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Honda develops VTEC Turbo direct injection gasoline engine family, including 1.0L 3-cylinder unit

1.0 L 3-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. Click to enlarge.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has newly developed the VTEC Turbo, a direct injection gasoline turbo engine family most suitable for small-to-medium-sized vehicles. The VTEC TURBO is a new addition to Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology suite.

Featuring the application of Honda’s VTEC variable valve control technology along with direct injection turbocharging with highly-fluidized combustion and a thorough reduction in engine friction, this engine achieves class-leading output and environmental performance, while downsizing engine displacement, Honda said. The new VTEC Turbo lineup currently has three members: 2.0L, 1.4L and 1.0L engines:

  • 2.0L 4-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. High output and high response were achieved by VTEC, a high-output turbocharger, direct injection technology, and a high-performance cooling system. This engine realizes the maximum output of more than 280 hp (209 kW) as well as high environmental performance that complies with the EURO 6, European emission standards which will become effective in 2014.

  • 1.5 L 4-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine / 1.0 L 3-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. These are next-generation compact engines that combine a base engine with a newly designed framework, the VTEC variable valve train system with thoroughly reduced friction, a turbocharger with a low moment of inertia and high responsiveness, and direct injection technology to achieve good balance between high output and torque, above those of conventional naturally-aspirated engines, along with excellent fuel economy.

1.5 L 4-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. Click to enlarge.   2.0 L 4-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. Click to enlarge.

The first VTEC Turbo to come to Europe will be the 2.0L variant, which will appear in the forthcoming Civic Type R.


Freddy Torres

Increases in efficiency are welcome no matter where they come from but I hope someday soon, all car companies realize that power has to come from the electric drivetrain while extreme efficiency must come from the internal combustion engine. How much longer do we have to wait for a 1.0L turbo charged directly injected ATKINSON engine? At least Lexus built the GS450h which has a similar drivetrain as the one I mentioned above except there is no turbo and it uses a big V6. Perhaps Lexus should buy the technology from Teslamotors for that powerful electric drivetrain for the rear wheels and then use a 1.0L turbo charged directly injected ATKINSON engine coupled to both a CVT for the front wheels and an electric generator to recharge the batteries.


The 1% will steal more, so basic personal transportation will have to be cheaper.

Car/EV statistics show 40 mile range covers ~80% of daily travel -

The problem is range anxiety that remaining 20% of travel, which might include 100's of daily miles during a annual vacation.

A EV battery/motor eliminates 1000s of expensive machined parts and emissions, but presently, battery economics demand a genset for recharging those extra 100s of daily vacation miles.

IMHO, a Chinese "extended range BMW i3" for a fourth the price and nearly half the electric range could meet the cheapest auto trade-offs and emissions.



The Atkinson cycle isn't supercharged. Doing so would negate a good part of its efficiency advantage. Here's a quick explanation: the Atkinson cycle works because it behaves like a smaller capacity engine on the intake stroke and a larger capacity engine on the expansion stroke. This means that it can extract a little more energy out of expansion.
Turbocharging does almost the opposite (makes an engine behave as if it had a higher capacity on the intake stroke).
You can look-up "Miller Cycle" if you want to know more. There's a reason why almost no one has used this cycle in automotive engines, and those that did used it for power rather than economy. However, it can have efficiency advantages in industrial engines that mostly run at constant revs.



It may be that "40 mile range covers ~80% of daily travel", but the other 20% is when we most need a car: when we need to pick-up a sick child from school, when we have a dentist appointment, when a winter storm makes the commute into a nightmare, or simply when meeting friends after work.

Most people don't want a car that can only make it to work and back, just as most people don't want to get on an airplane that doesn't have enough fuel to reach alternate destinations in bad weather.



You are correct about the Atkinson/Miller cycle (for example the GE Jenbacher gas engine which uses Miller cycle cam timing achieves 48.7 % efficiency).
However, you might consider that a range extender like the Chevy Volt or even the new Honda Accord PHEV (which uses the ICE only in high gear, since it has no transmission) would operate the ICE at or near the optimum similar to an industrial engine.


Also, it is rumored that the next generation Chevy Volt will have the new GM 3 cylinder 1L engine which was shown at the 2013 Frankfort Auto Show in the Opel Monza Concept Car. This engine is similar to both the Ford 1L EcoBoost and the Honda engine in this article.


Many near future PHEVs will use much smaller, lighter ICE range extender, 1.0L and even as small as 660 cc could become common.

