Ask any advertising executive how you make a product sound more environmentally friendly, and they’ll suggest you give it a name that evokes the natural world.
Enter Honda, and its Earth Dreams Technology range. Announced today at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda claims the Earth Dreams Technology range of engines, transmissions and hybrid systems will help it lead the industry in fuel efficiency for every segment within three years.
That’s a big goal, even for the world’s largest maker of internal combustion engines. Given Honda’s previous form in producing great engines however, anything is possible.
The Earth Dreams Technology range is primarily centered around a new range of gasoline and diesel engines, ranging in size from 660cc through to 3.5 liters. Across the range, efficiency gains will be made thanks to lightened construction and enhanced variable valve timing and lift electronic control systems.
In addition, larger capacity engines will be designed to use the Atkinson cycle, which allows for different pressure intake and exhaust strokes to further improve engine efficiency. Best suited to hybrid drivetrains because of zero low-end torque, expect most of Honda’s larger Atkinson cycle engines to form the basis for new hybrid drivetrains.
2011 Honda Insight
Also included in Honda’s new technology portfolio is a trio of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) which Honda claims produce a 5 percent fuel efficiency improvement over current CVT gearboxes, and up to 10 percent improvement on current five-speed automatic gearboxes.
Hybrid and electric technology features in the Earth Dreams Technology lineup too: Honda says it has developed a new two-motor hybrid system which will launch in the company's first plug-in hybrid some time in 2012. Marking the move away from the mild hybrid Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system that Honda has championed for the past 12 years, the two-motor high-power hybrid system will be capable of operating in electric-only driving modes in low speed urban environments.
Offering up to 120 kilowatts of motor power, Honda’s hybrid system is design to challenge Toyota, the market leader in hybrid car technology.
Honda’s larger SUVs aren’t forgotten either, with a new all-wheel-drive through-the-road hybrid system consisting of three electric motors and a 3.5 liter V6 engine. Honda claims the system will offer one of the best all-wheel driving experiences on the road, with superior road handling and excellent fuel consumption.
2012 Honda Fit EV
Honda finishes off the Earth Dreams Technology range with a new electric vehicle motor, transmission and electronic servo braking system. Implemented already in the 2012 Honda Fit EV, Honda claims the electronically controlled braking system enables it to recover more energy than traditional regenerative braking systems.
While we’re not feeling any love towards Honda’s long-winded brand name for its greener engine and transmission lineup, we can’t wait to see just how good Honda’s new engine range really is.