By on November 19, 2012

While the Earth Dreams gasoline engines will underpin everything in Honda’s lineup going forward, Europe will get at least one diesel version – and we’ll probably miss out.

Said to be the lightest diesel engine in its class, the 1.6L mill makes 118 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharger’s turbine is apparently controlled via an electronic unit to cut down on lag and optimize engine response – though it’s still powered by exhaust gases, and has nothing to do with the long rumored electric turbochargers that never seem to materialize. The new diesel will debut in early 2013 in the European and World Market Civic.

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51 Comments on “Honda Shows Off “Earth Dreams” Diesel...”


  • avatar
    Skink

    Runs best on patchouli oil.

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    “Earth Dreams” Seriously?? I’m gonna puke

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    “Don’t tease me, bro!”

  • avatar
    Battlehawk

    地球の夢 didn’t sound lame to them when it was being shouted out by a dude with spiky hair and a giant sword.

  • avatar
    sandmed

    EcoWetDreams

  • avatar
    Zackman

    At least Honda designed one of the prettiest engine cover name plates ever seen.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Since ‘Earthdreams’ has been a years long campaign, can we move on to something else to snark about?

    UK Honda dealers are going to like this. The 2.2l that they have now for the UK Civic is awesome but overkill and hoses customers over there with the way taxes and regulations work.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      @stuntmonkey, I’m a bit of an enviro guy and genuinely enjoy a small car lusting most for a diesel powered Mazda 6 wagon manual. However, even you have to admit, ‘EarthDreams’ is uber-lame. Personifying the Earth Goddess that Dreams of a Diesel Engine! IN A HONDA!!! (Hey Manny, que the Operatic theme music!) Her lustrious green grass hair flowing behind her as she serenly cruises to the local Fat-Burger to load up on more carbs!

      I had thought the automakers figured out already that NAMING your car something high-browed like ‘Aspire’ and ‘Esteem’ doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. EarthDreams is a dog and needs euthanizing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        @dolorean

        I don’t disagree, but then again “Walkman” was originally a pretty silly Japanese-English phrasing as well. As I’ve said before “chi kyuu no yume” probably sounds different in the original Japanese. I think the point that a lot of people are missing is that the Brits haven’t always felt that Honda gave much priority to them because they didn’t have an engine matched to their regulatory and market environment. It’s not an engine that will see the light of day in NA.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        @stunt, roger got the Brit perspective and not knocking the merits of the design or engineering of the motor. However, the nam leaves those on the right rolling their eyes in disgust as, ‘Here the tree-huggers go again’; thereby losing its universal appeal merely on the lameness of a name. The ‘Walkman’ you mentioned never sounded silly; it sounded as exactly as it was. Music you could walk with, Man! I hope youre right that Honda is using ‘Earth Dreams’ as a product holder name not to be thrust upon the public.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    The name still makes me crack up. It is blatantly trying to get tree huggers to think that this engine is what should be in every car or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      Actually, I thought it was to make good God fearing Amuricans puke. What I get from this site is that if a car does not have five hundred horsepower, it is for sissies. Or maybe, the “Best and Brightest” aren’t. I come to this site to read about cars, not the adolescent humor of twelve year old’s of all ages.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Clearly the Marketing dept. named the thing, I would be more interested to know what the engineers called it/would have named it.

  • avatar

    As someone who actually did buy the manual diesel hatchback here, and spent time with Audi and BMW diesel “ova there”, we really are missing out on a generation of efficient and clean diesels. This is yet another example of Honda making interesting stuff yet the US market keeps getting cars aimed at consumer reports and boring cubicle workers.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Right, so you drive a Golf TDI, i.e. a ticking time bomb. Congrats!

      Over here, the boring cubicle workers don’t want to pay $3K premium over gas engine to pay $1.50/gal premium over regular gas, to get a 10-15 mpg improvement in mileage. The maths just don’t add up, just like they don’t add up paying #3K-5K premium for a hybrid. In Europe they do add up.

      That said, a Civic with 220 lb/ft twist would be awesome.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “to pay $1.50/gal premium over regular gas”

        In what part of the country is it a $1.50/gal premium for diesel?

        That said, I don’t disagree that the premium for hybrids often doesn’t add up. But diesels typically have other things going for them, e.g. reliability, longevity.

        Then again, a lot of commenters here think adding urea is expensive or difficult because their brother-in-law’s cousin’s dog’s vet’s sister-in-law said so.

      • 0 avatar
        mic

        +1
        I’m with you 100% Stumpaster! (especially the ticking time bomb part) That said, it would be nice to have the choice of a diesel. If they just made it more cost effective it would be a no brainer.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Call the EPA and tell them to drop the regulations keeping this stuff off our shores.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        danio, the EPA isn’t the one holding back the flood of Diesels from Europe. Try the Trucker’s Unions or National Freight companies or the Military. None are big fans of sharing what they like to think of their own personal fuel source with the rest of us slobs. Its kept in perpetual limbo through massive lobbying effort in Congress. Add to it the debacle that was the Oldsmobile 5.7L LF9 engine that just won’t leave collective memories.

