Honda has announced plans to introduce three turbocharged non-hybrid petrol engines in the near future to reinvigorate its product line-up with a stronger focus on sports-oriented vehicles.
The three turbocharged engines come in 1.0-, 1.5- and 2.0-litre capacities and will be available in a wide range of Honda vehicles in the coming years.
Using a VTEC variable valve train system with direct injection turbocharging, the 1.0-litre engine pumps out a healthy 95kW of power and 200Nm of torque. The three-cylinder unit is likely to find applications across the Japanese car maker's range of compact passenger cars, including the Honda Jazz, Civic and the forthcoming Honda Jazz-based subcompact SUV.
The 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine will find its way under the bonnets of slightly larger Honda vehicles, given it develops 150kW of power and 260Nm of torque.
CarAdvice tested both the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre engines in a Honda Civic around the company's research and development facility in Tochigi, Japan this week and were impressed with the performance of both.
The 1.0-litre engine was the more impressive of the smaller-capacity units, delivering an almost sporty performance in a car as big as a Civic with excellent power and torque delivery across the rev range and smooth and linear acceleration with minimal turbo lag.
It would be an excellent choice for a Jazz-sized vehicle to deliver an exciting top-of-the-range unit that’s both zippy and efficient - something Hondas were once renowned for.
The 1.5-litre - although very good in its own right - was by no means 50 per cent better, and proved a bit rough in comparison with its smaller sibling. Coupled to an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), it pulled hard off the line and with a few laps under our belt, easily topped its electronically limited speed of 200km/h around Honda’s oval testing track.
It’s a big change of direction for Honda as none of the three engines were showcased with a hybrid powertrain, something we were expecting to see from the Japanese giant that has devoted the greater part of the last decade in repositioning itself as an hybrid-focused manufacturer.
Honda says the 1.0-litre engine is designed for efficiency, the 1.5-litre for a balance of efficiency and fun, and the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is purely designed for maximum performance and excitement.
Timing for the introduction of the three engines remains unconfirmed and Honda Japan refused to comment on which models would be available with each engine.
Read more about Honda’s new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.