VVT-i, or Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, is an automobile variable valve timing technology developed by Toyota. The Toyota VVT-i system replaces the Toyota VVT offered starting in 1991 on the 4A-GE 20-Valve engine. The VVT system is a 2-stage hydraulically controlled cam phasing system.
VVT-i, introduced in 1996, varies the timing of the intake valves by adjusting the relationship between the camshaft drive (belt, scissor-gear or chain) and intake camshaft. Engine oil pressure is applied to an actuator to adjust the camshaft position. In 1998, 'Dual' VVT-i (adjusts both intake and exhaust camshafts) was first introduced in the RS200 Altezza's 3S-GE engine. Dual VVT-i is also found in Toyota's new generation V6 engine, the 3.5L 2GR-FE V6. This engine can be found in the Avalon, RAV4, and Camry in the US, the Aurion in Australia, and various models in Japan, including the Estima. Other Dual VVT-i engines will be seen in upcoming Toyota models, including a new 4 cylinder Dual VVT-i engine for the new generation 2007/2008 Corolla. Another notable implementation of the Dual VVT-i is the 2GR-FSE D-4S engine of the Lexus GS450h. By adjusting the valve timing, engine start and stop occur virtually unnoticable at minimum compression, and fast heating of the catalytic converter to its light-off temperature is possible, thereby reducing HC emissions considerably.