Honda Malaysia is mulling over the possibility of introducing Honda’s latest Earth Dreams series 1.6-litre D-TEC clean diesel engine in the near future, possibly in time for the next generation 2017 Honda CR-V.
The move is part of Honda Malaysia’s wider effort to progressively renew its powertrain line-up, which will also see a 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo debuting in Malaysia soon, possibly by 2017 in the all-new Honda Civic, which is likely to make its global debut next year.
The 1.6-litre D-TEC engine was launched at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October. It is currently fitted to the European-market Honda CR-V and HR-V.
The turbo diesel engine complies with Euro-6 emissions standards and produces 160 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque. In comparison, the CR-V 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol produces 155 PS and 190 Nm.
It also uses a two stage turbo system, a high pressure turbo located upstream of the exhaust gas flow, and a low pressure turbo located downstream.
The high-pressure turbo is responsible for air flow to the engine at low engine speeds, while the low-pressure turbo operates at high engine speeds. At mid-range engine speeds, both turbos work in tandem to feed air to the engine. The smaller high-pressure turbo is controlled by a variable geometry turbine (VGT) to ensure quick throttle response and reduce pumping losses at low engine speeds. The low-pressure turbo is controlled by a conventional waste gate valve.
When tuned to meet the European Union’s Euro-6 emissions standard (with exhaust after-treatment), the diesel-powered CR-V consumes just 4.9-litres of diesel per 100 km.
A source familiar with the matter say Honda Malaysia has yet to make a firm decision regarding the i-DTEC engine’s introduction in Malaysia, partly due to the lack of clarity regarding the introduction of Euro-5 diesel in Malaysia.
“No decision has been made but we will continue to study the market, and introduce products that will excite our customers,” said the source.
Euro-5 diesel is reportedly scheduled to be phased in by 2020, but we are not placing our bets on it as introduction of clean diesel fuels have been delayed multiple times.
Under the 2009 National Automotive Policy, it was announced that the government will set a clear target for implementing Euro-4 diesel by 2011, but clearly, this has yet to happen.
Mazda Malaysia currently assembles the SkyActiv-D 2.2-litre diesel CX-5 at the Sime Darby Motors-Berjaya Auto Inokom plant in Kulim but the model is not sold here due to compatibility issues with our Euro-2M diesel. Instead, the Malaysia-assembled CX-5 is exported to Thailand, where Euro-5 diesel fuel is available.
The prospect of a diesel-powered CR-V might fit well within Honda Malaysia’s plan increase its sales in East Malaysia, where diesel-powered 4x4s are in demand.
Last month, Honda Malaysia announced its target to increase its sales in East Malaysia to over 600 units per month in 2016, supported by two recently opened logistics hub in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, and its upcoming regional field office, training facilities and parts warehouse.