Honda has big expectations from its new 1.6-liter diesel image

Honda thinks its new 1.6-liter diesel engine, which will launch in early 2013 on the new Civic, will make its European rivals a little nervous.

The 120-horsepower diesel engine offers 300 Nm of torque and emits less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Honda says it is also the lightest engine in its class, at 180 kilograms. The current Civic offers Europeans only the 2.2-liter unit, which is too big and heavy for the compact segment, with most buyers opting for 1.5- or 1.6-liter turbodiesel engines. The new engine will be made at Honda’s Swindon factory in the UK.

Honda thinks the new engine is bound to give sleepless nights to competitors such as Volkswagen. „It is good if they have some sleepless nights because we have had sleepless nights trying to develop a diesel that can compete against VW’s”, engineer Junji Yamano was quoted as saying by the Automotive News.

The new unit will also be ideal for markets with excessive taxation on large displacement engines. “We expect the 1.6-liter diesel to cover 65 percent of Civic sales,” said Alessandro Skerl, head of Honda’s Italian subsidiary. He added that in Italy cars with small diesel engines of 1.6-liter displacement or less account more than 50 percent of compact segment sales.