01 Jan 2012 ID: 35421

2012 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Press Kit


The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine is the first engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series to be launched in Europe. This new engine will make its introduction in the Civic and offers a class-leading combination of power (120 PS) and torque (300 Nm @ 2000 rpm) with CO2 emissions of just 94 g/km, giving an impressive balance between fuel economy and performance.


The 9th generation Civic which was first launched at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show offers a more refined, more efficient and more dynamic Civic than ever before with an evolutionary approach to the exterior and interior design. 


The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been specifically designed for the European market, to meet growing customer demand for low emission diesel engines.


The trend for diesel engines has grown in Europe and they now represent 58 per cent of the C segment market. In addition, engines emitting less than 120g g /km CO2 now represent 45 per cent of the C segment market. The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC addresses both these trends and with CO₂ emissions of 94g/km, the new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC now qualifies for  free road tax and congestion charge.


Designed for Europe: Built in Britain
The new 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has been specifically designed for the European market, to meet growing customer demand for low emission diesel engines. The new engine will be exclusively built at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK. Demonstrating the importance of this new diesel engine to Honda’s sales plans in Europe, a new purpose-built diesel engine production line has been installed at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM).
This new line is capable of producing up to 500 diesel engines in one day. Operating on a two shift pattern this equates to one engine every 138 seconds. The new line will produce both the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC and the existing 2.2-litre i-DTEC engines.


The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will also be applied to the new CR-V (also built at HUM) later in 2013 and the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy will be applied to all of Honda’s future power trains.


Honda history- all in-house diesel engines

2.2-litre i-CTDi engine introduced

•       Aluminium cylinder block created using manufacturing technologies unique to Honda

•       ‘Engine of the Year 2005’ awarded for being fuel efficient and quiet

•       Powered Accord 2003, FR-V, CR-V and Civic

2006- Civic 2.2-litre i-CTDi set the benchmark in C-sector for outstanding performance.

•       First C-Sector car to take less than 9 seconds to reach 62 mph from a standing start

2006- 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine introduced

•       New cleaner diesel engine employing a NOx catalytic converter

•       Max power: 150 ps @ 4000 rpm

•       Max torque: 350 Nm @ 2000 rpm

  • Powered the Accord, CR-V, and Civic (2012 model)
  • 180PS introduced in Type S Accord
  • Euro5 emission standard

2013- Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC introduced

•       Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC sets the benchmark for high performance, low emissions in its class

•       Max power 120 PS @ 4000 rpm

•       Max torque 300NM @ 2000 rpm

•       94 g/km CO2

•    78.5 mpg


Earth Dreams Technology

“The key focus of our Earth Dreams Technology philosophy is to balance environmental efficiency with the dynamic performance expected of a Honda,” says Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC. “It is important that our cars are fun to drive.”


“This is a new approach from the ground up,” Tetsuya Miyake, Chief Engineer for 1.6-litre i-DTEC says. “There were no benchmarks for us because those targets would have been too low. We were determined to establish a benchmark of our own that our competitors would have to follow.”


High performance, Low Emissions
Developing this car has been all about smart, pure engineering,” says Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC. “Our motivation has been to make many small detail improvements that, together, make a major difference. That is the challenge and the beauty of the Earth Dreams Technology philosophy.”

Rather than develop a specific, eco-focussed derivative, Honda is offering the 1.6-litre i-DTEC as an extension of the existing Civic line-up. “We didn’t want to create a special version and sacrifice some of the driving dynamics,” says Tetsuya Miyake. “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. This is a ‘total car’.”


This holistic approach extends to aerodynamic and suspension revisions to optimise the Civic with the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC. “By reducing the mass of the new engine we have been able to create a very agile, light-footed car without compromising the Civic’s comfortable ride quality.”

Subtle revisions to the exterior styling have reduced aerodynamic drag and improved high-speed stability. In addition, the new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC features the same shutter grille system that is fitted to the Civic 2.2-litre i-DTEC model, which improves the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.


The New Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC: In Detail
The Engine

Lightest Diesel Engine in its Class
Honda’s new 1.6-litre i-DTEC is comprised of an aluminium cylinder head joined to an open deck aluminium block. It is the lightest diesel engine in its class, weighing 47kg less than Honda’s 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine.

All the individual components have been redesigned to minimise their weight and size and advanced production techniques have helped reduce weight even further.


The thickness of the cylinder walls has been reduced to 8mm, compared with 9mm for the 2.2-litre i-DTEC. This is an exceptional achievement for a diesel engine.  In addition, lighter pistons and connection rods have been utilised in the 1.6-litre iDTEC.


