Variable Cylinder Management – Is This The Answer To Better Fuel Economy?

On the TV this morning was an advertisement for the new 2008 Honda Pilot that now comes with what they call is ‘Variable Cylinder Management’  which they state on the Honda website is:

Honda’s innovative Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) helps to increase mileage* and lower emissions by automatically deactivating and reactivating multiple cylinders, depending on the driver’s needs.


Innovative ? Didn’t GM try this back in the 80’s employing this on their Caddies? Back than it was a V-8 that dropped down to either 6 or 4 cylinders depending on the load? Is this really innovative or just a gimmick?

Honda also states:

Powered by the intelligence of i-VTEC® technology, VCM works on the principal that a vehicle only requires a fraction of its power output at cruising speeds. The system electronically deactivates cylinders to reduce fuel consumption. The new VCM engine is able to run on 3, 4 or 6 cylinders based on the power requirement. So you get the best of both worlds: V-6 power when accelerating or climbing, as well as the efficiency of a smaller engine when cruising.

What do you think? Comments welcome.

Honda site is here.

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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.


  1. Denny says:

    I Think Thats How The Dodge Hemi Works Too

  2. Ron Schenone says:

    I didn’t know the hemi had this capability as well.

  3. the oracle says:

    It’s not new, GM and Chrysler use it. It also doesn’t save quite as much as you would think, because the reciprocating mass is the same so the 4 or 6 {in the case of 8 } cylinders are moving that dead weight around. I believe Popular Science did a story on this, and the outcome was that putting a turbo on a smaller engine, for peak demand, was far superior (if only the customer would keep up with oil changes, so the turbo bearings weren’t fried).)

  4. the oracle says:

    where the smiley showed up (not done from here) should be an ‘eight’

  5. Ron Schenone says:

    Hi Marc,
    I am surprised Honda is using this technology if its merits are limited. One would think they would be investing in other hybrid technologies and stepping away from useless gimmicks.

    Once gas hits $5 a gal. I believe we will start to separate the the ‘crappy’ ideas from the ones that work. Those car companies who will benefit will be ones like Toyota who’s Prius has received high marks…….so far.

    FWIW – the eight was created by using the number 8 and the }
    side by side.

  6. Sick of ex stalkers says:

    What about Facebook??

  7. I’ll be sure to use this app when I’ve expanded my current base from 800 to 800,000. I’m only two months old and I only get 2-3 new followers per day so I am still able to send out personalized tweets to welcome new followers.