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CR-V diesel coming

Destined for diesel: CR-V should be Honda's first distillate burner here.

It appears Honda’s popular compact SUV will be its first diesel for Australia

25 Feb 2008

HONDA’S first diesel in Australia is likely to be fitted to the CR-V compact SUV.

However, Australians will have to wait until the second-generation i-DTEC unit is released in Europe and North America in 2009.

Speaking at the launch of the eighth-generation Honda Accord last week, Honda Australia managing director and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno revealed that the CR-V is the most logical vehicle in the company’s line-up to receive the new unit.

“I think starting with the CR-V is quite natural,” he told GoAuto.

“The diesel engine will be available in Europe. We still have to do testing for Australia... and there are still some cost issues we still have to discuss,” he added.

However, don’t expect to see a CR-V diesel in Australia before 2010 at the earliest, and probably not before the current model – launched a year ago – undergoes a facelift.

Furthermore, there may also be a lack of automatic transmission availability initially, which will further stall the arrival of any diesel-powered Honda vehicles in Australia.

Honda Australia senior director Lindsay Smalley said that the lack of an automatic transmission is to blame for the low sales that Mazda has experienced with the manual-only GG-series Mazda6 MZR-CD diesel, which has just been discontinued.

Further down the track, the second-generation version of Honda’s first ever in-house turbodiesel engine is also destined for Australian-bound versions of the second-generation Accord Euro, to be publicly launched at the Geneva motor show next week.

It will be available with a 2.2-litre i-DTEC four-cylinder engine, which replaces the previous i-CTDi unit of the same capacity that Honda has fitted to several of its European models – including the Accord Euro – over the last few years.

In the latest Accord Euro, it delivers 110kW of power at 4000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 2000rpm, courtesy of piezoelectric multi-stage fuel-injection technology, which features more efficient exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter for significantly reduced emissions.

However, Honda says that the just-released eighth-generation Accord sedan from Thailand will definitely not receive the i-DTEC engine, as it has not been engineered to take it.

On the other hand, as the next-generation Japanese-market Odyssey (due next year) is expected to use a variation of the Accord Euro’s front-wheel drive platform, there is also some speculation that Honda may eventually also offer the i-DTEC engine in the compact people-mover also.

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