News Release 1997  
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AutomobileJapanFebruary 17, 1997
Honda Introduces Its First Two Clean Air Vehicles, the Civic Ferio LEV and Partner 1.6 LEV

Tokyo, February 17, 1997 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduces today its Civic Ferio LEV and Partner 1.6 LEV, its first two clean air vehicles boasting emission levels only 1/10th of those permitted by present regulations, thus achieving the world's lowest emission levels. They will be available nationwide starting today, February 17, through Honda Primo dealers for the Civic Ferio LEV, and all Honda dealers for the Partner 1.6 LEV.

These are the first two members in a coming family of new "Honda Clean Air Vehicles" showcasing the advantages of a variety of energy sources. They are the outcome of Honda's continued search for more environmentally friendly vehicles, be it through cleaner gasoline-powered vehicles or the adoption of alternative energy sources such as natural gas and electric vehicles.

As a first step, research concentrated on gasoline-powered vehicles. Very stringent "Honda LEV" standards were set for this purpose, eventually leading to the dramatic reductions in smog and acid rain generating CO, HC and NOx emissions under normal daily conditions that we are able to announce today.

Civic Ferio LEV/Partner 1.6 LEV Emission Levels



CO HC NOx
11-mode
test results
Civic Ferio LEV/Partner LEV 4.5 0.55 0.20
Japanese Standard (maximum) 85.0 9.50 6.00
Japanese Standard (average) 60.0 7.00 4.40
Emissions (vs. average std.) - 92.5% - 92.1% -95.5%
10.15-mode
test results
Civic Ferio LEV/Partner LEV 0.37 0.02 0.03
Japanese Standard (maximum) 2.70 0.39 0.48
Japanese Standard (average) 2.10 0.25 0.25
Emissions (vs. average std.) - 82.4% - 92.0% -88.0%

Unit: 11-mode (g/test), 10.15-mode (g/km)

  • 11-mode is suburb-town in-bound test course with cold start.
  • 10.15-mode includes 10-mode Tokyo in-town main road average course and 15-mode highway to slow traffic course, more representative of big city traffic.

MAIN TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE "HONDA LEV"

In order to achieve the high demands set by the "HONDA LEV" standards, it was necessary to reduce CO (carbon monoxide), HC (hydrocarbon) and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions under various circumstances from cold start to frequent acceleration and deceleration conditions.

The technologies adopted are as follows:

  • A tumble port design to promote stable combustion immediately after engine start.
  • An air-fuel ratio controller with fuel adhesion compensation for a very precise air-fuel ratio control during driving.
  • A thin-walled catalytic converter-integrated exhaust manifold for immediate catalytic converter operation after engine start.
  • A 400-cell catalytic converter to increase the contact area between the exhaust gases and the catalyst.

Using the above technologies, a leaner air-fuel mixture during cold start conditions, computer controlled air-fuel ratio optimization, and increased catalytic converter operation efficiency have been combined into a three-step process to create the world's cleanest vehicle.

LEV

THE FOUR MAIN "HONDA LEV" RELATED TECHNOLOGIES

  1. Tumble port
    A tumble port design was adopted in order to achieve stable combustion immediately after engine start-up, with an air-fuel mixture as lean as possible. The shape of the port was designed to achieve a tumbling effect in the combustion chamber. The turbulent motion of the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber is thus enhanced, increasing the combustion speed while helping ignition at low temperatures. This enables stable combustion of a relatively lean air-fuel mixture even while the engine is warming up, resulting in lower CO and HC emissions.

  2. Fuel adhesion compensating air-fuel ratio controller
    Optimum catalytic converter performance requires precise control of the air-fuel ratio. However, under ordinary conditions, some of the injected fuel always adheres to the wall of the intake port, only entering the combustion chamber on the following intake. Because the adhesion rate varies depending on driving conditions, it is difficult to maintain a stable air-fuel ratio inside the combustion chamber, especially during stop-go driving. By predicting more precisely the amount of fuel adhering to the wall using a high-performance ECU, and adjusting the amount of fuel accordingly, it is possible to control more precisely the actual air-fuel ratio in the combustion chamber, and thus reduce HC, CO and NOx emissions to a minimum.

  3. Catalytic converter-integrated thin wall exhaust manifold
    To optimize catalytic converter performance immediately after engine start-up, it is located immediately after the exhaust manifold for quicker warm up. This design allows hot exhaust gases from the engine to immediately reach and quickly heat the catalytic converter unit. Similarly, reducing the thickness of the exhaust manifold and simplifying the connection method by directly welding the catalytic converter to the manifold have resulted in the efficient use of exhaust gas heat together with a reduction in weight. Rapid warming up of the catalytic converter unit immediately after engine start-up is now possible, resulting in excellent exhaust gas processing, even under cold start conditions.

  4. 400-cell type catalytic converter
    Increasing the number of cells within the catalytic converter from the usual 300 units to 400 units has allowed a 20% increase in the contact area without an increase in size. The contact rate of the exhaust gases with the catalyst is thus increased, considerably improving processing performance.

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CIVIC FERIO LEV/ PARTNER LEV

These models are equipped with 1.6 liter engines providing a maximum power output of 105 PS at 6,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 14.3 kgm at 4,600 rpm. In the 10.15-mode fuel efficiency test, excellent results were achieved with 17.6 km per liter for the Civic Ferio LEV (5 MT model) and 15.4 km per liter for the Partner 1.6 LEV.

The Civic Ferio LEV's standard equipment includes a dual SRS airbag system, powered door mirrors, and an AM/FM full logic cassette tape player with CD changer control. The exterior design also boasts body colored rear license plate garnish and door handles. The Partner LEV comes with useful standard features such as a manual air conditioner, green tinted glass, and a rear wiper.

Civic Ferio LEV Partner 1.6 LEV
Civic Ferio LEV Partner 1.6 LEV

Total Annual Sales Plan (Japan only):
Civic Ferio LEV / Partner 1.6 LEV 3,000 units / year
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