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Geneva show: Honda to show dreamy diesel

Dreamy: Honda's ultra-efficient new 1.6-litre diesel engine will find its way under the bonnet of the Civic hatch in Europe later this year.

New Honda diesel to eclipse Mini’s 1.6-litre oil burner in new Euro Civic

Honda logo7 Feb 2012

HONDA is preparing to wheel out a super-efficient and powerful new 1.6-litre diesel engine under its Earth Dreams banner at the Geneva motor show next month.

Destined for the new Civic due in Europe later this year, the engine is one of nine new Earth Dreams engines – in both diesel and petrol forms – that the Japanese company says will make it number one in fuel economy with three years.

Honda promises sub-100 grams per kilometre carbon dioxide emissions from the new diesel, that is also good for 88kW of power and 300Nm of torque – superior to the 82kW and 270Nm of the similar-sized diesel of the Mini Cooper D, that achieves 99g/km CO2 emissions.

At this stage, it is unclear if the new diesel powerplant will make it to Australia, in the UK sourced Civic hatch or anything else. However, the Earth Dreams petrol engines are heading our way, perhaps starting in 2013 models.

In its pre-Geneva media release, Honda Motor Europe says it will show a cutaway version of the latest turbo diesel, which it claims will be the lightest in its class, delivering a “class-leading balance of fuel economy and performance”.

 center imageLeft: One of the nine new Earth Dreams engines. Below: Honda NSX concept.

Despite its diminutive size, the engine is destined to replace the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine of the current Civic available in the European Civic, Accord and CR-V.

The 2.2-litre unit is available in two states of tune – standard 110kW/350Nm and Type S 132kW/380Nm.

The nine all-new Earth Dreams engines will range from a tiny 660cc unit for Japanese ‘kei’ cars to a 3.5-litre V6 for flagship models such as the Legend and top-end Accords, among others.

In between, there will be a 1.3, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.4-litre petrol engines, as well as the 1.6-litre diesel to be shown at the Geneva show starting March 8.

A new construction design is said to reduce the weight of the engines by 15 per cent, with thinner cylinder blocks, helping to improve fuel efficiency by about 10 per cent compared with current engines.

American Honda showed off the new petrol engine technology at the Detroit, alongside the concept of its new Accord Coupe.

In the US, the Earth Dreams petrol engines will debut in Accord, which will feature a 2.4-litre direct-injected four-cylinder producing 135kW of power and 240m of torque, a plug-in hybrid combining an Atkinson-cycle petrol 2.0-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine and a 120kW electric motor, and the 3.5-litre i-VTEC V6 with GM-style variable cylinder management.

The latter is expected to generate 231kW of power and 359Nm of torque.

Speaking of Detroit, the NSX concept revealed at the North American International Auto Show is also going to be displayed at Geneva – this time with Honda badges instead of Acura ones – along with what Honda is describing as a CR-V prototype featuring specific body work for the European version of Honda’s compact SUV that goes on sale there in the third quarter of this year.

The all-electric Honda Ev-ster sports car show car – first seen at the 2011 Tokyo show – will also make its European entrance at Geneva.

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