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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Honda Reworks Acura into Fuel-Efficient Diesel

By LAWRENCE ULRICH
New York Times

Consumers will have the option of choosing a diesel version of the 2009 Acura TSX.


Honda has spent decades establishing a reputation for fuel efficiency. But nothing in its current lineup, including its Civic Hybrid, can match the mileage of the diesel Accord I recently tested in and around New York City.

Minus its diesel powertrain, the European-market 2007 Accord that I drove is nearly identical to the car that Honda had been selling in the United States as the Acura TSX (in other words, it's smaller than the American Accord). The test car should give a solid indication of the mileage and performance American consumers can expect when Honda offers a diesel option for the redesigned 2009 TSX.

The Accord — a demonstration car provided by Robert Bosch, the German technology company, to highlight its fuel injectors and other diesel components — returned a remarkable 53 miles a gallon on the highway, 34 in the city and 44 in combined driving. Those miles included a bumper-to-bumper crawl through Manhattan, the worst possible conditions for fuel efficiency.

Cleaner emissions system

The model I drove was powered by a 4-cylinder diesel displacing 2.2 liters and producing 140 horsepower and a stout 250 pound-feet of torque — the force that drivers feel pushing them into their seats under acceleration. That huge torque relative to the engine's size is a main advantage of modern turbodiesels, making them well-suited to small economy cars and to burly SUV's that need torque for towing and hauling.

The America-bound Acura will use a new version of the 2.2-liter engine that I tested. The engine is notable for meeting 50-state emissions standards with no need to carry an onboard tank of urea, an ammonia-generating solution that other diesels use to scrub smoggy nitrogen oxides from the exhaust. Honda's patented pollution system generates its own ammonia to fulfill the same mission. While that cleaner emissions system wasn't installed on the Honda I tested, engineers expect it to have no discernible effect on fuel economy.

Advantages over hybrids

As with other diesels I've driven recently, the Honda's frugal highway mileage and versatile power are important advantages over the typical hybrid. The Accord covered the zero-to-60 run in just under 9 seconds in my testing, which doesn't sound spectacular on paper. But its passing power from 30, 50 or even 70 miles an hour was terrific, as the Honda easily shot past slower cars.

And as more hybrid owners are discovering, their cars deliver little or no mileage gain on the highway. That's because battery packs and electric motors add several hundred pounds, and the system also contributes negligible energy at freeway speeds.

Also unlike hybrids, which require drivers to go easy on the gas pedal, watch the speed limit and coast when possible to improve the mileage, the diesel Honda delivered brilliant economy with no special effort. Even spirited driving didn't dent the mileage much. The Accord delivered 50 mpg even during a 75-mph cruise and 40 mpg when I flogged it.

The Acura's only diesel telltale is an idle that's slightly louder than a gasoline car's, though it's not at all obtrusive. There was no trace of diesel smell or black exhaust.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another Article

Acura TSX to Receive 44mpg Diesel Engine
Posted on Monday 9 June 2008

Honda sells its Accord Euro in Europe and other markets with a range of four-cylinder engines including two petrol units displacing 2.0 and 2.4L, respectively, as well as a 2.2L four-cylinder i-DTEC turbodiesel engine. The same car is set to go on sale in the U.S. as the Acura TSX but in the world’s biggest car market the new model is only available with a 201hp 2.4L petrol engine.

According to the New York Times, Honda will sell a diesel version of new Acura TSX next year complete with the latest 2.2L i-DTEC turbodiesel. Developed in conjunction with German auto parts supplier Robert Bosch, the new engine fitted in the Accord Euro returns a fuel economy rating of 53mpg on the highway, 34mpg around town, and 44mpg for the mixed cycle.

The car is no performance slouch either, as its turbocharged engine delivers a peak output of 140hp and 250lb-ft of torque. The engine meets all 50-state emissions laws in the U.S. and it doesn’t require owners to replace its filtering system with urea like some rival clean-diesel models. Honda’s patented pollution system generates its own ammonia to fulfill the same mission.




 

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Damn 53mpg on the highway @ 75mph and 44mpg combined cycle?! That is amazing.
 

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It's a shame that Honda/Acura did not offer this power plant in the 04 - 08 Acura/Honda line-up, particularly the TSX. Needless to say, it's about time.
 

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w00t
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Personally, I think this is the wrong direction to take Acura. The type of person that purchases a brand new tsx is probably one that isn't so much concerned about fuel costs and mileage. I think diesels are more in line with Honda.
 

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Personally, I think this is the wrong direction to take Acura. The type of person that purchases a brand new tsx is probably one that isn't so much concerned about fuel costs and mileage. I think diesels are more in line with Honda.
i beg to differ. as of now, the diesel is the ONLY incentive to buying the 09 TSX.
 

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Yes and No with the above comment:

For me, yes it is now the only appealing factor for the new TSX. However I do think it would do better as an Accord Diesel, rather then a TSX Diesel.
 