Reduced Mechanical Friction
The key target for Honda’s development engineers was to reduce the mechanical friction of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine to the level equivalent of a petrol engine. “All the rotating parts have been carefully optimised to reduce their friction,” says Tetsuya Miyake. For example, a shorter and thinner piston skirt has been used. At 1500rpm, the 1.6-litre i-DTEC has around 40 per cent less mechanical friction than the 2.2-litre i-DTEC.

“This not only reduces emissions and improves fuel efficiency; it also improves the engine’s response, both on and off the throttle, making the car more fun to drive. We have reduced the mechanical friction of the engine to the level equivalent of an existing petrol engine, which is an outstanding achievement.”


Clever Turbocharger
The 4th generation Garrett turbocharger used on the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine features an efficient, variable nozzle design and its rotational speed is precisely controlled by the car’s electronics, minimising turbo lag and providing an optimal combination of low- to mid-range pull and high-speed performance.  The turbo has a maximum boost pressure of 1.5bar.


Efficient Fuel Injection System and Engine Air Flow
Honda’s 1.6-litre i-DTEC uses a Bosch solenoid injection system which is capable of operating at a high pressure of 1800bar. High fuel pressure means that the fuel is injected at a faster rate with finer atomisation of the fuel spray which mixes with the air in the engine. This results in a cleaner and more efficient combustion helping to achieve the low emissions and fuel consumption.

Honda’s engineers have also worked to improve the volumetric efficiency of the cylinders, employing a high intake flow and a high-swirl head port that precisely controls the combustion process to reduce hot spots that create unwanted emissions. The engine air flow is managed by using an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system that operates at high and low pressure to reduce NOx emissions.


New Transmission System
A newly designed lightweight and compact transmission system is introduced on the new 1.6-litre i-DTEC Civic. This 6 speed manual transmission system is 7kg lighter than the transmission system offered on the 2.2-litre i-DTEC helping the engine to produce a maximum torque of 300Nm.

The new transmission system delivers;

  • Class-leading transmission efficiency
  • Smooth, accurate feel when changing gear
  • New reverse system which delivers both improved operation load and quietness


Civic Model Competitor Comparison


Civic 2.2 i-DTEC

Civic 1.6 i-DTEC


Audi A3 1.6 CDI I/S

Ford Focus 1.6TDCI







Power (PS)






Torque (Nm)






Fuel tank capacity (L)






Luggage volume






Weight (kg)



1393 (5dr)









MPG (combined)














The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC features front and rear strakes that have been increased in size and angle to further reduce wind resistance and improve aerodynamic performance resulting in reduced CO2 emissions.

Aerodynamic efficiency is the very basis of the Civic’s design and is crucial to achieving exceptional high-speed stability and efficiency. As well as a low drag mono-form design, the Civic also uses a full-length bumper-to-bumper undertray with flared leading edges to manage the flow of air under the car. Together with larger covers on the rear suspension, this undertray adds to stability, particularly when overtaking long vehicles on multi-lane roads.


The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC features the same rear side spoilers and shutter grille system that is fitted to the Civic 2.2-litre i-DTEC model which both help to improve the car’s aerodynamic efficiency. The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC monitors water temperature, wheel speed and outside air temperature, and opens or closes the shutter to optimise cooling and reduce drag wherever possible. Generally speaking, the shutter is closed to ensure maximum fuel efficiency. At low speeds, where aerodynamics are less critical, the shutter remains open. The shutter opens at high speeds to ensure the best possible aerodynamic balance and reduce front-end lift.   


Dynamics Handling & Ride Comfort
The Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC has undergone adjustments to the front suspension with new lower arm bushings that help to increase the lateral toe angle stability by 24 per cent. This adjustment compliments the characteristics of the new engine in order to optimise linearity, stability and handling of the car whilst maintaining the supple and composed chassis of the Civic which provides enhanced stability, particularly at high speed.

Further refinement to the direct steering ratio for the EPS system means steering is even more responsive, producing a steering ratio of 14.5, helping to reduce the steering wheel angle required to change direction.

The Civic is equipped with a rear torsion beam rear axle, with the fuel tank running along the centre line of the car. This unique layout offers great interior versatility and space (allowing for Honda’s Magic Seat system). Combined with the benefits of low weight, high rigidity and predictable handling, the new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC is a very agile, light-footed car that does not compromise the comfortable ride quality associated with a Civic.

