Honda‘s new Civic race car has just undergone its first tests for the FIA World Touring Car Championship, using a new engine that could foreshadow the brand’s future.
As many mainstream automakers have made the switch to turbocharged powerplants, Honda has soldiered on with its naturally aspirated motors. While that’s the plan in the immediate future as well, with the new Earth Dreams Technology engines gaining direct-injection in a bid to stay competitive, turbochargers may be the next step.
After recently announcing its all new HR-412E 1.6-liter turbocharge engine, the powerplant has now undergone its first shakedown tests under the hood of the Euro Civic race car at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Italy.
Honda will first enter the car at Suzuka later this season before running a complete season in the WTCC next year.
While the engine used is custom built for the series, Honda raised speculation about the possibility of turbocharged engines when WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D, Daisuke Horiuchi recently commented 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.“