Honda is not the first name Americans usually think of when they think of diesel engines. The company, best-known for its high-revving gasoline engines, was even reluctant to develop its own diesel for the European market, where the engine type dominates. But Honda’s 2.2-liter i-DTEC engine was acclaimed at the time for its refinement, cleanliness and fuel economy. For its next-generation diesel, Honda downsized, but the new 1.6-liter engine is packed with cutting-edge technology aimed at increased efficiency and lighter weight.
Optimized for D-segment vehicles such as the Accord (sold in the U.S. as the Acura TSX), the 2.2-liter i-DTEC engine was a little large for the smaller Civic, but served in that model nonetheless. For the 2013 European-model Civic, Honda is introducing a more appropriately-sized 1.6-liter diesel, which marks the introduction of the Earth Dreams line of engines in Europe.
Compared to the 2.2-liter engine it’s replacing in the Civic, the 1.6-liter engine is a significant 104 lb lighter, and improves upon the 2.2-liter engine’s 53.45 mpg equivalent in the combined European test by more than 10 mpg to 65.3 mpg. Although the 1.6 is slightly down on power compared to the 2.2, it’s still plenty torquey for the compact Civic, producing 118 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, 30 hp and 37 lb-ft less than the 2.2-liter engine.
The Garrett turbocharger pumps 22 psi into the engine, and the Bosch fuel system operates at a high 26,000 psi for optimized fuel atomization. To reduce emissions, the engine also has high-swirl head ports to reduce hot spots and an exhaust-gas recirculation system to reduce NOx emissions. The engine will be offered first in the Civic in early 2013 and the CR-V later in the year.
Source: Honda Europe