The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine is the first engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series to be launched in Europe. This new engine will make its introduction in the Civic at the beginning of 2013 and offers a class-leading combination of power (120 PS) and torque (300 Nm @ 2000 rpm) with CO2 emissions of just 94 g/km.
“The key focus of our Earth Dreams Technology philosophy is to balance environmental efficiency with the dynamic performance expected of a Honda,” says Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for all Civic models in Europe including the 1.6-litre i-DTEC. “It is important that our cars are fun to drive.” “This is a new approach from the ground up,” Tetsuya Miyake, Project Leader for the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine. “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.”“Developing this engine has been all about smart, pure engineering,” says Suehiro Hasshi. “Our motivation has been to make many small detail improvements that, together, make a major difference. That is the challenge and the beauty of the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy.”The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been specifically designed for the European market, to meet growing customer demand for low emission diesel engines. The new engine will be built at Honda’s European manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK. Demonstrating the importance of this new diesel engine to Honda’s sales plans in Europe, a new purpose built diesel engine production line has been installed at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM). This new line is capable of producing up to 500 diesel engines in one day. Operating on a two shift pattern this equates to 1 engine every 138 seconds. The new line will produce both the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC and the existing 2.2-litre i-DTEC engines. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will also be applied to the new CR-V (also built at HUM) later in 2013, and the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy will be applied to all of Honda’s power trains in the future.
The New Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC: The Engine in DetailLightest Diesel Engine in its ClassHonda’s new 1.6-litre i-DTEC is comprised of an aluminium cylinder head joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is the lightest diesel engine in its class, weighing 47kg less than Honda’s 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine. All the individual components have been redesigned to minimise their weight and size and advanced production techniques have helped reduce weight even further. The thickness of the cylinder walls has been reduced to 8mm, compared with 9mm for the 2.2-litre i-DTEC. This is an exceptional achievement for a diesel engine. In addition, lighter pistons and connection rods have been utilised in the 1.6-litre i-DTEC.Reduced Mechanical FrictionThe key target for Honda’s development engineers was to reduce the mechanical friction of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine to the level equivalent of a petrol engine. “All the rotating parts have been carefully optimised to reduce their friction,” says Tetsuya Miyake. For example, a shorter and thinner piston skirt has been used. At 1500rpm, the 1.6-litre i-DTEC has around 40 per cent less mechanical friction than the 2.2-litre i-DTEC.“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. We have reduced the mechanical friction of the engine to the level equivalent of an existing petrol engine, which is an outstanding achievement.”Clever TurbochargerThe 4th generation Garrett turbocharger used on the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine features an efficient variable-nozzle design and its rotational speed is precisely controlled by the car’s electronics, minimising turbo lag and providing an optimal combination of low- to mid-range pull and high-speed performance. The turbo has a maximum boost pressure of 1.5bar.Efficient Fuel Injection System and Air FlowHonda’s 1.6 i-DTEC uses a Bosch solenoid injection system which is capable of operating at a high pressure of 1800bar. A high fuel pressure means that the fuel is injected at a faster rate and the finer the atomization of the fuel spray. This improves the fuel mixing with the air resulting in a cleaner and more efficient combustion helping to achieve the low emissions and fuel consumption.Honda’s engineers have also worked to improve the volumetric efficiency of the cylinders, employing a high intake flow and a high swirl head port precisely controlling the combustion process to reduce hot spots that create unwanted emissions. The engine air flow is managed by using an EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) system that operates at high and low pressure to reduce NOx emissions.High Performance, Low EmissionsMax power: 120PS @ 4000rpmMax torque: 300Nm @ 2000rpmFuel economy (EU combined): 78.5 mpgCO2 emissions: 94 g/km