Honda may have stayed away from diesels for a long time, but the company is now hell bent on making up for the lost time. Honda is now seriously considering getting the diesel CR-V to India sometime next year. This after the company has already introduced the Amaze and City diesels to the Indian market. The diesel variant will be powered by a more powerful and larger version of the same Earth Dreams diesel engine currently sold in India.
Honda’s diesel in India displaces 1.5 litres to help the Amaze qualify for the sub-four-metre excise sop; the new CR-V engine will be a larger 1.6-litre version of the same. While the 1.5-litre engine makes 100bhp, the larger 1.6-litre will make an impressive 118bhp. And while the 118bhp may not be anything close to the 154bhp put out by even the 2.0-litre petrol, this engine has much more torque, which is actually what you want in an SUV. The 1.6-litre diesel produces more torque than even the larger 2.4 petrol motor at 30.5kgm versus 23.0kgm, all the torque on the diesel coming in by 1750rpm.
The diesel will also come only in two-wheel-drive, which will mean an additional weight saving of about 70kg over the four-wheel-drive version. So performance won’t be an issue. The other benefit of the Earth Dreams engine will be an uncanny ability to deliver segment-transcending efficiency. What will also help Honda price the CR-V aggressively will be the fact that it already produces this engine here. So manufacturing the 1.6-litre diesel locally won’t be too much of a stretch for Honda’s new Tapukara plant in Rajasthan. Prices for the diesel CR-V could start at Rs 25 lakh.
At a later date, Honda could look at the Accord diesel too. This yet-to-be-produced car is expected to come with an even more powerful twin-turbo version of this engine. An output of 140-150bhp is what the twin-turbo version could put out, along with extra torque, making it ideal for this application. So, despite conventional thinking, the words ‘Honda’ and ‘diesel’ may actually go well together.