Using much smaller, lighter ICE will allow the use of larger battery packs without increasing total weight.

With more battery capacity (60+ miles or 100 Km) future PHEVs ICEs will be very seldom used. An ultra light, ultra compact rotary engine could do the job?


People want utility, some can say 70 mile range is fine for an EV, but they won't buy one. Put in a range extender that can create 40 kW for a few thousand dollars more and you have a winner. You can make up the extra cost with fewer batteries.


Bernard, do you understand that the i3, w/genset, can travel, if needed, as long as one puts gas in the tank?

My point is that electric motor power can be cheaper than large machined gas engines - rather less the 5-8 speed transmissions.

The genset, only needed 20% of the time, can be small, simple, cheap, and constant speed - with battery buffering eliminating transmission expense and 90% of moving parts maintenance and expense.



Lots of cars can travel "as long as one puts gas in the tank." That's not new. The i3 is a technological marvel, because of its construction techniques, but it's really just a series plug-in hybrid once you order the genset.

That means it's got twice the complexity compared to a similar-sized modern compact, and two thirds of the carrying capacity.

I'm not sure where people get the idea that "moving parts maintenance" is expensive. I've got well over 100,000 miles on one car on nothing but oil, filter and plugs, with no signs of decay. The big maintenance expenses are tires, brakes, suspension, ancillaries, none of which are cheaper with a heavier same-sized hybrid. Brake jobs are cheaper and less frequent on my car than they are on a Prius, so the hybrid advantage is purely theoretical.


Bernard, "I'm not sure where people get the idea that "moving parts maintenance" is expensive." [wear and tear] can be answered by,
".. oil, filter and plugs," plus you haven't mentioned a full tune-up, transmission fluid change(s)/overhauls/adjustments, piston ring job, pollution check fail, O2 sensor(s), crankcase vent, etc, etc.

EVERY TIME a ICE auto dealer can get a car in the shop, there's over $100/hour labor, parts, fluids, and "something we better fix or lose the warranty."

Anyway, soon ICE emissions won't meet pollution limits - at any price.


"full tune-up, transmission fluid change(s)/overhauls/adjustments, piston ring job, pollution check fail, O2 sensor(s), crankcase vent"?

Sounds like you got a lemon. Modern cars do not require engine-out jobs within their designed lifecycle.

I don't believe that manufacturers will stop building lemons post-ICE.


My 2006 ICE car has over a dozen inspect or replace engine related items/fluids every 3k to 15k miles during a 100k mile warranty, which the dealer determines does/doesn't meet warranty.

There's also gas prices that can and have doubled in just weeks - often for any storm, refining, OPEC, supply, demand, holiday, unknown, etc, etc reason.

When EV motors/batteries/gensets are made in the millions vs present thousands unit scale, their prices will be a faction of today's costs - just as electricity is a fraction of gasoline prices.

Then there



You need to buy a decent GM vehicle:) I have 160,000 miles on my 2005 GM truck and I have never even changed the plugs or done any other work other than oil and filter changes and I absolutely beat the $hit out if by hauling steel and driving off road with a camper.


sd, if a truck is needed, fine, but the empty suburban pickups everywhere waste gas and increase gas prices.

In 8 years, only a engine light(bad O2 sensor) has interrupted my travel. But that doesn't mean I like battling dealer 'better fix - warranty says..' >$100 hour repairs/'inspections'.

My prior GM could only be warrantied for 36,000 miles.

Plenty of people/businesses have electric motors that have not been "on the rack" or "back to the dealer" for many, many DECADES.


I find it interesting that the American manufacturers were the first ones out with this technology. Honda and others are following. That's quite different than a lifetime of technological implementation from the Japanese. I'm old enough to remember when the only 4 valve, DOHC, 4 cylinder cars available were from Japanese manufacturers. And, wow, were they nicer than the pushrod and SOHC clunkers of the American manufacturers.

As for "Plug in Hybrids" with range extenders. Today, they are not good enough. The battery packs are too small, limiting the performance, the range too limited and the cost and weight too high. In my mind, for a PHEV to sell, it must perform extremely well under battery power alone. The engine should be a very secondary consideration. My recent Ford Fusion Energi test drive around the 9 mile "loop" city/highway resulted in a bit of frustration. On a full charge, the car could not achieve current highway speeds without engaging the engine. I made it to 67MPH, in a 70 zone, traffic moving faster than that. I was in the right lane, holding people up badly. After 9 miles of sub practical driving, the battery was more than half depleted. Even a school bus out accelerated me in the city section of the loop.

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