Honda Civic buyers in Europe will benefit from a new 1.6-liter diesel engine — the first oil burner in the brand’s new “Earth Dreams” engine lineup.
The new engine will make 118 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque and, according to Honda, is the lightest diesel engine in its class.
“This is a new approach from the ground up,” Tetsuya Miyake, project leader for the 1.6-liter i-DTEC engine. “There were no benchmarks for us because those targets would have been too low. We were determined to establish a benchmark of our own that our competitors would have to follow.”
Among the tricks up Honda’s sleeve, the engine uses a turbocharger with a variable nozzle to minimize turbo lag. Honda also worked to minimize friction in the engine which, of course, boosts fuel economy.
Automakers across the board are working to build sophisticated new engines that offer performance and fuel efficiency at unprecedented levels. A few short weeks ago, Chevrolet introduced its new LT1 V8 bound for the seventh-generation Corvette. Similarly, Ford revealed that it’s new 1.0-liter EcoBoost inline three-cylinder engine will power the 2014 Fiesta subcompact in the U.S.
SEE ALSO: Meet the LT1: GM’s Gen V Small Block V8
For now, Honda hasn’t said its diesel will come to the North American market which might have something to do with differences between diesel regulations in Europe and the U.S. Then again, it would make sense for the brand to build it for both markets as fuel prices soar and home budgets tighten.
It wouldn’t be the first time a Civic was sold on U.S. soil to burn something other than gasoline. While it isn’t a volume seller, Honda sells its natural gas-burning version of the car. The fuel is gaining some traction for being readily available, but stations that sell it are scarce. Offering a sophisticated diesel Civic might be a good move for Honda in the near future.