Interior Refinement
The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC has undergone some interior refinements to further reduce noise intrusion within the cabin particularly when starting the engine, driving at slow speeds and pulling away.  Engineers also reasoned that a quieter car felt safer at high speeds, reduced driver fatigue and imparted a feeling of premium luxury. They focused not only on reducing overall noise levels, but also on minimising the contrast between the different frequencies of noise reaching the driver’s ear from outside the cabin.


Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is designed to dramatically reduce low frequency noise in the interior of the new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC. The system operates whenever the car is running, regardless of whether the audio system is switched on. Microphones capture low-end drive train frequencies entering the cabin and send a signal to the ANC control unit. The control unit responds by creating a precisely timed reverse phase audio signal that is sent to an amplifier, which powers the door speakers and the subwoofer positioned on the rear parcel shelf.


Since the system is designed to cancel low-frequency sound, it doesn’t use any of the audio system’s tweeters. The ANC system dramatically reduces exterior noise. In the frequency range below 100 hertz, ANC results in an impressive 10 dB reduction in noise level.



The interior design on all of the Civic range is totally focused on the driver. From the driver’s seat the instruments seem to wrap around and place the driver right at the centre of the driving experience. All the controls are perfectly positioned and any information the driver requires is easily accessible.

Inspiration for the Civic’s interior design came from the control panel layout of the cockpits of jet fighter planes and race cars that enable natural and intuitive operation of all controls.


The cockpit has two control zones known as the Information Interface Zone and the Driver Interface Zone. The latter is housed in a smooth upper visor, which arcs over the main instrument panel. The Driver Interface Zone gathers essential information at the natural point of focus. The Information Interface Zone is positioned in the centre console and includes the colour i-MID screen, and controls functions such as audio and the air conditioning, putting both within easy reach of driver and passenger.


Class-Leading Space, Versatility and Comfort

The new Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC retains the Civic’s practicality, exceptional cabin space and unrivalled versatility. The Civic has the most spacious interior in the C-segment and class-leading boot capacity of 401 litres, which can be increased by a further 76 litres by utilising the convenient under-floor compartment. The Civic offers 1431mm of shoulder room between driver and front seat passenger and 795mm of tandem distance (between driver and rear seat passenger).


Between the front seats there is storage for two one-litre bottles and two 350ml bottles. Power outlet, USB and Aux-in ports are also included.

Magic Seats
Honda’s unique Magic Seat system contributes to the Civic’s unrivalled versatility. The Magic Seats enable a range of seating configurations for maximum versatility. The rear seats lift up, fold over and lock down in one easy movement and the 60:40 split folding design creates near-endless configurations for your ever changing requirements.


In a simple motion the rear seat backs can be folded down completely to give a flat boot space that is 1600mm long and 1350mm wide. The resulting space is large enough to carry three mountain bikes (with the front wheels detached), three extra-large cases or three large golf bags, for example. The rear seat cushions can also be flipped up to reveal ample floor space for carrying tall objects. A 60:40 split in the seat base offers even more options for carrying both people and cargo. It also offers an alternative load area if access via the tailgate is limited.

Efficient Technologies

ECO Assist

Honda engineers found that different driving styles could account for as much as 15 per cent variance in fuel economy, as a result they developed the Honda ECO Assist system. It was first introduced on the Honda Insight and now also features in the CR-Z and Jazz, as well as the new Civic.


ECO Assist optimises fuel efficiency by minimising the differences in fuel consumption caused by varying driving styles.  The system uses illumination on the car’s speedometer to advise drivers on how their driving style is impacting fuel economy. This helps drivers to get the best fuel economy from their car in everyday situations.

The speedometer illuminates in blue when the car is idle and stays blue during sudden acceleration and deceleration. It turns to green if the car is driven in an economical fashion. During gentle acceleration and deceleration when the driver is slightly exceeding the best level of throttle the speedometer illumination shows blue-green.


ECON button
For maximum efficiency the driver can also choose to press the green ECON button on the dashboard. The ECON button activates a gentler throttle map to ensure a very smooth increase in torque when the throttle is pressed for a more relaxing drive and greater fuel efficiency. It also improves the efficiency of the air conditioning system, according to conditions such as temperature and humidity. It controls the compressor and decreases the voltage of the fan drive to reduce the load on the engine, improving fuel efficiency.

In-keeping with the Civic’s Europe-specific development, ECO Assist and the ECON feature has been extensively tested on a variety of roads from Germany’s derestricted autobahns to demanding British B-roads.


