Honda Gives New Clean Diesel to Acura

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Speaking to Automotive News [sub] at the North American International Auto Show, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui revealed that the company's Acura brand will receive the automaker's first California-compliant diesel engines sometime next year. It's a bit of an odd choice, given Acura's lackluster sales, lackluster brand image and lackluster luxury flagship (which TTAC and others have slated for lacking a lustrous V8). And if that isn't enough of a marketing conundrum, Fukui also said Acura's first oil burners will only sport four cylinders. Honda's V6 clean diesel– which also "generates and stores ammonia within a two-layer catalytic converter to turn nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen"– won't appear until 2010. Meanwhile and in any case, Fukui is keeping his eye on the bottom line. "Our diesel cars are going to have an appropriate level of profit from the start," he said, intimating that all that high tech hybrid stuff takes ages to pay off. Which it does. Of course, it helps if you get the branding right…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Brettc Brettc on Jan 15, 2008

    I'd take a look at a TSX wagon with a diesel option. Of course, since Honda abandoned wagons in the 90s, I don't one coming back to North America any time soon. Which is really too bad. I guess I'd have to either wait for the new Jetta wagon, or find an older one.

  • Wstansfi Wstansfi on Jan 15, 2008

    I suspect that the clean diesel costs essentially price the technology out of the honda range of cars, where value is a key component. Regarding updates, I agree that the TSX has been languishing, although I see lots on the road, and the RSX really needs to come back as a mini-lux Civic SI. The TL for 2008 gets active noise cancellation in the cabin - that will make it really lux - and I believe in 2009 they're bringing the SH-AWD to the TL. That should fix the current problems with FWD torque steer and really give it the luxury feel that it usually carries most of the time anyway.

  • Bfg9k Bfg9k on Jan 15, 2008

    The only Honda diesel I care about is the forthcoming V6 diesel powered Odyssey. That would be a car I'd buy new.

  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Jan 15, 2008

    Well, this is quite interesting in terms of marketing. Honda is using diesel engines as a premium feature. I say this because Toyota is putting diesel's in the FJ and Tundra which are not premium vehicles but makes sense in overall big picture. 4 cylinder diesel screams frugalness and should be in the CRV or Civic. Honda should put the V6 diesel in their Acura CUV.