Honda has released specifications for the the first engine from their Earth Dreams technology series, to be launched in Europe. The 1,6 litre engine may seem small, but specs show it’s quite suitable for the popular CR-V SUV arriving in Europ late 2013.
The 1,6 litre i-DTEC produces 89kW and 300Nm torque at a low 2000 r/min – not bad for such a small capacity engine, and just right for an SUV. It’s made with an aluminium cylinder head, joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is – according to Honda – the lightest diesel engine in its class at 47 kilograms less than the 2,2 litre engine that the SA market just saw added to the CR-V range. The mandate clearly focused on weight reduction, with almost every component apparently reduced in weight and size. The cylinder walls themselves have been reduced by a full millimetre and pistons and connection rods are reportedly lighter.
“Developing this engine has been all about smart, pure engineering,” says Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for all Civic models in Europe, in which the 1,6 litre engine will first be launched. “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.”
Alongside the weight innovations, the engineers focused on reducing mechanical friction within the engine, with the aim to getting it as close to that of a petrol engine as possible. So, all rotating parts have been optimised with this goal in mind, and at 1500 r/min, the engine reportedly has as much as 40% less mechanical friction than its 2.2 litre counterpart.
The turbocharger on the diesel engine features a variable-nozzle design, and its rotational speed is controlled by the vehicle’s electronic programs with an aim to minimise turbo lag. This is also to provide better low to mid range pull, as well as high-speed performance.
Finally, the 1,6 i-DTEC has a Bosch solenoid injection system, capable of operating at pressures up to 1800 bar. This means the fuel is injected at a faster rate, and improves the air and fuel mixture to improve combustion efficiency – which leads to better consumption.