Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Acura Diesel

Honda plans to sell large vehicles using a low- emission V-6 diesel engine in North America starting in 2010. The company is developing a 3.5-liter diesel engine that will help vehicles be as much as 30 percent more fuel efficient than those powered by gasoline. Honda is also developing a four-cylinder diesel engine which will meet emission standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The new diesel engines will be cleaner than those offered by General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Daimler Chrysler AG’s Chrysler unit. Diesel engines also emit about 20 percent less carbon dioxide, though they release harmful nitrogen oxides and particulates.

Honda plans to introduce the V6 engine first in the Odyssey and maybe the Pilot, the Ridgeline, and the luxury Acura MDX. The engine will help Honda compete against diesel models from DaimlerChrysler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG.

Takeo Fukui, president of Honda, said, "We don’t have any plans to put hybrid systems in light trucks, such as the Odyssey and MDX in the US." Diesel engines will use less fuel than hybrid systems for light trucks driven longer distances, Fukui said. If diesel engines in light trucks prove popular, the company may also use them in cars. If things go according to plan, the four-cylinder diesel engine can be installed in vehicles by 2009.


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