Honda has developed a low-emission three-litre V6 engine equipped with variable cylinder management. It reportedly delivers as much as 186 kW when accelerating, but can cut back to just three cylinders when cruising.

Honda has developed a low-emission three-litre V6 engine equipped with variable cylinder management. It reportedly delivers as much as 186 kW when accelerating, but can cut back to just three cylinders when cruising.


According to reports, the new V6 offers an average fuel economy comparable with that of a 2,4-litre four-cylinder engine such as the powerplant of the Accord 2,4 Type S that was launched in South Africa at the beginning of the year (9,44 litres per 100 km).


The new powertrain uses what Honda calls "variable cylinder management" and was designed to meet Japan's ultralow emissions and 2012 fuel consumption standards.


To cut emissions, the designers have located high-density catalytic converters directly below each cylinder head for improved exhaust quality at low engine temperatures.


The engine also cuts vibration and noise. When operating in three-cylinder mode, engine roughness is reduced by sensing vibrations from the change in crankshaft rotation speed and sending the information to an active control engine mount, which compresses and extends an actuator in a same-phase, same-period motion to dampen the engine mount.


Similarly, a speaker creates an opposite phase sound or "active noise control," for a cancelling effect, thereby leaving the driver unaware of changes in the number of cylinders being used.


Meanwhile, Honda recently unveiled an all-new 2,2-litre diesel engine that will be fitted to vehicles the Accord range. The first models equipped with this will go on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.


The new engine, a four-cylinder, 16-valve all-aluminium unit with common-rail fuel injection, will develop "more than 340Nm" of torque and peak power of 104 kW and "will provide the best driving comfort in its class, ideal for long-distance, high-mileage drivers", a company spokesman said. It will also have emissions levels "well below" the Euro IV requirements.


Honda is focusing on this diesel engine in its attempts to capture more of the mainstream car market. There are no immediate projects to develop more models with the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) petrol-electric hybrid technology.


CARtoday.com reported last month that Honda’s one-litre and 1,3-litre IMA units won their respective categories at the International Engine of the Year awards and Honda is confident that sales of hybrids will continue to grow in the short term.


"In Japan and America, IMA is an accepted technology. It's a solution that works for Honda... the mainstream brands don't have one (a hybrid). This gives us a unique proposition versus conventional engines. What IMA gives us is a completely different product that side-steps the opposition," the spokesman added.