American Honda Demonstrates Environmental Dedication with 2001 Advancements
For the 2002 model year, several Honda products were equipped with the i-VTEC variable valvetrain and timing control system. First appearing on the Acura RSX sports coupe in July 2001 and then on the all-new CR-V this November, the i-VTEC engine delivers a cutting-edge combination of performance, refinement, efficiency and low emissions by merging Variable Timing Control with an advanced form of VTEC (Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control).
Currently, all i-VTEC-equipped vehicles qualify for the new 2004 LEV-II (Tier 2, Bin 5) Federal emission regulations. Both the CR-V and the RSX emit 80 percent fewer NOx emissions than previous LEV standard and reduced levels of CO2 - two model years ahead of the regulatory requirement. The Honda Civic Si will employ this same i-VTEC technology when released in early 2002.
In addition, Honda Motor Co. introduced the latest version of its fuel cell vehicle, the FCX-V4. The FCX-V4 features more compact fuel components and improved performance. This new version of Honda's fuel cell vehicle accelerates faster, has a higher top speed, offers enhanced occupant safety and goes a longer distance between refuels than previous versions.
A newly developed high-pressure hydrogen tank is now positioned under the floor instead of the trunk, and contributes to the vehicle's extended driving range of 180 miles (an increase of about 80 miles) and more cargo space. Already known for its short start-up time, quiet operation and remarkable acceleration, the FCX-V4 marks a significant step for Honda toward a new type of environmentally friendly, non-polluting automobile powerplants, and may be available as a commercial fleet vehicle by 2003 .
Another environmental achievement included the addition of an Insight model equipped with an advanced automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). This model of the Insight earned California's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification, the most stringent exhaust emissions standard in the world.
The Insight with a CVT achieves an EPA fuel economy of 56 mpg on the highway and 57 mpg in the city, with a driving range of more than 500 miles - making it the highest mileage rating of any car equipped with an automatic transmission.
During the past year, the CVT Insight was chosen as the "Year's Cleanest Vehicle" by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). According to the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization, Honda's advanced CVT version of the Insight earned the 2001 ACEEE award.
The release of the Insight CVT marks another milestone - the first time a gasoline-powered vehicle has topped the charts alone in ACEEE's Green Book™: The Environmental Guide to Cars and Trucks. In 2001, ACEEE chose the Honda Insight with a manual transmission and Honda Civic GX as the "Greenest Vehicles."
Honda Motor Co., with Catalytic Solutions, Inc. (CSI), developed a breakthrough emission control system that reduces the use of costly metals. The new emission control technology uses metal oxides, allowing for a 50 to 70 percent reduction in the use of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. To achieve the full benefits of the system, control of the air/fuel ratio is matched to early catalytic activation, which is already a key attribute of Honda's advanced low emission technology.
American Honda is already planning for the year ahead, announcing an addition to the Civic family with a version equipped with an IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system for model year 2003. The system that will be installed in the Civic is similar to the system that is employed in the Insight 5-speed manual and CVT transmission models. There will be several new technological innovations added to the IMA system installed in the Civic that will further enhance its efficiency.