TOKYO -- Pledging that his company will have "the No. 1 fuel economy in each [vehicle] category within the next three years," Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito unveiled a lineup of redesigned four- and six-cylinder engines and a family of continuously variable transmissions.
The engines will start arriving in Honda vehicles next year. All will be offered by the end of 2013 in at least one Honda vehicle.
The engines, which will be promoted under the Earth Dreams brand, have direct injection and double-overhead cams.
Some vehicles now on the market could receive the new engines mid-cycle, before the vehicles receive full redesigns, said Keiji Ohtsu, a chief engineer with Honda R&D Co. But some current Honda vehicles could keep their base single-cam four-bangers as a cost-saving measure until they get a full redesign.
"We could be first in the marketplace" for fuel economy, said Tetsuo Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co. "That could bring the Honda name back up."
The specifications for the new Honda engines are:
-- A 3.5-liter V-6 with 310 hp and 265 pounds-feet of torque. This is 30 more horsepower and 11 more pounds-feet than the outgoing 3.5-liter engine in the Acura TL. But the V-6 will retain a single-cam setup.
-- A 2.4-liter inline-four with 181 hp and 177 pounds-feet of torque. This will be the base engine in the redesigned Accord coming next fall, and could find its way into the mid-cycle change for the CR-V in 2013.
-- A 1.8-liter inline-four with 148 hp and 133 pounds-feet of torque, which could be installed in the 2013 midcycle change for the Civic.
-- A 1.5-liter inline-four with 127 hp and 111 pounds-feet of torque for the Fit, perhaps in time for the mid-cycle change in 2012.
-- A 1.6-liter turbodiesel that has comparable power to a current 2.2-liter diesel, with 220 pounds-feet of torque, but much better fuel economy. Sources say this engine likely will come to the United States in addition to its traditional European application.
Ohtsu said the power figures were preliminary and likely understated. Compared to the current four-cylinder engines, each of the new designs will carry at least a 10 percent fuel economy advantage.