Honda Investing $340M For Increased Fuel-Efficient Engine Production
January 15th, 2015 12:02 AM Share
Honda announced Tuesday it would invest $340 million into its Anna, Ohio engine plant to help increase production of its family of fuel-efficient engines.
Bloomberg reports the automaker added a new assembly line at the plant for production of its new VTEC turbo-four engine family. The engines, which increase efficiency with variable valve technology, are set to arrive in vehicles later this year.
Other clean-vehicle projects in the works by Honda include the production version of the FCV Concept seen at this year’s Detroit Auto Show for 2016, the Acura NSX hybrid exotic car due later in 2015, and both a PHEV and an EV by 2018.
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Published January 15th, 2015 9:00 AM
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18 of 44 comments
Turbonetics Inc. a turbocharger supplier and the engine cover looks great.
Obviously false. Honda would never turn to turbocharging. We've been assured by several authoritative sources that turbochargers are not reliable.
Like tweaking the Acura beak forever, Honda persists in using outdated VTEC technology. Everyone and his dog uses variable phasers on the cams, and some even have variable lift mechanisms like BMW and Infiniti as well. But no, Honda sticks to VTEC, a mere two position overlap and lift strategy. It's as if they enjoy banging their heads on a brick wall, just to see how much it hurts. Compared to removing the outdated valve system and updating it, requiring all new cylinder heads, adding a turbo is a walk in the park.
As a former DOHC VTEC owner and theoretical fan, a recent car buying experience has "awakened" me to the folly of those old powerplants. The flat torque curves of those DOHC VTEC motors made for pretty inflexible street driving. Max grunt was only available in the lowest gear possible, and highway merging meant whizzing up to the 8-9K redlines. I.e. unlike in a car with a fast spinning motor with HP and torque, winding up the engine was a necessity, not a choice or indulgence. The flat torque curve also made for weirdly disorienting uneventful acceleration... you just waited for the engine to get up to operating speed and rode out a relatively weak surge of forward momentum. I felt like I was always waiting for a blast of power that never materialized. I was recently in the market for a practical replacement to my 350Z... I looked at a few enthusiast approved rides like the GTI, which was fun but just too expensive and too much of a crapshoot, as well as the 8th gen Si (the best of the Civic breed). The K20 checked all the DOHC VTEC buttons... smooth operating and high revving. But man despite it having the ability to accumulate speed quickly, cruising on the street it didn't have much more punch than the regular Civic, and it was also a good bit thrashier and choppier riding. So the regular Civic is what I went with. Quick enough to commute and cruise on the highway at cop friendly speeds, supple enough to commute comfortably 2 hours a day, but still frisky and light enough to be fun when driven in anger. Pretty much the successor to the 1990-1997 Accords (hence the screen name). I think Honda is wise to jump on the turbo bandwagon. As great as thrashy fast spinning engines are to wind up on the perfect drive, in the real world midrange is king and gas mileage matters. I think Honda learned a lot from the 2.3 failure in the RDX and will come out strong with these new lumps. If they can pony up the cash for cam phasing on the exhaust valves they will have a real contender for performance and efficiency.