News Releases 2011

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Automobile
Japan
November 30, 2011

Honda Announces Revolutionary Next-generation “Earth Dreams Technology”

-New plan calls for top-of-industry fuel efficiency in every vehicle class within 3 years-

TOKYO, Japan, November 30, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the outline for a revolutionary next-generation technology for automobiles called "Earth Dreams Technology."

Newly developed 2.4L class enginezoom
Newly developed 2.4L class engine
Earth Dreams Technology Logozoom
Earth Dreams Technology Logo

"Earth Dreams Technology" is a next generation set of technological advancements which greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency at a high level, using as its base advanced environmental technologies to pursue the joy of driving unique to Honda. It is a series of measures in which efficiency of internal combustion components including engine, and transmission, as well as electric-powered motor technology, is further improved.

Through its implementation first in the mini-vehicle N BOX and gradually onto other vehicle models, Honda aims to achieve top-of-industry fuel efficiency for every category within three years, while simultaneously setting a timeline of 2020 to reduce by 30% CO2 emissions for all products sold worldwide, relative to emission figures for 2000.

  • Inspiration of the "Earth Dreams Technology" name:
  • "Earth Dreams Technology" is an expression for a set of technologies which takes into account both our need to protect the environment and our desire to provide a joy of driving.

•Key features of “Earth Dreams Technology”

1. A gasoline engine which realizes top level driving performance and fuel efficiency.
2. A compact diesel engine which realizes the world's lightest body*1, top-of-class*1 acceleration performance and fuel efficiency.
3. CVT which combines at a high level the fun of driving and fuel efficiency.
4. A two-motor hybrid system which realizes top-of-industry efficiency*1.
5. A high-efficiency, high output electric SH-AWD hybrid system which combines superior driving and environmental performance.
6. A compact, high efficiency electric powertrain for EVs.

•Summary of key features

1. Gasoline engine which achieves top-of-industry driving performance and fuel efficiency

  • By enhancing Honda's original VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control System) technology to thoroughly improve thermal efficiency and minimize friction, a combination of high output and fuel efficiency was achieved. Further, a new engine series employing a new structure for higher expandability was developed.
  • By gradually renewing the engine starting with the mini-vehicle N BOX, Honda aims to utilize this technology to achieve top-of-industry output and fuel efficiency in every vehicle class within three years.
  • A wide range of engine classes including the 660cc, 1.3L, 1.5L, 1.8L, 2.0L, 2.4L, and 3.5L classes will feature the technology.
  • [ 660cc class engine ]
  • Employs DOHC and VTC (Variable Timing Control) to improve intake efficiency. Further, the compact combustion chamber realizes high thermal efficiency.
  • By shortening the bore pitch compared to the present engine models and reducing the thickness of the cylinder block and camshaft, engine weight is reduced by 15%*3 and fuel efficiency is improved by 10%*3.
  • [ 1.3 to 1.5L class engine ]
  • Employs VTC, direct injection technology and the Atkinson cycle using the DOHC, VTEC technologies as the base.
  • Extensive friction reduction measures are implemented.
  • [ 1.8 to 2.0L class engine ]
  • Employs direct injection technology and the Atkinson cycle using the DOHC, VTEC technologies as the base. Further, implementation of VTC and high-capacity EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) to both the intake and exhaust ports realizes significantly reduced friction.
  • For the 2.0L class hybrid vehicle engines, use of an electric water pump eliminates the need for a belt in the auxiliary device and contributes to a reduction in friction. The VTC system allows fuel-efficient driving in various driving styles.
  • [ 2.4L class engine ]
  • Based on the DOHC and VTEC technologies, it employs VTC and direct injection technology and implements extensive friction reduction measures.
  • Standalone engine features 5%*3 improvements in fuel efficiency and output as well as a 10%*3 improvement in maximum torque compared to the previous engine.
  • [ 3.5L class engine ]
  • Employs new valve train mechanisms and direct injection technology in the SOHC, VTEC, VMC systems to improve by over 10%*3 of fuel efficiency and 5%*3 of output, relative to the present standalone engine model.

2. A compact diesel engine which realizes the world's lightest body*1, top-of-class*1 acceleration performance and fuel efficiency.

