Honda is currently developing a 1.2-litre three-cylinder diesel engine, which is set to debut in the next-gen Brio. The car is expected to make it to the showrooms in 2017.
Honda’s 1.5-litre diesel engine single-handedly turned around the fortunes of the brand, to make it the high sales volume player that it is today. Although stablemates Amaze, City and Mobilio got the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engines, a Brio diesel never saw light. This is one of the reasons why the Brio has never been able to sell in big numbers. However, Honda is hoping to make good with the 1.2-litre three-cylinder i-DTEC engine.
In terms of equipment, features, design and space too, buyers preferred to go in for rival Hyundai’s Grand i10, which came across as a better-rounded package. With the next-gen Brio, Honda is also likely to rework the interiors, which wasn’t upmarket enough for customers. Certain design elements like the glass hatch might also be changed to a conventional tailgate.
The 1.2-litre three-cylinder i-DTEC engine will sit below the 1.5-litre four-cylinder motor in Honda’s Earth Dreams series and is basically the same engine with a cylinder less. Since it is a smaller iteration of the existing engine, costs will also be kept under check.
Honda’s i-DTEC engines have always known to be frugal, and the same can be expected of the 1.2-litre unit. In fact, the downsizing could also help Honda achieve record fuel efficiency numbers.