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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Honda Surprises All With New Engines & Transmissions

    Honda is known for many things; one of those things happens to be engine technology. The Civic CVCC and VTEC are some of technologies to done by Honda. However, during the past few years, Honda's engine technologies haven't changed much or fall flat on it's face (IMA Hybrid tech comes to mind).

    But now, Honda is coming out swinging with new powertrains and transmissions. At a event before the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda introduced a new range of four-cylinders ranging from 1.5L to 2.4L and a new 3.5L V6. All of the new engines will come equipped with direct injection and stop-start technology.

    The four-cylinders come with a new VTEC arrangement with an Atkinson cycle lower load cam plus extensive friction reduction technologies. The 3.5L V6 will replace the current 3.7L and 3.5L V6 and come with cylinder deactivation.

    Also new for Honda powertrains is a two-mode hybrid system. Replacing the disappointing IMA system, the new system will use a brand new 2.0L four-cylinder paired with electric motor and batteries. Honda claims the system will be the most efficient and deliver “enhanced driving performance.” First car to use the new system will be a plug-in hybrid model due next year while a non plug-in system will be out the year after.

    And, along with these new engines come new transmissions. Honda showed off a new range of CVT transmissions (alright stop moaning, they can hear you in Japan). The CVTs come with Honda's new “G-Design Shift”, which was created to help deliver more immediate throttle response. The transmissions are expected in the Civic, Accord and CR-V soon.


    Source: Auto Guide, 2

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    ^^^ good one. The 3.5 gets a nice update but I'm unmpressed with the inline 4's. The get a small bump in torque and probably a little more FE but not much else. Either way across the board Honda is not taking the lead with the new updates. They're still settling for "good enough."

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    GM started rolling out Direct Injection in.. what, 2004? Start-Stop (generation 1 eAssist) in 2008? Cylinder deactivation first in 1980 and then again in 2004.

    Honda started using DI in Japan around '02-'03, had Auto-stop in 2001, and they have been practicing cylinder size-reduction since the beginning... ;) lol

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    All their past and current hybrids have had the auto-stop (which actually started in 2000 with gen1 Insights). Now, I know the hybrids aren't quite high volume, they are all available in the US. Honda has also been using VCM (variable cylinder management) more and more, starting in around '05-'06.

    Those things aside, i'm just as baffled as you when it comes to the neglect of DI stateside. I really shouldn't attempt to answer based upon my complete uncertainty, but the only thing that I could think of is perhaps prolonged R&D, while thinking they could leave well enough alone...? I don't know off-hand, but I'm sure they have been implementing it in something over the years, and fine tuning.

    Edited by fuel_sipping
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    Why the reliance on 5-speed autos while the rest of the industry moved on to 6-speeds and greater? It's not like their 5-speeds are all that good in the first place, they've had reliability problems with the early ones and they've never really been smooth.

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    They are beginning the transition to 6-speeds for the heavy vehicles, as evident in the higher end models (Acuras and top Odyssey), but it seems for the rest of the range they are working to develop and build up their CVTs. Maybe not the most sound choice, speculatively, but that seems to be getting the blunt end of their R&D attention right now. All these things are just a matter of free speculation to me...

    Here is a more comprehensive article on Autoblog, which highlights their planned efficiency dominance.


    Edited by fuel_sipping
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