DETROIT —Motor Co. Ltd. President and CEO Hiroyuki Yoshino says at this month's North American International Auto Show that the company is in the process of changing its entire automotive engine range to produce a new generation of ultra-low emissions engines.
The new low-emissions engines will, at least at first, be only 4-cyl. engines in the 2L range, thus the technology likely won't initially figure into the dealrecently made with Corp. to supply GM will low-emissions V-6 engines of a current design (see WEVTU — Dec. 15, '99, p.3).
Engine manufacturing lines in Japan, Mr. Yoshino says, already are being reconfigured to produce the new engine series that, when compared to today's typical Honda 2L 4-cyl. engine, will be 10% lighter and smaller, yield 10% to 20% better fuel economy and meet California's new Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) emissions standard. Moreover, says Mr. Yoshino, the new engines will offer better overall performance and improved low-speed torque.
The first of Honda's new generation of engines will be introduced in Japan later this year and will be offered in the U.S. in 2001. The new engines also will be built in the U.S. By 2005, Honda says it will have replaced its entire automotive engine range with the new low-emitting, high-power design.
Adding to the punch of Honda's proposed new engine designs is a promise from Mr. Yoshino that the company also will adopt the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system found in the new, high-mileage Insight hybrid-electric vehicle for “mass-market models” in the future. The IMA system is crucial to the Insight's outstanding fuel economy rating of 70 mpg (3.4L/100 km) on the highway.
Mr. Yoshino does not offer a timeframe for adoption of IMA into engines for mass-market vehicles, but does say that the system will be combined with the coming high-tech 4-cyl. engine design.