Honda SA has added a turbo-charged diesel engine to the Civic hatch line-up. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC is claimed to be the lightest diesel engine in its class. It weighs 47kg less than Honda’s 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine. And although it’s a small engine in terms of weight and size, it doesn’t compromise on fuel economy or emissions. NEW THINKINGEarth Dreams Technology is a new philosophy being implemented by the Japanese automaker and will be applied to all future engines, aiming to balance environmental efficiency with dynamic performance. Honda’s Civic project leader, Suehiro Hasshi said engineers opted to create a modern, earth-friendly version of the engine without sacrificing any of the driving dynamics in the process. “We wanted to create a fun-to-drive car with the correct balance of attributes. The whole development team worked together to give the engine an appropriate stage on which to perform,” said Hasshi.Areas targeted to achieve this efficiency include aerodynamics and suspension revision. The exterior has subtle nip and tucks to help reduce aerodynamic drag, while the front axle is 47kg lighter to improve steering response and handling.The South African market needs the same requirements as the European market namely: high performance, excellent fuel economy and low emissions – factors which played a big part is the specific build of this engine. EXCLUSIVELY BUILTThe 1.6-litre i-DTEC is only built on a new production line at Honda’s European plant in Swindon, UK where 500 engines are built per day. This means one engine almost every two minutes.The mechanical friction has been reduced to the same level as petrol engines meaning it has about 40% less mechanical friction at 1 500rpm than the 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine. A fourth generation Garrett unit is used on the turbo and features a variable-nozzle design with its rotational speed controlled by the car’s electronic system, resulting in minimal turbo lag. It has a maximum boost pressure of 1.5 bar so it provides a good combination of low- to mid-range pull and high-speed performance.The new engine will only be available in the executive grade as an option on the existing Civic hatch model range with a six-speed manual gearbox. Comfort treats include leather and heated seats, rain sensing wipers, auto headlights and a reversing camera. PRICE1.6 i-DTEC Executive R299 900The Civic range is sold with a five-year/90 000km service plan, three-year/100 000km warranty and one-year AA roadside assistance. Service intervals every 15 000km.