Honda’s UK plant in Swindon will begin assembling the 2.2-litre four-cylinder, 140PS, all-aluminium diesel engine launched earlier this year in the Accord “before the end of 2005”.

A diesel engine is finally becoming optional in the revised CR-V SUV about to go into production at the British plant. Initial supplies of the turbodiesel will come fully assembled from Japan.

The Swindon factory already builds 1.4, 1.6 and two-litre petrol engine for the CR-V and Civic and installs imported Isuzu 1.7-litre diesel units in Civic models.

Of the 120,000 CR-Vs built at Swindon a year, nearly half will be diesel models in 2005.

UK sales of the CR-V average 6,000 a year and the new diesel model are expected to account for up to one third of volume when the new range goes on sale in March 2005.