JAPAN: Isuzu diesel developed 'exclusively' for Euro-Honda

By just-auto.com editorial team | 18 May 2001

Honda says that its new 74kW DOHC 1.7-litre Isuzu diesel engine, destined for UK-produced European market Civics from November production, was designed exclusively for the model and features a common rail high-pressure fuel injection system.

Isuzu will make the new 1686cc engine at a Polish plant as part of an agreement Honda signed with General Motors in December 1999.

Under the agreement, Honda is to supply V6 ULEV (U.S. specification ultra-low emission vehicle) engines and transmissions to General Motors while Isuzu will ship approximately 5,000 engines to Honda by the end of March 2002 and another 15,000 engines annually from next April.

Honda's diesel-powered Civic will be manufactured at its Swindon factory in the United Kingdom which is now to become a major production centre for the Civic hatchback and the CR-V SUV.

Honda is also developing a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine for its next-generation Accord due for European release in 2003.

Unlike the current model, which is a completely different car from the U.S. Asian and Japanese versions and built in England, the replacement will probably be made in a Japanese factory and differ only in detail regulatory requirements such as lighting.

The new turbodiesel engine - featuring an aluminium cylinder block - will be developed with technical support from Isuzu. It's based on a prototype unveiled at the 1999 Tokyo motor show.

Honda and Isuzu are no strangers to co-operation. Although the arrangement is soon to end, Isuzu has built a variation of its Rodeo-based SUV badged as the Passport for Honda to sell in the U.S. while Honda has previously built Civic and Accord derivatives sold in Japan under the Isuzu brand.

Isuzu has also previously shipped diesel engines to European car makers. Part-owner General Motors has in the past bought-in older generation 1.7-litre units for its Opel and Vauxhall Corsa, Astra and Vectra models.

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