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Honda Odyssey

Honda Pilot

Honda Ridgeline
Honda to introduce a new 3.5 liter V6 diesel by 2010

While many domestic and foreign automakers are looking to hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency across their auto lines, Honda is looking towards the tried and true: diesel engines.

It was reported last month that the next generation Honda Accord would forgo its slow-selling and poor-performing Accord Hybrid with a diesel variant. The oil-burning Honda Accord will feature a 2.2 liter i-CTDi Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel engine along with an ammonia-filled catalytic converter to reduce NOx emissions.

Honda is also poised to make a new 3.5 liter V6 diesel engine available for its larger vehicles including the Odyssey minivan, Pilot mid-sized SUV and the Ridgeline mid-sized pickup truck. The new Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel will first be available in 2010 according to the Japanese Nikkei newspaper.

The engine is said to be 30 percent more fuel efficient than Honda's current 3.5 liter V6 gasoline engine (rated at 17/24, 15/20 and 15/20 respectively in the Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline based on 2008 EPA estimates). The new motor is also said to produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide as the 3.5 liter V6 gasoline engine.

Honda's new diesels likely won't come under as much scrutiny for failure to achieve EPA estimates as has been the case with hybrids. Honda knows this first-hand as it recently became the target of a class-action lawsuit regarding poor fuel economy on the Civic Hybrid.

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RE: It amuses me
By Martin Blank on 7/11/2007 11:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
The avoidance of diesel was not an avoidance of efficiency. Reliability problems with diesel engines a few decades ago -- including those imported from Europe -- lingered in the minds of American drivers, and pollution problems (sulfur and PM10 emissions in particular) made it difficult to pass smog requirements in some areas. Those issues were solved, but there was no pressure in the US due to low fuel prices to re-examine them carefully.

RE: It amuses me
By Anh Huynh on 7/11/2007 11:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
The old GM diesels of the '80s left a sour taste in a lot of people.

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 12:23:53 PM , Rating: 1
You mean the 6.2 liter diesel that gm put in its trucks. that same diesel that I have seen for myself get 30 mpg in a full size truck. That feat has not been reproduced since. If you referring to it being not as powerful as the competition, well then it would leave a bad taste (it was fuel efficient not a stump puller). But, who wouldn't mind seeing that motor come back in a mid 200 hp variant that could still do those numbers in full size trucks today. Oh wait, it probably wouldn't, most truck buyers want a parachute on the front of their truck now (see new Ford superduty front grille). No motor will make good mpg with that much drag on the front.

RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 12:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 1978 Cadillac diesel motor with the archaic CCC engine control module. Get real.

Since the mid-late 80s diesel motors have had a definite place as they are still unrivaled for torque output. Modern designs like the duramax or powerstroke series are very powerful, efficient, and above all have great drivability.

The only reason diesel isn't more popular is because the motors are massively more expensive. Most car buyers today have never even seen one of the smoky early-mid-70s diesels, so they don't have any opinion either way.

RE: It amuses me
By FITCamaro on 7/11/2007 12:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about old diesels, but I know the diesel's in Ford's F250 line are loud as hell. GMs are at least quieter.

That said, I'm all for diesel's. I love torque. And a turbo diesel is basically a magnet for boost. But yes they are more expensive and heavy due to requiring iron blocks instead of aluminum and the insanely high compression ratios required.

Biodiesel is definitely a good alternative to gas. Just the problem is producing it.

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
The new 6.4l powerstrokes as of this year are much quieter. The problem with them is they had to increase the front grille and radiator by 20% to accomodate more heat dissipation. I don't know about anyone else, but to need that much more cooling on a refresh of an existing motor tells me they may be pushing the envelope of that design with that much power. Or, they have a design flaw. It should not run that hot. The dual turbocharger may have something to do with it.

RE: It amuses me
By bhieb on 7/11/2007 1:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is probably due to the ultra-low sulphur fuel requirements. The engine has to reburn the exahust then run it through a catalyst. All this adds heat to the engine. Not saying it couldn't be done differently, but with turbos and all the exahaust temp would be outrageous.

