Autocar First drive review: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC SE

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Autocar, Monday 12th Nov, 2012.

  1. Autocar Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    onda-civic-diesel-1. Long-awaited diesel motor impresses with its refinement and economy and should broaden the Civic's appeal to European buyers This is the European Civic powered by the Honda’s long-awaited 1.6-litre, 94g/km, diesel engine. Both the car and the new engine will be made at Honda’s Swindon factory for export to mainland Europe.Work on the new engine started around five years ago and it is a very big investment for the company, because it will sell primarily in Europe (although a lower powered version may also be sent to India), where Honda’s sales have collapsed to just 170,000 units per year. For the rest of the world, Honda is investing heavily in petrol-electric hybrids. It’s easy to forget, but the rest of the automotive world - especially Japan and the US - don’t care for diesel engines.Honda says the engine is the lightest in class and has internal friction levels comparable with the best petrol engine. It gets 1800 bar injection (on the lower side by the latest standards), uses a small single turbo and gets a catalyst and DPF filter.It is built around a new aluminium block which uses an open deck block (where the cylinder is surrounded by a continuous water jacket) and it also gets a radically smaller and lighter crankshaft. Compared to the 15.9kg crankshaft in the 2.2-litre Honda diesel, the unit in the new engine weighs 10.1kg - a 36 per cent reduction. The pistons have shorter skirts and are said to be 10 per cent lighter than other best-in-class pistons, both of which should make the engine quick and smoother revving.Having separate crankshaft bearing caps in the lower block (they are integrated in the 2.2-litre engine) has also massively reduced radiated noise, according to the engineers. They also claim that, at 1500rpm, the engine has 40 per cent lower internal friction than a typical rival diesel engine. Impressively, it does without a balancer shaft. The Civic diesel also gets a new, 7kg lighter, six-speed manual gearbox which sits in a stiffer casing. This, and the 47kg saved over the heavier 2.2-litre engine, takes a noticeable 54kg out of the car’s nose.