      • 0 avatar
        mcarr

        Really? Truckers unions? C’mon now, seriously. This problem has the EPA written all over it.

        And also, I wish people would quit blaming Oldsmobile for the supposed current dislike of diesels in the US. I doubt anyone under 40 even knows that Oldsmobile made a diesel. And that anyone under 20 knows what Oldsmobile is.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has not been receptive to diesels, primarily because of concerns over small-particulate emissions. And, from what I’ve read, similar concerns are being raised in Eruope, too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I would be inclined to blame dot gov and obsessive emissions standards, never heard of truckers or the military behind the lack of diesel options.

    • 0 avatar
      rpilot

      Truckers unions!!! Get a grip folks…. Here are a few reasons that diesels do not sell very well stateside / manufacturers are hesitant to bring in more…

      1) EPA maybe.. maybe not. US emission standards for diesel are stricter and I applaud the existing regulations for it. Some of these Engines / Cars that meet those standards (usually the larger ones which need the Urea injection to meet European standards anyway) make it to our shores.. others dont. There are exceptions to this rule mostly made by the VW group and they are sold here.

      2)Diesels sold by most Asian brands in markets other than the US are smaller engines and pollute more than US standards allow. The small market (ask VW and MB how many diesels they really sell in the US )given the very small cost/benefit ratio precludes them from importing these diesels with expensive modifications/certification/ service training etc, to the US.

      3)We Americans in general have a distaste for diesel. Folks 50 and older remember the 1980s GM diesel debacle all too well. For the rest of us, Gas works perfectly fine and is cheaper here currently vs the other way around in europe. Most Europeans and Asians do not usually love Diesel cars either, they buy them for the economy given Fuel pricing / subsidies in those countries.

      4) Despite the high highway fuel economy numbers many diesels do not have significantly better fuel economy that their gas counterparts in city driving. Given most urban Americans spend a better part of their driving lives in bumper to bumper traffic getting to and from work, the small 15-20 % fuel economy gains are offset by the 15-20% higher cost of diesel. As soon as you add the cost of urea replinshments and generally more specialized (read: expensive) maintenance and repair costs of diesel any argument to save money goes down the tube. I really dont buy the argument that all else being equal a modern turbo-diesel engine will last longer than a modern normally aspirated gasoline engine. And usually it is a moot point. Most people do not drive their cars until 200K miles either.

      5) The SaSDWaCH (Stick Shift Diesel Wagon Crackhead) mostly exists on Internet Forums and not as a new car buyer in showrooms since most dont want to / cant spend more than a single digit thousands on a ride… they simply want a used car for cheap at 150K miles that they percive will last them a long time.

      6) Among the SaSDWaCH those who actually pony up for a new diesel wagon are few and far in-between and they are very happy with the VW jetta and MB E Wagon. There is a rear breed of SaSDWach who does want a Japanese option, but is unfortunately married with a child or two and as soon as his (and yes they are all male) wife test drives the crossover alongside the wagon, the crossover is what the family buys. And having lost that battle the SaSDWach comes back and starts whining about the lack of a Miata Diesel.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Only one engine- and a small on at that.

    Let’s face it- in the contest between diesels and hybrids, hybrids are winning. Hybrids are more efficient, more reliable, cleaner, and getting better and cheaper all the time. Diesels are just getting more complicated all the time in order to keep up with hybrids. The traditional advantage for the diesel engine- that it could run on a variety of different fuels- doesn’t apply any more. The newest generation of diesels are so finicky that most have trouble running on even bio-diesels. Just give it up, diesel snobs. It’s over.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s that way in the US because of the CARB sourced emission regulations. If euro spec diesels were allowed in the US, they’d trump hybrids all day long.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Europe spec diesels would not pass emissions here. Diesels are just plain dirtier than hybrids.
        We already have ULSD here, so it’s not like the old days when we were stuck with older diesel tech because we didn’t have the right kind of diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        RedStapler

