Honda Reveals new Turbocharged VTEC Engine Lineup

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Honda Reveals new Turbocharged VTEC Engine Lineup
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There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Honda faithfuls hoping for a high-performance powerplant.

The Japanese brand just unveiled a new line of turbocharged engines based on its Earth Dreams technology. The current line includes a 2.0- and 1.5- and 1.0-liter versions, the largest of which is bound for Honda’s new Civic Type R.

By moving to turbocharging, Honda is following the industry trend of downsizing its engines while maintaining output. Honda didn’t specify which models are first in line to benefit from its VTEC Turbo engines, but plans include spreading the forced induction technology across its global portfolio. The size variation will allow Honda to tailor its product offering according to market demand, ranging from placing an emphasis on fuel efficiency to performance.

Historically, Honda has built high-revving four-cylinder engines that took advantage of its VTEC variable valve timing to offer substantial horsepower in a small, naturally aspirated package. Unfortunately, that also left Honda’s four-cylinder engines with very little torque. Modern turbochargers eliminate most of that by offering peak torque at very low rpm and Honda vehicles will finally catch up with the curve. Weight savings and decreased displacement will also likely help Honda achieve considerably improved fuel economy in vehicles that use its new engines.

GALLERY: Honda Civic Type-R

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Discuss this story at our Honda forum.

  • DisgruntledHondaFan

    “Unfortunately, that also left Honda’s four-cylinder engines with very little torque”

    Statements like this make it seem as though other manufacturers were making much more torquey engines of the same displacement. As the previous sentence alludes to, torque is largely a function of displacement, and per unit of displacement Honda engines have typically been ahead of that curve. The fact that small displacement / low rpm torque generally always gave way to higher power / high rpm just exaggerated the limitation.

    As per the rest of the article, I’ll just wait and see if anything fun ends up in North America. The current snooze fest could use some sport injection….

  • Bob Fishell

    With 8000 RPM on hand, you don’t need torque. The car has a torque multiplier. It’s called a transmission. However, it takes some intelligence to use it. All you need with FI is a fat foot.

  • Doug

    Let’s not get too nostalgic here. It’s been around 15 years since the hay-day of VTEC, which IMO culminated around the time of the Integra Type-R and S2000. I’ll pick the Type-R as I had the pleasure and disdain to drive that car for long periods of time to say a modern day VW Golf which I have driven extensively as well. Both are based on 1.8L 4-banger. The VW 1.8TSI bolts on the turbo-charger and puts out 170HP @ 4500rpm and 200 ft-lbs torque @1600rpm. The good-ol Type-R did 195HP @ 8000rpm and 130 ft-lb torque @7500 rpm naturally aspirated. The Type-R has a 15% HP advantage and the VW has 54% torque advantage. MORE IMPORTANTLY, the VW reaches peak torque about 6000rpm LOWER than the Type-R. That’s a real world advantage in torque with the same displacement. Honestly the Type-R didn’t even wake up until 4000rpm and you really needed to be over 5000rpm to start going…this is perfect for the track, but not everyday, bumper-to-bumper driving. Plus the VW get’s 26/37 mpg trumps the VTEC did 22/28 mpg even though it is significantly heavier car.

    Let’s not ignore 15 years of advancement in turbo-charging technology…it might be hard to swallow for hardcore VTEC fans, but even Honda has thrown in the towel and acknowledges defeat.

  • Log

    You actually believe a stock Subaru will outrun a 45 AMG… Look up motor trend and road and tracks stats. The Subaru doesn’t compare.