Published on March 22nd, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Honda’s History for Turbo-Charged Engines

While further detail on performance is yet to be announced, Honda has confirmed that the forthcoming Type R will be the first model in Europe to feature one of its brand new VTEC TURBO engines from the Earth Dreams Technology range. The two-litre, direct injection, four-cylinder turbo is expected to deliver class-leading output of at least 280PS and will be EURO 6 compliant.

Goodyear 650x85(DSF)
Turbo engines have not been seen in Honda’s production cars in Europe for some time, however, the company has continued to actively develop turbo technology, deploying it on the race track and in road cars in other regions. The 2013 WTCC season saw Honda successfully return to the track with the turbo-charged HR412E in the Civic; powering the Castrol Honda World Touring Car team and Zengo Motorsport team to Manufacturers’ Champion in Honda‘s first full season.

Honda’s successful return to WTCC in 2013, has been instrumental in gathering knowledge that has helped shape the new Type R, providing the development team with analysis and feedback on performance and styling collected from the track to assist in the creation of a ‘racing car for the road’ from the Civic hatchback.

The manufacturer’s long history in developing turbo engines for success on the track dates back decades, with one stand-out example being Honda’s turbo-charged RA168E used in Formula One. In the 1988 F1 season the RA168E powered Honda to set eight new records, including the most race victories (15 out of 16), the most Constructors points (199) and the most one-two finishes (10). The season also saw Honda take both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships for the second consecutive year.

Additionally, the 2013 American Le Mans Series saw Honda Performance Development and its teams dominate, with Scott Tucker taking his third consecutive drivers title in the ARX-03b. Powered by the Honda HR28TT twin-turbo V6 engine, the ARX-03b produces 450hp from 2800cc displacement. In the Japanese Super GT series, GT300 class, the CR-Z GT has used a turbo engine since 2013; while the 2014 NSX Concept –GT, in the GT500 class will feature a two-litre turbo engine coupled with hybrid technology.

Honda also continues to deploy turbo-charged engines in production cars in markets outside of Europe. The 1988 Legend introduced a 2.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine with a variable “Wing Turbo” that could regulate exhaust stream and efficiently utilise charging pressure. More recently, the Acura RDX launched in 2008 with a 2.3-litre 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine utilising i-VTEC intake valve control; combining Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™). With the variable flow turbocharger working in unison with i-VTEC, the RDX delivers strong power and torque, excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Rated output for the engine is 240 hp at 6000 rpm, with 260 lb-ft Nm of torque at 4500 rpm.

Many smaller Honda models also utilise turbo engines in order to deliver a dynamic ride; for example, the 1982 City Turbo through to the successful N-ONE turbo model released in Japan, in 2012.

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