Little of the long-recognized potential of variable valve timing (VVT) has yet been realized, mainly because of the many limitations that characterize virtually all the mechanisms that have been proposed for VVT application. These limitations include high cost and complexity, mechanism energy losses, limited range of variability, and high valve impact velocities.We have developed a two-degree-of-freedom mechanism, actuated by two cams operating in series, that appears well-suited for VVT applications. This new mechanism avoids the serious limitations that characterize virtually all other VVT mechanisms. It is relatively simple and it can be implemented using only standard-type major components. It can provide a wide range of valve open duration without excessive mechanical losses or high impact velocities. We examine this mechanism in depth. Experimental verification of the operation of this mechanism confirms the mechanical adequacy of the concept at practical engine speeds.