Honda Looks at Hybrids, Diesels, To Power Future Cars

By Automotive Staff | January 09, 2007
Take a good, long look under the hood of a Honda Accord Hybrid in the next couple of years, because you won’t be seeing that powertrain under the hood of an Accord starting in 2009.That’s the year that Honda Motor Co. plans to introduce new super-clean, 50-state-legal diesel engines, starting first with a V-6 diesel in the Ridgeline (pictured), but also including a 2.2 to a 2.4 litre four-cylinder diesel in the Accord. The new diesel engine is designed to operate without the urea injection system that will be used in the DaimlerChrysler Bluetec diesel to meet the new, stringent exhaust regulations; rather, the catalytic converter will manufacture ammonia to be re-injected into the exhaust stream to clean the emissions. This will ensure that the engine can meet the ultra-clean Tier II Bin 5 standards. When Honda makes this new diesel engine available in the Accord in 2009, it will cease manufacturing the Accord Hybrid. Diesel also looks to be the alternative-fuel star for Honda’s larger cars, SUVs, and possibly trucks. If you are looking for a hybrid from Honda, though, they will still be around: they’ll just be *** on the smaller cars, such as the Civic and possibly even the Fit (though Honda is not saying publicly which models might wind up being a hybrid in the years to come).
Our take? Honda’s president, Takeo *** has said that the company is considering making a small diesel in the future. If so, we think that it is most likely destined for the European market, where diesels are highly favored. It will be interesting to gauge the car-buying public’s interest in diesels when the new clean diesels start appearing in North America. Additional articles: Honda Fuel Cell Cars: The Future Is Hydrogen Diesel cars returning to California? 'Hypermiling' to squeeze every last mpg Via: Winding Road