Honda has revealed a new engine in Europe that is certain to get its loyal fan base of enthusiasts hitting VTEC. Unfortunately, there are no plans to slide it under the hood of a production car – at least for now.
The new HR412E 1.6-liter 4-cylider features both direct-injection and turbocharging and will instead make its debut powering the brand’s new Civic race car in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
“The HR412E heralds a new generation of high performance racing engines from Honda,” said WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D, Daisuke Horiuchi. “All engineers at the R&D centre in Tochigi have worked hard to develop a race engine that will deliver great driveability to our racing drivers, with no compromise on peak power performance.”
The engine raises some speculation that Honda’s racing efforts may be part of a larger plan to develop turbocharged engines for the street. Speaking on that matter Horiuchi said that, “We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines.“
After passing initial tests, the engine will first hit the track later this year in the Civic WTCC car, driven by former F1 pilot Tiago Monteiro. Honda is expected to compete in just three races this year, starting with Suzuki in October, before a two car effort is launched for 2013.