Not sure what Honda is trying to achieve, A relatively new comer in Diesel engines tries to make thin walled Engine throwing away the popular practice of thick metal die cast.Are we going to see Deisel engines wearing out like petrol engines earlier than what it is now about 4-6 lakh Kms ? Let us discuss this bring out your thoughts and shoot them in to this thread. The heart of the matter which, for any Honda, continues to remain its powerplant. A bit of history is wrought in here because for long Honda as also many other Japanese marques shunned diesels like the plague and the ferocity with which Honda’s engineers and management resented the compression ignition engine was vehemently felt. Grudgingly, for Europe a diesel was needed especially as regards its Accord plus also the CR-V and it was for these products that it came up with an all-aluminium block and head 2.2-litre i-CTDI diesel, reputed to be one of the most sophisticated engines ever to come out of Japan. However, Honda didn’t want to peddle this any beyond Europe given the complexity of the engine and also its ability to only run on high grade diesel with very low sulphur content. The harsh economic climate though was the one which forced Honda to re-evaluate its intransigence vis-à-vis its move to develop a range of diesels and with markets like India and Europe being huge on diesel acceptance and usage there had to be progress on all new small diesels and that is where the firm’s Earth Dream Technology programme got underway. This was close to 2010 when work began and as we have witnessed with the 1.6-litre i-DTEC unit which debuted at the Paris Auto Salon a month ago, the new 1.5-litre i-DTEC for India is just that very unit but with a shorter stroke and slightly different exhaust treatment. The move to a 1.5-litre displacement was also dictated by our excise dispensation and overall the architecture and design plus construction and ancillaries are common between the two. While we have seen oil burners and some of the best there are in the world, Honda’s moves with thin wall die-cast techniques have been tremendous and not only has weight been pared off massively, this has happened without impinging on structural integrity. It has all come above by virtue of good design and the need to scrub off power-sapping frictional losses. The upside to this is a small unit which spins to just above 4200rpm, makes do with tremendous lugging ability (serious torque develops from just around 1200rpm and then the thick torque stream hits its peak and surges on from 1500rpm and above till 3000rpm). With the 1.6-litre in Europe rated for 120PS and 300Nm of torque, one can safely be looking at 110PS and about the same torque for the 1.5-litre here in India. No figures were released by Honda on the engine’s vital stats but what were divulged were the shorter stroke and also the same all-new 5-speed gearbox as on the European 1.6-litre i-DTEC unit. The interesting thing about the new motor is that it makes do with a fixed geometry rotor in the turbocharger (sourced from Garratt) but the engine designers have said that a VGT is on the cards for more powerful versions indicating quite what we said over a month ago – larger powered versions with the same displacement would be found to do duty in cars not just like the City but is also a possibility in the Civic giving a new lease of life for Honda’s mid-size executive express.