        Lets not forget how the Prius got solo carpool lane rights in the past and how current EVs and Plug Ins get it currently.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Actually Icemilk, the diesel regulations in Europe for the past two years or so are pretty much on par with ours believe it or not. What keeps them from coming here is the actual cost of the diesel engine emission’s system ( yes, it is EPA’s fault ). In Europe the cost is spread out because they sell so many of them. That 2000 USD difference becomes 7-800 USD between the gasser and the diesel version in Europe. Here in USA, the difference stays at 2000 USD…for the most part. The government here will give you some tax breaks to some extent if you buy a diesel, but since they are favoring hybrids more and more that probably will stop soon. Diesel used to be a bit cheaper in Europe due to subsidies or whatever, but now is on par with gas ( both 6-8 dollars/gal depending on the country. Diesels in Europe still come out ahead given their 20-30% better fuel consumption. In USA, they are not too prevalent for a bunch of factors, the first which I mentioned above (cost of diesel engine), public lack of diesel education/wrong perception, cost of diesel fuel (someone said 1,50 extra a gal…not true, but about 10-15 cents more than regular), the way EPA measures mileage/gal is not accurate at all for diesel while it overestimates gas and hybrid-generally speaking. For example, EPA says a diesel Passat gets 40 mpg hwy while most drivers get 50mpg without even trying). A lack of sufficiently trained car-diesel mechanics is another factor as well…
      As for me, unless the government “outlaws” diesels by making impossible to pass regulations, I will make my next vehicle a diesel one. I just wish I will have more choices when the time comes. This Honda engine would be great, but I truly don’t see it coming here.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Honda won’t give us their real brand building goods. We get vanilla vehicles made for unpassionate drivers who see cars as simple appliances or geriatrics looking for their last odd looking low end luxury cars. Evidence of their cluelessness is Honda’s efforts on hybrids for the past 10 years, the evolution of the Civic, the Crosstour / RDX / Ridgline / TL / ILX and the CR-Z. The only class leading vehicles they make is small crossovers and minivans. I’m a former multiple Honda owner and even raced several for years. I’m embarrassed what Honda has turned into.

    By adding this engine to the Civic / CR-V lineup this might be a game changer for this car in the US and give us a real world high mileage car cheaply and put diesel into a more mainstream small car besides the Jetta TDI and upcoming Cruze diesel.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    New Honda engine has
    3.6 liter/100km = 65 miles/gallon combined city/highway

    65 combined !!!

    So, when do you stop making Obama’s Chevrolet Volts?

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “So, when do you stop making Obama’s Chevrolet Volts?”

      The Volt was in the can before Obama was president. I realize it’s trendy for clueless people who have never driven one, ridden in one, or known someone who has done either of the above to think differently. Those of us in the know have been talking about the Volt since 2007.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      The Chevy Volt gets the equivalent of 94mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        But only 33 mpg with a gas engine after 40 miles. If they put in a diesel to be the generator that car would get so much better mileage – which is hoping after they certify the new diesel Cruze the Volt will get the proper generator it deserves (there’s a reason why all locomotives used today use diesel generators and not gasoline).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Despite the incurred losses, Volt may surprise you… it may be losing the battle but it perhaps may win the war.

      If you came to me in 1999 and told me Toyota Prii would be anything more than a Hollywood toy I would have laughed at you.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    I like diesels. Really. But at the risk of being the health-weenie, we really don’t need any more diesels than we already have. Non-stationary diesels (ie, cars and trucks) are emitters of lots of nano-particulates – which are, as you may guess, not terribly good for you.

    The newer diesels, especially the EU ones, are even worse than the old black-cloud masters, because the particulate is so small and absorbed even quicker by the body.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      That is why they have diesel particulate filters whether ones that capture and burn off the hydrocarbons to ash or those that use urea (which you simply top off every 10k during an oil change).

      You are also not counting greenhouse gas as an emission as gasoline engines require at least 30% more fuel burnt to go the same distance.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        Those filter systems only deal with the larger particulates. Nano-particulates are less than half the size of the ones addressed by current emission devices. Cars already shed nano particulates with wearing of tires and brakes (many pads are still asbestos). It’s an expanding field of science, and it doesn’t get a lot of press yet.

        I’m not even gonna touch the complex series of equations that one needs to do when totaling up an accurate “carbon footprint” in a greenhouse gas discussion.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    “Earth Dreams” gag…

    Just guarantees I’ll never own a Honda with that on the engine cover. “Eco-Boost” is treading close to the line. At least “Sky-Active” is catchy without the eco-weenie overtones.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I like the slogan. We’re all talking about it, it’s memorable, and its easy to comprehend when written as English in all markets…. it communicates the basic idea that Honda is inspired by the Earth and that products under this banner seek to minimize harm to the Earth and are leading edge in that regard… maybe I’m crazy, but that’s what the slogan says to me

  • avatar
    tbone33

    I hate to talk about something other than the name of Honda’s new engines or how America’s unions are to blame, but I for one am excited to see whether or not this once great engine maker can get its engine making groove back.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I don’t care what they call it, when can I get an Odyssey with 35MPG and monster-minivan torque?

    I’m a former TDI owner and that little 96hp engine moved my 3300lb Jetta better than any engine I’ve had before or since, including the 200hp V6 engine in my 3400lb Escape. It’s a pity you have to buy (and maintain) a Volkswagen (BMW and Mercedes aren’t for me) in order to drive like that here in the USA…

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Here’s hoping that Mazda and/or Chevy don’t back out of their promises. I too had a 2004 Golf TDI and the haters can’t understand that there’s a HUGE difference between a 50-MPG car and a 50MPG car with real usable TORQUE. I could load that car up with people, luggage, whatever, and it never slowed down on an incline.


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