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New technology lowers Honda Civic diesel emissions

Honda reveals more details and images of new Civic hatch ahead of Frankfurt debut

15 Aug 2011

HONDA this week continued its teaser campaign leading up to the September 13 launch of the 2012 Civic hatchback, revealing details of a more advanced diesel engine that employs idle-stop technology to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The new 2.2-litre diesel engine – which will again carry the i-DTEC label of its predecessor – will be almost seven per cent more powerful than the outgoing unit, which is not sold in Australia.

Honda Australia said it has yet to decide on a local future for the Civic five-door diesel, which has been specifically designed for the European market.

“We realise the diesel market is growing in Australia as such, we are considering a number of options for the future and have not made any firm decisions,” said Honda Australia public relations assistant manager Melissa Cross.

Power for the four-cylinder diesel has been lifted from 103kW to 110kW while torque is listed at 350Nm.

But the big gains have been made in the area of emissions, with Honda claiming the CO2 figure will come down from 139g/km to just 110g/km despite the higher power output.

15 center imageLeft: Engine development leader Katsushi Watanabe.

Idle-stop technology is claimed to have accounted for 5g/km of the 29g/km improvement, while a 12.6 per cent lower aerodynamic drag figure is also claimed to have contributed heavily towards lower emissions and better fuel consumption (although Honda has yet to reveal the fuel figures).

The new lower CO2 figure is important for Honda in the UK – where the Civic hatch will be built – as it will enable customers to benefit from free road tax for the first year (and lower annual rates from then on), while company car drivers will be able to take advantage of lower BIK (Benefit in Kind) tax rates.

Engine development leader Katsushi Watanabe said it was necessary to optimise every aspect of the car to achieve a good CO2 figure.

“Reducing the emissions was our key target and we’re proud to say that we have achieved this without compromising the high performance character of the engine,” he said.

“We want our customers to have fun when they drive this car.”

Mr Watanabe is featured in the second of five technical videos Honda is releasing in the lead-up to the Civic hatchback’s official unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

The car will go into production at Honda UK’s Swindon plant later this year before hitting British showrooms in early 2012 and elsewhere in the world – including Australia – soon afterwards.

Its global debut at the Frankfurt show will follow unveilings of the ninth-generation Civic in sedan and coupe forms at the Detroit motor show in January (as prototypes) and New York motor show in April (in production form).

Honda said the i-DTEC engine received a number of enhancements in the quest for lower emissions.

“The oil flow through the engine has been carefully managed to reduce circulation loss, while engine materials and components have been revised to reduce friction,” the company said.

“Extensive wind tunnel testing was carried out to improve the car’s aerodynamics, reduce drag and refine high speed stability, all of which contribute towards lowering emissions.”

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