  • Through optimizing engine rigidity and combustion pressure, an aluminum open deck for the cylinder block was enabled in this top-of-industry lightweight*1 1.6L class diesel engine.
  • By downsizing from the present 2.2L engine and extensively reducing mechanical friction in each section, a friction level equivalent to present gasoline engine models was achieved.
  • Optimized thermal management system thanks to improvements in the cooling system reduces CO2 output by over 15%*3.
  • Employment of a compact, high-efficiency turbocharger and weight reduction in the reciprocating sliding section realizes a sporty and nimble ride.

3. CVT which combines at a high level the fun of driving and fuel efficiency.

  • Three CVT structures for mini, compact, and mid-size vehicle classes are newly developed to be adopted for a variety of engine models.
  • Reinforced belt is used to realize a structure for which a wide ratio range can be set.
  • Implementation of analysis technology over the contact behavior between the belt and pulley, and a high-precision hydraulic control system allows for continual optimization of hydraulic pressure to the pulley under a variety of driving conditions, contributing to improved fuel efficiency.
  • Use of an electronic oil pump to realize an idle stop system with high response contributes significantly to improved usability and fuel efficiency.
  • "G-Design Shift", a new coordinated control system for shift transmission, throttle, and hydraulic control responds quickly to driver demands and realizes an exhilarating, sporty drive with superior acceleration.
  • In the mini-vehicle class, a control mechanism and innovations in axle placement to reduce the engine size lengthwise, while a reduction in parts by simplifying the transmission casing structure helps realize a lightweight and compact body.
  • For the compact and mid-size classes, in addition to the reductions in size and weight, transmission efficiency was greatly improved by expanding the ratio range to achieve fuel efficiency improvements of 5%*3 and 10%*3 compared to the conventional CVT and comparable 5ATs, respectively.

4. A two-motor hybrid system which realizes top-of-industry efficiency*1.

  • A two-motor hybrid system featuring top-of-industry efficiency*1 enhancing driving performance and reduced CO2 emissions has been newly developed.
  • Special lithium-ion battery and charger is employed to enable mounting on plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  • Mid-sized vehicles equipped with this system are scheduled to begin production, starting with the plug-in hybrid model in 2012 and the hybrid model in 2013.
  • Three driving modes allowing for top-of-industry efficiency*1 for various driving environments were developed; an "EV driving mode" for urban environments, a "hybrid driving mode" using electricity generated by the motor, and a "engine-connected driving mode" where the engine and tires are mechanically connected during high-speed cruising.
  • Combination with a high-output 120kW motor allows for superior environmental performance and driving enjoyment.

5. A high-efficiency, high output electric SH-AWD hybrid system which combines superior driving and environmental performance.

  • A new hybrid system, electric SH-AWD, was developed for large-sized vehicles. By combining a 3.5L, V6 engine with this hybrid system, acceleration equivalent to V8 engines, as well as fuel efficiency equal or superior to in-line 4-cylinder engines were realized.
  • An electric 4WD system with independent 20kW+ motors on both sides for the rear wheels combines a 7-speed dual clutch transmission system with a built-in 30kW+ high-efficiency motor with the engine.
  • By mounting a high-performance lithium-ion battery and optimally controlling the front and rear motors, a new hybrid system with high fuel efficiency and output was realized.
  • By mounting two independent motors in the rear and employing a newly developed bilateral torque adjustable control system, incredibly tight cornering just like driving "on-the-rail" is realized. With this mechanism, Honda strives to provide a stable ride for various driving environments.

6. A compact, high efficiency electric powertrain for EVs.

  • Thanks to the high efficiency coaxial motor, low-friction gearbox and electric servo brake system, the system realizes the highest electrical consumption capability in the world*1, meeting the required AC consumption rate of 29kWh/100mile(116MPGe) as set forth by the United States.
  • A traveling distance of 123 miles*2(LA-4mode: unadjusted) or 210km*2(JC08 mode) was achieved thanks to the mounting of a high capacity lithium-ion battery.
  • When using the 240V U.S. electric source, a full charge takes less than 3 hours. (From the time a low-charge signal is lit till full charge)
  • By offering three driving modes (SPORT, NORMAL, ECON), the driver can freely select from a number of options to meet the needs of various driving styles such as power-saving or sporty drive.
*1
Honda internal research (as of November 30, 2011)
*2
Honda calculations
*3
Compared to Honda products

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