The U.S.-market Honda Civic may not exactly be making waves lately, but Honda is promising that the new Civic will be more economical and powerful than ever–at least across the Atlantic. The automaker has issued yet another teaser of the Euro-spec 2012 Civic ahead of its Frankfurt debut, and spilled some details about its powertrain.
Just how can the new Civic be more powerful and efficient? That lies with the revised 2.2-liter turbo-diesel I-4, which Honda dubs the i-DTEC. While the engine isn’t wildly different from Honda’s previous four-cylinder diesels, engineers have been tinkering to improve oil flow, reduce circulation loss, and reduce internal friction.
Those changes seem small, but they help add up, especially when it comes down to carbon dioxide emissions. Honda says the new engine — when bundled with start/stop technology — emits 29 grams of CO2 fewer than the previous model. This usually isn’t much to write home about, but it officially puts the Honda Civic at 110 g/km, which means Civic owners in the U.K. shouldn’t have to pay road tax for the first year.
Better yet, the engine shouldn’t be a complete slouch, either. Prelminary data suggests the i-DTEC should crank out 150 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. For the diesel-philes back at home, that means it’s slightly more powerful than the Volkswagen’s U.S.-spec 2.0-liter TDI turbo-diesel I-4.
But for now, consider that engine forbidden fruit. Though VW has decent success with its TDI range in the New World, and other diesel-powered C-segment offerings (i.e. Chevy Cruze Diesel) are on the way, Honda has thus far expressed little interest in bringing a diesel Civic stateside.