once asked on a different forum a long time ago whether variable valve timing or variable valve lift is more beneficial for increasing the power of an engine.

The answer I got was: "Variable timing/lift isn't beneficial to performance at all...At least, not in the sense of peak power/torque production. What it is is a way to make more radical timing/lift profiles practical.

You can pretty easily make a 240hp 2.0L NA four without any 'new' technology, but without efi and some sort of variable camshaft or variable intake technology it'll have a lopey idle and drink gas and pretty much be totally unusable on the street as the engine will now be optimized for a very narrow RPM band."
 
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