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 2:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
That could very well be the case, but, they do not have the same stringent requirement due to being only sold in heavy duty class trucks, therefore get exemptions from the government on fuel and emissions. Any vehicle over 8600 lbs. gvwr is exempt from the most stringent standards. So if Ford went ultra low emmission on this motor, good for them. But I doubt it as they can't package it to the size of vehicles that could benefit from it.

RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 2:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
EGR actually lowers combustion temperature slightly. Just sayin ;)

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong, they are not more popular because they won't pass emissions. Ever wonder why a duramax diesel, with all it power, and better gas mileage than most of the gas engines, only gets used in heavy duty trucks? Its because half ton trucks, and suvs have a higher epa standards, and cannot use them. Period. Heavy duty trucks get a pass. That's why you can put a 8.1 liter big block that gets 9 mpg in a 3/4 ton suburban, but not the diesel(particulate emissions). You want to talk about the reliability, go nuts, they did suck. This thread is more on the efficiency and emissions, and that 6.2 diesel was amazing for its time in efficiency. It wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell passing current epa standards though. And if you think a diesel engine is monumentally more expensive to build, then you don't understand the nature of how they work. They are expensive, because they are not produced in quantity as gas v8's and companies recoup r&d with high option tags, because the people who really want them, are gonna pay for them.

RE: It amuses me
By Zapp Brannigan on 7/11/2007 1:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
Naa man, Diesels are more expensive because they cost more to make. They are an overbuilt design because diesel isn't just ignited like a Gas/Petrol engine, it's exploded. the pressures it has to stand are much higher then a gas/petrol engine has to and so they design the engines to be way more durable, this is also way most diesels have turbo's because they can cope with the increased stress.

In America though, your probably right, diesels arn't as mass produced, in europe, that's completely different, pretty much all HGV's, Buses and LGV's sold now are Diesel, but are still more expensive then Gas/Petrol variants.

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 1:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sure they need to be overbuilt in comparison to a gas engine, but, when you look at all the vvt and now active fuel management tech used in gm's gas engines, are they really more expensive? it really does come down to the fact that if they were viable options in half ton and small pickups, they would be produced in mass quantity and not nearly as expensive. If our Epa standards weren't so ridiculously high, I could at least have the choice. the standards on diesel are so high now that I believe even the vw tdi cannot be sold in 2007. They want the exhaust cleaner than the air it takes in, lol

RE: It amuses me
By mongrelchild on 7/11/2007 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 3
"And if you think a diesel engine is monumentally more expensive to build, then you don't understand the nature of how they work."

I'm an ME, so i have a better than average understanding of the diesel ignition cycle and the associated componentry stresses. The fact is that the engines are built tougher with more expensive grades of iron/steel and to tighter tolerance. The injection system and associated componentry is also more complex. They cost more as a result.

Efficiency is not a big issue, as most diesel designs are very efficient under steady-state loads. Where the advantage falls apart is under transient conditions where efficiency is obliterated.... Though this is getting better as the control system becomes more sophisticated and precise.

A gas motor in most applications is cheap and relatively easy to get working efficiently and with good drivability. And the powerband is much wider and arguably more useful. This is why they are so widespread. Also, forced induction for small displacement motors is a luxury for gas motors.To get acceptable (by north ameriacn standards) output and emissions out of a small diesel, it's basically a requirement.

RE: It amuses me
By Andrwken on 7/11/2007 2:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree with you totally on the high compression fuel delivery systems used nowadays. That does come at a cost. I also agree on the forced induction systems necessary for output. But, having spent 7 years working for a ductile iron foundry can assure you that mettalurgy cost and the materials needed to increase the strength of components is really a null issue. It is a very minimal cost to increase the amounts of copper used to increase the hardness of engine components(yes copper actually hardens cast iron when mixed), its more in finding the right mix initially, and not a long term expense. But just look at the active fuel management used in the gas engines, that is a complicated computer controlled valve body added into the manifold assembly that shuts down the oil to the hydraulic lifters and therefore shutting down cylinders. This kind of tech can add a significant cost to a motor except for the fact that it is mass produced and doesn't leverage a high dollar option due to large volume. if the diesels were sold in higher volume, I don't believe they would have the high price tags they do either. But, I suppose they can always charge a premium for high mileage motors now too ;)

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