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Auto blogTue, 19 Nov 2013 13:29:00 EST
It's fair to say that in recent years, Honda has been viewed as a laggard when it comes to engine and gearbox development, seemingly missing the boat on direct-injection, forced-induction and high gear-count transmissions, among other things. But under its Earth Dreams banner, the Japanese automaker is showing new vigor, with the latest proof being this trio of just-announced powerplants.
Measuring 1.0-liters, 1.5-liters and 2.0-liters in displacement, this array of three- and four-cylinder engines boasts turbocharging and direct-injection along with the latest iteration of Honda's famed VTEC variable valve timing hardware. "Most suitable for small-to-medium-sized vehicles," the largest engine is said to be good for more than 276 horsepower and will slot into the eagerly awaited Civic Type R, iconic red valve cover and all.
Unfortunately, few other details about the hot Civic's engine or any of the others are being made public at this time, and there's no official word about the engines coming to North American in the Type R or any other model. Given that all the engines are complaint with stringent Euro 6 emissions standards, they figure to be clean enough, and Honda says that these have been developed as global powerplants, so we'd be shocked if they didn't come ashore in new or updated products over the next few years... even if they leave the CTR on the boat.
Despite his win at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, Sebastian Vettel still has another race or two to go before he can claim his fourth consecutive World Championship in Formula 1. Back in Europe, however, this weekend saw several championship titles decided in a variety of tin-top racing series.
In the British Touring Car Championship, Gordon Shedden won the final round at Brands Hatch this weekend, but that wasn't enough to defend his title. Instead, the ultimate glory went to Andrew Jordan, also driving a Honda Civic, coming in ninth place to take a seven-point victory over Shedden in the final standings. Little wonder then that Honda took the constructors' championship and the Honda Yuasa Racing team took the teams' title. Four-time BTCC champion and Fifth Gear co-host Jason Plato, now driving for MG, landed third in the standings.
While Honda dominated the British championship, it was Audi that reigned supreme in mainland Europe. In the Superstars International Series - Italy's touring-car championship - Gianni Morbidelli drove the Audi RS5 to his fifth title, finishing the season's final race in a calculated third place behind the BMW racecars of Giovanni Berton and Max Mugelli. It's the second consecutive win for the RS5 in the Superstars series (Johan Kristoffersson won the title last year), and the second this year following Mike Rockenfeller's title in the RS5 DTM.
Honda is recalling 43,782 examples of the 2012 and 2013 Fit Sport in the US and close to 2,000 more in Canada. During federal compliance testing it was discovered that the software for the Vehicle Stability Assist allows an excessive tilt angle before applying the brakes to prevent a crash. The issue only affects Fit Sports equipped with a certain kind of tire.
Honda will notify owners in mid-May, at which time owners can take their cars to dealers to have the stability control software updated free of charge. There's a press release from Honda below with more details.