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Mercedes has been making Diesels for decades, and those with some of the newer Mercedes Turbo Diesels love them. This is probably the right direction for Acura. However, if they made a turbo diesel in the MDX or Pilot, I'd probably trade in my 05 Pilot in a heartbeat for one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alternatives

I do not think that Acura had much choice but to add some kind of green engine to their lineup. Lexus is doing ok w/ their RX400h (not so much w/ the GS5450h or LS600h) other brands like Mercedes & BMW have hybrids & diesels coming ... even though Honda had the 1st hybrid on the market in the US, they do not have 1 @ all for Acura.

Although it may not have been a gas sipper, the Accord Hybrid system would have worked nicely in the TL or RL. They could have been like Lexus & just made them in limited numbers that way if it failed it would not have been as obvious ( "Our sales goal was 750/year & we made it!!") ... it could have been their green/technologically advanced vehicle until the diesels were ready 5 years later.

Being the off-the-beaten-track company that Honda is, they put together the fuel cell FCX which they are leasing in limited quantities bc the fuel infrastructure does not exist in the US ... but instead of giving it an Acura badge (especially w/ a name like FCX) they gave it to Honda. That would have been another nice halo effect vehicle for their luxury brand.

I am really excited to see how Acura's 5 year plan to Tier 1 Luxury status unfolds but considering their past wackiness ..........

 

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Mercedes has been making Diesels for decades, and those with some of the newer Mercedes Turbo Diesels love them. This is probably the right direction for Acura. However, if they made a turbo diesel in the MDX or Pilot, I'd probably trade in my 05 Pilot in a heartbeat for one.
Point in case right there. Mercedes Benz has had success, in terms of sales, with the E-class and M-class Bluetec Diesels. Take it this way - would you rather drive an E-class Benz that averages 20-22MPG or one that can surpass 35MPG?
 

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Shaka!
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i beg to differ. as of now, the diesel is the ONLY incentive to buying the 09 TSX.
Now we just need SH-AWD and RDX engine in the TSX as another incentive.
 

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TSXClub East Coast Crew
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TSX Type-D yo!

No diesel smell? I'm sold!.....Better have higher HP than current version and high torque though! If HP is even lower, they're not going to get any business.
 

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i bet the upgrades in engine performace will be awesome with the diesel. look at ford super dutys- u can buy chips and exhausts for them and make them run in the 13 second range in the quarter mile and thats a dually weighing like 6,000 pounds!!!!! diesel is the way to go guys...
 

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i bet the upgrades in engine performace will be awesome with the diesel. look at ford super dutys- u can buy chips and exhausts for them and make them run in the 13 second range in the quarter mile and thats a dually weighing like 6,000 pounds!!!!! diesel is the way to go guys...
13s? I've seen them run low 11's. It's like having a new found respect for ********. Eh, but the powerchokes are a joke... Duramax all the way.
 

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Personally, I think this is the wrong direction to take Acura. The type of person that purchases a brand new tsx is probably one that isn't so much concerned about fuel costs and mileage. I think diesels are more in line with Honda.
why? TSX aint that expensive...It's barely an entry lvl luxury sedan.
The group you are talking about are those people who buy Vette, BWM M's....& up.
 

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Personally, I think this is the wrong direction to take Acura. The type of person that purchases a brand new tsx is probably one that isn't so much concerned about fuel costs and mileage. I think diesels are more in line with Honda.
Not really. I plan on buying a new car probably within a year. I love my car, but the sub par gas mileage is a real annoyance. I would like to keep it and can afford it, but I want something that gets better gas mileage and I don't see Infiniti really doing anything about this.

I have been seriously looking at the new Accord coupe and the next gen TSX. I like the first gen TSX, but obviously the G35 Coupe won my heart. I had never heard they were planning on pumping out a diesel until I visited this forum. That really peaks my interest.

I want a more fuel efficient car and I think the Prius's are cool, but they just don't do it for me. I want a car that has fuel efficiency in a sport/luxury package and have been waiting to see how the automakers are going to start catering the many of us out there that are environmentally conscious, but still get a kick from driving. I know they are capable of making sporty/luxury cars that also get good fuel economy.

There is a demand for it, and the demand is growing, I think automakers realize this and the future will bring more fuel efficient cars that will cater to more drivers than the Prius crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Prius

If you drive on freeway alot & doing 80mph.....Do prius actually save gas or waste gas?
The Prius gets 48/45mpg; the electric motor helps more in the city but it is still quite a fuel sipper on the highway. I think that Honda's IMA is the opposite as it helps more during acceleration and that is why the Civic Hybrid's hwy #s are bigger.

Mercedes & BMW have announced that they are introducing 4 cylinder engines (probably w/ turbos) & Infiniti is talking about a car smaller than the G35/37. Lexus, a believer that 4 cylinders and tiny vehicles are not luxury, seems to be waiting to see what the competition is doing but rumors have been strong that it is considering an RDX, X3, E35 fighter. Looks like Acura was just a little ahead of the game w/ the small entry level vehicle with a small engine ....
 

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Prius may do a few more mpg than the Accord diesel but hey, Accord gives you way more power than Prius.
 
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