Honda is planning to launch a family of six new engines over the next two or three years, including a 1.6-litre diesel designed specifically for Europe.

It will appear first in the new Civic towards the end of 2012 and will have CO2 emissions below 100g/km which means it will attract the lowest rate of UK company car taxation and be exempt from road tax.

The new 1.6 will also go into next year’s new CR-V soft-roader and is said to be lighter than any comparable engine. It develops just under 118bhp with 300Nm of torque.

Honda is launching the new engine range, announced by president and CEO Takanobu Ito at the Tokyo Show, under the elaborate title of ‘Earth Dreams’. The company aims to be top for fuel economy in every category in which it sells within three years.

The other five engines in the Earth Dreams range will be petrol units. Honda has not specified what size they will be but insiders expect them to gradually take the place of the current units in the company’s small and medium-sized cars.

Civic production is now getting back on track at Honda’s Swindon factory after the parts supply problems caused by the recent floods in Thailand although the car’s on-sale date in the UK had to be put back a month to February.

“The fuel tank, the strap that holds the fuel tank in place and several dozen other small components all come to us from Thailand,” said a Honda UK spokesman.