Following Monday’s reveal of the production version 2016 NSX, Honda Motor Company has announced the $340 million expansion of the Anna, Ohio, engine plant, the largest in Honda’s global production network.
According to Honda: The Anna,Ohio plant will add a third production line dedicated to the assembly of the Earthdreams ™ turbocharged 4 cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine; the first to be produced by Honda in North America. Honda has not disclosed the liter specifications of the engine or the intended application.
However, looking to the lineup and Honda’s soon to be released HR-V, we see the possibility of a sport version in the making for HR-V, utilizing a small displacement turbocharged gasoline engine. We also predict a small displacement (2.0 liter) gasoline, 2 motor hybrid coming to Pilot and Ridgeline late in 2015.
Our reasoning: Turbocharging and hybrid electric technology is a cost effective method of increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions while increasing combined horsepower and exceptional torque. We look to the CR-Z,Accord Hybrid and Acura RLX as working examples; we’ll see where this goes.
As to the return of a Civic Si or Type R hatchback to North America? When looking to Honda’s current and near-future model lineup we don’t see that happening. As demonstrated at the 2014 SEMA Show, Honda Fit is positioned to be the next “hot-hatch” for North America.
With the announced late spring, early summer release of the Honda Fit platformed HR-V sport crossover, the handwritings on the wall. HR-V crossover will be the next Honda sub-compact hot-hatchback. But then again, that’s just our opinion.
In 2014, our readers in Asia and Europe shared with us tales of exceptional fuel economy and high performance attributed to Honda EarthDreams ™ engine and transmission technology.
We’ve driven 2015 CR-V and Honda Fit equipped with direct injected, multiple stage inducted i-VTEC engines,finding both cars to be surprisingly sporty despite small, normally aspirated displacements.
Although we most likely won’t see clean diesel technology as utilized in this 70 mpg Honda, we predict that EarthDreams ™ turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engines will record 30+ mpg ratings in Honda, Acura light trucks, and 40+ mpg in Accord and Civic gasoline only variants, while increasing performance.
EarthDreams ™ engine technology provides exceptional acceleration and torque throughout the rpm range. We look forward to what Honda refers to as “ Fun-to-drive performance,” as afforded through turbocharging