Honda has taken yet another step in its quest for diesel dominance by announcing the introduction of a smaller 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine – the first under its Earth Dreams Technology series – for Europe. The i-DTEC engine will pump out 120PS of power and 300Nm of torque at 2000rpm.The first car to feature the new engine will be the Civic for the European market in 2013 though Honda plans to add it to the CR-V as well later during the year. Honda says the engine will be a fine combination of performance, efficiency and low emissions – 94 g/km as per the company.
Honda’s faith in their new diesel engine can be gauged from the confidence company execs are brimming with. Tetsuya Miyake, Project Leader for the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine said, “This is a new approach from the ground up. There were no benchmarks for us because those targets would have been too low. We were determined to establish a benchmark of our own that our competitors would have to follow.”
Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for all Civic models in Europe including the 1.6-litre i-DTEC, explains the development process as something that involved smart, pure engineering, an eye for detail and tons of motivation. “The key focus of our Earth Dreams Technology philosophy is to balance environmental efficiency with the dynamic performance expected of a Honda and our cars should be fun to drive,” Hasshi said.
The 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been designed keeping in mind the demands of the European customers, which are low-emissions and refinement. The new mill will be built at Honda’s European manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK, which can produce up to 500 diesel engines in a day. Also Read: Honda Brio-based entry-level sedan christened Amaze
Honda says the new engine employs aluminium for its cylinder head and engine block to help make it the lightest diesel engine in its class. Further, the thickness of the cylinder wall has been kept at 8mm, and lighter pistons and connection rods have been used. All this has helped pull the weight down by 47kg compared to the 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine, which powers the current Civic and Accord in Europe.
Refinement is a term synonymous with Honda, and with the 1.6-litre diesel engine, Honda boffins wanted to ensure the mechanical friction is at par with its petrol engines. To achieve this, the company optimised all the rotating parts to reduce their friction. “This not only reduces emissions and improves fuel efficiency, it also improves the engine’s response, both on and off the throttle, making the car more fun to drive,” says Miyake. “We have reduced the mechanical friction of the engine to the level equivalent of an existing petrol engine, which is an outstanding achievement.” At 1500rpm, the 1.6-litre i-DTEC has 40 per cent less mechanical friction than the 2.2-litre i-DTEC.
Honda plans to apply the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy to all its powertrains in future. In India, this will manifest in the form of a 1.5-litre-i-DTEC diesel engine that will first power the Brio and the upcoming Brio notchback in early 2013 and then the Jazz and the City sedan as well (with different power ratings, of course) in the latter half of the year. More details of the 1.5-litre diesel engine will emerge in the coming week. Stay hooked to our website for updates!
Also read: Honda Amaze : First Drive
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