2013 Tokyo Motor Show: Honda shows its latest batch of its Earth Dreams powertrains

Article by Anita Panait, on November 22, 2013

Honda Motor Co. has provided a glimpse of the latest batch of its Earth Dreams powertrains -- new downsized turbocharged engines and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission -- all aimed at providing performance without sacrificing fuel economy. Tetsuo Iwamura, chief executive of American Honda Motor Co., remarked that the Japanese carmaker plans to shift from its existing gasoline engines to turbos "as much as possible."

The new engines and transmission were unveiled during media events before the Tokyo Motor Show that will open to the public on Nov. 23, 2013. The carmaker also held an advanced technology briefing at its global r&d center north of Tokyo.

Honda's new downsized engines employ turbocharging, direct injection as well as variable valve timing system, known as VTEC, to enhance performance and fuel economy. The new engines include a 280hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine; a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine; and a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine.

Yuji Matsumochi, chief engineer for the new 2.0-liter turbo, remarked that while other carmakers have downsized turbos to increase fuel economy, Honda managed to build an engine that offers better fuel economy and more powerful torque.  Honda will have the 2.0-liter turbo debut in mid-2015 in a Europe-bout Civic with the Type R designation.

According to Matsumochi, Honda is studying whether to employ the engine to US-bound vehicles. He remarked that the 1.5-liter engine will debut in early 2016 and is targeted for consumers in North America and Asia, with the possibility of fitting it into the Acura ILX and Honda Civic and Accord.

Matsumochi said the 1.5-liter engine has potential for a wide range of vehicles, adding that it is seen to replace 1.8-liter powerplants. The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine provides 15 percent better fuel economy and 45 percent better torque than a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated unit. [source: Honda]

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