The Lotus Omnivore engine promises unprecedented multi-fuel capabilities but until now has been cloaked in secrecy. Now, thanks to an interactive animation Group Lotus has put together we're able to see it's one crazy-interesting engine design.
As with all engine designs, the most important part is in the combustion chamber, where all the action happens. For this gasoline and alcohol iteration of the Omnivore, the top of the chamber is free of the valves normally up top and instead it's designed to slide up and down to vary the compression ratio based on engine load and fuel type. The valves have been moved to the side like a two-cycle engine with the piston acting as a valve on the intake side and a system called the Trapping Valve on the exhaust side. That Trapping Valve opening duration varies with engine load with a fascinating floating cam and external actuator design.
There haven't been any formally announced partnerships with large engine manufacturers yet, but since we can understand what the heck this engine does now, we're not so scared it's going to eat us. Go play with the animation yourself, we promise it's interesting. [Group Lotus]