A new chapter in the Book of Honda diesels has begun with the impending arrival in South Africa of the brand’s hotly anticipated 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine.It’s the first engine to be launched in Europe under Honda’s flagship 'Earth Dreams Technology' environmental programme and will, the automaker says, offer customers a balance of low emissions and exciting performance.Honda SA told us: "The Civic 1.6 i-DTEC model will be available in our line-up and at this stage timing is due for first quarter 2013."The new engine will debut in the British-built Civic that will be on the market in early 2013 and be priced (in Britain) from the equivalent of about R272 000*.'NO COMPROMISE' "The engine," Honda says, "catapults the Civic into the competitive corporate market, offering a 'no compromise' vehicle for the corporate customer. With a combination of fuel efficiency and performance, the car keeps running costs low by emitting 94g/km of CO2/km, meaning free road tax in relevant countries and with 3.5 litres/100km on the combined cycle."The 1597cc unit features a six-speed manual gearbox and offers 89kW at 4 000rpm and 300Nm at 2000rpm. Convenience features include front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and digital radio.Honda’s advanced i-DTEC diesel technology has already proved its environmental credentials over a number of years. It went on sale in the UK in 2.2-litre guise in the Accord Saloon/Tourer in 2008 and the award-winning CR-V sports utility vehicle in 2010.Early interest in the new Civic has been positive and it’s expected to be warmly welcomed into fleets when the first deliveries commence in January 2013.