Idle Stop
The Civic 1.6-litre i-DTEC is fitted with Honda’s Idle Stop system as standard. The system reduces overall fuel consumption by approximately 5g/km and helps lower the CO2 emissions to just 94g/km. CO2 emissions below 100g mean the Civic qualifies for free road tax and is exempt from congestion charge..



The Honda Civic 5 door has been rated one of Europe‘s safest cars, according to independent crash testing results from Euro NCAP. The Civic’s top safety rating reflects Honda’s commitment to overall vehicle safety “Honda has a high tech crash test facility in Tochigi, Japan. There we were able to crash the new Civic into vehicles of different weights and sizes, and at different angles and speeds. We wanted to make sure that we are offering the best ‘real world’ safety for our customers.” explains Mitsuru Kariya, Civic Development Leader.

Safety innovations on the Civic include a resin tailgate panel and a new aluminium bumper beam. To make sure the new Civic is always noticed out on the road, wing mirrors with integrated LED indicator lights are fitted as standard. The mirror surface is wider than those of the previous generation Civic, enhancing rearward visibility for the driver. In combination with reduced A-pillar width, this improves all-round visibility – a key aspect of vehicle safety.


Vehicle Stability Assist
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking assistance to any of the wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as required.


Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure
Developed in the car-to-car crash testing facility at Tochigi, the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is now a well-established element of Honda’s safety credentials.                      


The ACE™ body structure is a Honda exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The ACE Body Structure™ design utilises a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash.


Pedestrian Protection
The new Civic features sophisticated pedestrian protection features.  Research has shown that these features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle. “I am very proud that Honda has a leading reputation for pedestrian safety. It’s an area in the new Civic that has been constantly worked upon” Julian Warren, Senior Safety Engineer.


Features include windscreen wiper pivots designed to break away on impact, energy absorbing front wing mounts and bonnet hinges, as well as an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing greater space for deformation.


Airbags and Seatbelts
On all models the driver and passenger Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) front and side airbags are complemented by full length curtain airbags to protect all occupants. There are three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts in all seating positions, the front seatbelts also have two stage Energy Absorption (EA) load limiting pretensioners. In the rear, ISOFIX points ensure secure and correct installation and mounting of child seats.


Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
Honda’s Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) is a radar-based autonomous emergency braking system. CMBS is a system designed to help prevent collisions with vehicles which are stationary or travelling in the same direction.


Euro NCAP have extended Honda’s Advanced NCAP reward for its CMBS technology to include the Civic. The reward recognises Honda‘s CMBS technology as amongst the best available safety innovations, offering research proven benefits. Euro NCAP Advanced is an initiative developed in response to the rapid development of new safety technologies, for which there is no independent assessment.


Several studies have shown that driver distraction or inattentiveness is a factor in the great majority of accidents. The system is aimed at alerting the driver to an imminent collision both at low speeds, typical of urban driving, and at higher speeds typical of rural roads and motorways.


At speeds above 9 mph, moving and stationary vehicles are detected along a path some 100m ahead of the vehicle. When the system senses that the car is likely to hit one of these obstacles, a three stage process is initiated. In the first, typically around three seconds before impact, the driver is alerted by visual and audible warnings. In the second stage, when the system senses that a collision is still likely (typically some two seconds before impact), three sharp tugs are given on the seat belt and the car automatically starts to apply some braking. Finally, when a collision is unavoidable, CMBS tightens the front seat occupants’ seatbelts (using reversible tensioners different from the pyrotechnic devices used during the collision itself) and applies a high level of braking force. This braking can be supplemented by the driver up to the maximum that the car is capable of.


All of the actions taken by CMBS are reversible: if an accident is averted (for example if the vehicle moves out of the way at the last moment, for example), the tension is removed from the seatbelts and the visual and audible warnings stop.


By studying accident statistics in Germany and extending the figures to the broader European community, Honda estimates that if all cars were fitted with CMBS, between 200,000 and 250,000 accidents could be either prevented or mitigated every year.



Technical Specification



1.6L i-DTEC


cc (cm3)


Bore x Stroke


76.0 x 88

Compression ratio




M/T Clutch type

Single plate dry / diaphragm spring

Transmission type

Single plate dry / diaphragm spring

Gear ratios















final reduction ratio


Curb weight  M/T


1310 - 1428

Maximum Power



Maximum Torque



Maximum Speed



Acceleration M/T secs.

0 – 62 mph


Fuel Consumption

Urban cycle


Extra urban (new method)


Combined (93/116/EC)







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