Saturday 24 January 2015

Honda offers ’new’ diesel with 9-speed ‘box

The 2015 Honda CR-V’s will have what the company calls an “all-new 1.6-litre 160PS diesel”. Honda says the diesel line-up will account for 60 per cent of sales.

The “all-new” 1.6 litre i-DTEC four-cylinder is from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series, first introduced in 2013. The engine is teamed with a nine-speed transmission.

This unique-to-Europe engine replaces the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel unit. Fitted with a new two-stage turbocharger, the offers higher power output and better power delivery, as well as superior levels of efficiency and significantly reduced CO2 emissions.

As a result, Honda claims the new engine has the best power-to-consumption ratio available in its segment.

Several (undisclosed) innovations reduce frictional energy losses to the extent the i-DTEC engine friction now 37 per cent lower than its predecessor and equivalent to that of a gasoline unit. The result is a fuel economy of 4.9 l/100km on the combined cycle.

The engine produces a maximum power of 160 PS (a 6 per cent increase over the 2.2-litre diesel predecessor) and 350 Nm of torque, while emitting a 129 g/km of CO2 (an 11 per cent improvement and a figure not bettered by any similarly-powered competitor – according to Honda) when mated to the six-speed manual transmission.

The new two-stage turbo fitted to the 1.6-litre 160 PS diesel unit feeds from two exhaust gas inlets, one activated at low pressure and the other at high pressure. The high-pressure turbo is responsible for air flow to the engine at low engine speeds, while the low-pressure turbo operates at high engine speeds.

At mid-range engine speeds, both turbos work in tandem to optimise air flow to the engine. The high-pressure turbo is controlled by a variable geometry turbine (VGT) to ensure optimal throttle response and reduce energy losses at low engine speeds. The low-pressure turbo is controlled by a conventional waste gate.

The 1.6i-DTEC diesel engine complies with Euro6b emission regulation, meeting emission standards using a NOx storage catalyst (NSC) after-treatment system, continuously alternating NOx adsorption and conversion (reduction) processes.

The focus of development was aimed at enabling light-off of the catalyst, already at low temperatures, to sufficiently convert NOx emissions while maintaining the conversion efficiency at high temperatures. Honda says the ratio of amounts of precious metals and the effective adsorption surface have been optimised in order to achieve the target.

The 2015 CR-V will be available with a newly-developed nine-speed automatic transmission replacing the previous five-speed automatic.

Honda claims the new gearbox offers a number of “real-world” benefits to British consumers. With a wider spread of gears, the “very” low first gear ratio ensures responsive performance, while a high top-gear ratio results in reduced fuel consumption and noise level at cruising speeds on motorways.

With a greater number of gears, Honda notes the gearbox provides better response to driver inputs, and smoother shifts giving the sensation of more linear acceleration through the range.

Depending on driving characteristics – engine speed and throttle application – the new nine-speed automatic transmission can shift directly down multiple gears – block-changing; the possible shift patterns include 9-7, 9-5, 7-4, and 6-4.

Efficient packaging of the new transmission achieves a smaller, lighter (by 35kg) unit, allowing better weight distribution across the vehicle.

The new engine and transmission together weigh 65 kg less than the previous equivalent powertrain combination, benefitting ride, handling and steering response, as well as efficiency.

The gasoline powertrain is available also in four- and two-wheel drive, and is a carry-over from the previous CR-V. The 2.0-litre i-VTEC has a maximum power of 155 PS and 192 Nm of torque and is Euro6 compliant.

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