News Releases 2000
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CorporateJapanJune 16, 2000
Honda Scoops Engine Oscars

Tokyo, June 16, 2000 - Honda builds today's best internal combustion engine, according to a team of 34 jurors responsible for selecting the winners of the International Engine of the Year Awards 2000 announced on 15 June.

The Honda Insight 1.0 liter IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid engine was voted as the overall winner of this year's awards, placed ahead of other notable power units such as the Ferrari 5.5 liter V12, Alfa Romeo 2.5 liter V6, and the BMW 3-liter 6-cylinder and 4-liter V8 Turbodiesels.

The Honda IMA unit was also voted best in the "Sub 1-liter" and "Best Fuel Economy" categories. Additionally, the Honda 1.8 and 2.0 liter engines fitted to the Accord and Honda S2000 triumphed in their respective categories, the latter also gaining third place overall.

"Not only is Honda the world's most prolific manufacturer of the internal combustion engine, but on the strength of these awards, it also produces the best engine in the world," said Graham Johnson, coordinator of the International Engine of the Year Awards 2000 and editor of Engine Technology International magazine, which sponsors the event.

"All of the judges were impressed by the fact that the 1-liter VTEC-topped gasoline engine and its 10kW electric motor work in harmony to give the Insight crisp acceleration, refinement and remarkable fuel economy. Unquestionably Honda's hybrid sets the scene for one of the key engine design trends of this new millennium," he added.

"Honda takes its environmental responsibility seriously, and we believe that the IMA hybrid concept is an excellent way to maximize efficiency and reduce pollution caused by internal combustion engines," said Hisao Suzuki, Senior Managing Director of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (Japan), who received the award. "We are especially pleased that the judges of the International Engine of the Year Awards have recognized the effort and investment we have made to develop this technology, and we are very proud to have won this award."

This year's engine awards have seen an international group of 34 respected motoring journalists and non-aligned industry experts cast their votes on the world's finest mass produced powerplants. The team included jurors from regions as diverse as Europe, America and Australia.

The shortlist was comprised of engines in eight capacity classes, with additional categories for "Best Fuel Economy", "Best Eco-friendly" and "Best Concept." Points were awarded based on the experts' subjective driving impressions, as well as the vehicle's technical excellence. Judges also took into account characteristics such as fuel economy, noise, smoothness, performance etc. The overall winner was selected from among the eight winners in each engine capacity segment.

What the judges said..

Insight 1.0 litre IMA

"An elegant solution that ordinary people can afford," Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief, Autocar (UK) "This engine has been recognized for its intrinsic value and is a harbinger of engines to come. A vision of the continued research into small-displacement engines" Jim McCraw, Engine Technology International Contributor (US) "You expect sluggish performance, but you actually get a greyhound, a fun to drive sports car" Bob Oxford, editor of Fleet World (UK).

Accord 1.8 litre VTEC

The VTEC system at its best. Great power, great output, good fuel economy, and a lot of driving fun," Diego Eramo, Deputy Editor Auto (Italy) "A relatively affordable way of making an entertaining driver's car," Georg Kacher, contributor to Car, Autocar, Autobild, Automobile (Germany) "This engine has outstanding finesse throughout its range," LJK Setright, technical contributor to Autocar (UK).

S2000 2.0 litre DOHC VTEC

"The outstanding torque curve provides optimum drivability for touring or sporty driving," Arturo Andres, Technical Editor of Autovia (Spain) "A driver's car with more horsepower per liter than any other normally aspirated engine in the world. An inexpensive high-performance rocket," Jean Jennings, Editor in Chief of Automobile (US).

Editors notes...

Honda is the world's largest producer of internal combustion engines, with annual production exceeding 10 million units.
In 1971 Honda introduced the Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine, the first to meet the US Clean Air Act without a catalytic converter.
In 1989 Honda introduced VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift, Electronic Control) technology as a means of improving the performance / efficiency / emission performance of the internal combustion engine.
In 1996 the Civic became the first regular production engined car to meet the Californian LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) standard.
In 1998 Honda became the first manufacturer to sell a production car that complies with the ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) standard.
Honda has perfected ZLEV (Zero Level Emission Vehicle) technology which achieves emissions lower than one tenth of the ULEV standard. This engine actually produces lower emissions than that of a battery-powered electric vehicle, when the emissions of the power station producing electricity for the batteries are taken into account.


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