Honda Previews New Engine Lineup: Direct Injection and CVTs Coming


Much has been said about the new Honda Civic receiving a list of early updates in a bid to silence critics while restoring the car’s class-leading fuel economy. This has all but been confirmed, with the Japanese automaker revealing an entire new lineup of engines and transmissions at a press briefing held at the Twin Ring Motegi Racing Circuit on the eve of the Tokyo Motor Show.

In total, Honda unveiled five all-new engines, ranging from a new Kei car 660 cc motor, to a flagship 3.5-liter V6 powertrain. With these engines Honda has said it is committed to being both a leader in fuel economy and engine output.

Engines destined for North America include a new 1.5-liter, 1.8-liter and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, as well as a 3.5-liter V6. Across the board, all will receive direct-injection technology. The 4-cylinder engines gain a new VTEC arrangement with an Atkinson cycle lower load cam plus extensive friction reduction technologies. The result on a car like the Civic will be a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy, plus a 5 percent increase in power over the current model. The same goes for the 2.4-liter, which one Honda representative told us the new 2012 CR-V just missed out on receiving.

As for the V6 engine, it will replace both the current 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter engines, combining the best technologies of both, including a cylinder deactivation system while gaining direct injection. Honda provided a preliminary, and conservative, estimated power output with 310-hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, with a much stronger torque band.

Of note, all of the engines included a start-stop function, although no decision has been made by Honda as to whether we’ll see this technology in North America.

Apart from the new dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (integrated into a new SH-AW, discussion of automatics at the Honda event was non-existent. Instead, Honda revealed several new CVTs (and yes, they can hear you groaning in Motegi). Of note is a new CVT designed for compact cars, as well as another for mid-size, meaning you should look for CVTs to find their way into cars like the Civic, Accord and CR-V soon. As terrible as all this may sound for Honda owners dreading the thought of a CVT, the good news is what Honda is calling “G-Design Shift”, which was created to help deliver more immediate throttle response. We did have the change to test out the new CVT in a 2.4-liter direct-injection TSX but we can’t tell you about it until the embargo lifts next week. Stay tuned.


danwat1234 says:

This is awesome! It’s awesome how they have designed 4 cylinder engines that can run in OTTO cycle mode or Atkinson cycle mode on the fly, never thought it was possible until I realized the only difference in the longer intake valve open time. I wonder why Toyota’s Prius’ engine can’t act as an OTTO cycle when you floor it for more power, by shortening the time that the intake valves are open, to allow for a longer compression stroke..

danwat1234 says:

The only thing left for manufactures is to get with Homogeneous stratified charge technology, where the gas engine can operate without needing spark plugs when demand is low for even more power efficiency. It’ll act just like a diesel.

Michael says:

Where is the Acura V8? I have been waiting years since it was announced. When it comes I will be one of the first to by the MDX.

John says:

CVT? Start stop technology? I own a 2010 accord, and I’m glad I got one in decent time. These upgrades are disappointing. Hey Honda, take this back to the drawing board and come back with something “exciting.”

Bowton says:

Them comment about the V8 is interested to me. Why do Americans love V8’s when it’s not necessary. I have a MDX and I am probably in the 1% of the owners that acutally operates it at full open throttle on a regular basis. The car will blow away most other cars on the road under these circumstances, it has more than enough power – and I can still get 28 mpg at 70 on the highway. The only sensible application I can think of is for towing. If one was to actually tow 5000 lbs regularly then he V8 would be nice –or you could just trump that with a diesel and 500 ft lbs of torque.

btw, my MDX weights more than my ’69 3/4 ton chevy truck outfitted for a camper so basically it’s a tank and handles like crap….again why the need for the V8 I don’t understand.

70AARCuda says:

HCCI is the ‘next-step’ but seems to be difficult to easily obtain.

Kostas says:

And that is called news? Bring me some real news when Honda will be back cause this is a joke. Damn just give me 2 new k20a’s for the rest of my life and that’s all i want!

Casimiro Perira says:

Or it´s homogeneous or it´s stratified the words mean the oposite of each other and, no HCCI is not like diesel at all. Diesel did not invent auto-ignition, it has always been there. He´s just found a way of using it without harming the engine by introducing gradually a very reactiv fuel so combustion starts and then flooding the chamber with more fuel so the rest of the fuel burns by difusion (fuel will burn slowly if there´s no suficient air to react with. That´s why it makes so much smoke at full load). HCCI combustion can damage an engine if load is too high or mixture too rich because it´s homogeneous (well mixed). So Diesel is stratified and HCCI is homogeneous.

Melerly says:

I hope the new 2013 Accord with CVT is tested adequately to assure it is more dependable then the former Automatic transmissions.