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Honda aims to raise the bar with ‘Earth Dreams Technology’

words - Gautam Sharma
Japanese carmaker’s new plan calls for industry-leading fuel efficiency in every vehicle class within three years
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Honda has elaborated on its next-gen ‘Earth Dreams Technology’ drivetrains announced as part of a broad-brush plan at the Tokyo Motor Show last week. Working within the program will allegedly enable it to achieve industry-leading fuel efficiency for every category within three years.

The Japanese manufacturer has also set a timeline of 2020 to reduce by 30 per cent CO2 emissions for all products sold worldwide (relative to emission figures for 2000).

Earth Dreams Technology is basically just a fanciful name for new drivetrain tech designed to performance and economy through optimised engines, transmissions and electric-powered motor technology.

Honda’s new petrol engines will feature an enhanced VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control System) system that’s claimed to improve thermal efficiency and minimise friction.

The new engine tech was first used in the miniscule N Box, and it will now filter through the rest of the range across a wide range of engine sizes -- 660cc, 1.3L, 1.5L, 1.8L, 2.0L, 2.4L, and 3.5L.

The 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines feature direct-injection technology and the Atkinson cycle using the DOHC, VTEC system as the base. For the 2.0-litre hybrid engines, an electric water pump eliminates the need for an engine-driven belt and contributes to a reduction in friction.

Meanwhile, the 2.4-litre engine also features direct injection and a range of friction-reduction measures that are claimed to bring a five per cent improvement in power and fuel efficiency, along with a 10 per cent boost in torque.

The range-topping 3.5-litre engine similarly gains direct injection and new valve-train mechanisms to improve fuel economy by 10 per cent and power by five per cent.

And as previously reported, the existing 2.2-litre diesel makes way for a lightweight, low-friction 1.6-litre unit that’s said to make for better vehicle balance by placing less weight over the front axle.

Also in the pipeline is a more efficient CVT with ‘G-Design Shift’ – a new control system for transmission, throttle, and hydraulics to make for faster response and acceleration.

Meanwhile, a new high-output SH-AWD electric hybrid system for the 3.5-litre V6 is claimed to deliver the punch of a V8 along with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder engine.

The hybrid uses independent 20kW+ motors for each of the rear wheels, while a
built-in 30kW+ high-efficiency motor is paired with the engine. And, in another Honda first, the drivetrain features a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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Powered By Motoring.com.au Published : Wednesday, 7 December 2011


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