Rumor: Honda could launch CNG version of the City sedan in the coming months
Honda SIEL Cars India could launch a CNG version of its popular City sedan for the Indian car market, which has shifted from petrol engine cars to diesel engined ones in a big way. Currently, Honda does not offer even a single car model with a diesel engine variant and the lack of diesel engined cars has hit the Japanese automaker hard, with sales of its once-highly popular cars falling sharply. So, the addition of a CNG option on its petrol engined cars is expected to compensate for the lack of a diesel engine. CNG is much cheaper than petrol and a car equipped with CNG is also less polluting than one with a petrol or a diesel engine.
The downside of CNG though, is that the number of fuel stations dispensing this form of fossil fuel remains largely limited to the bigger cities of the country. So, CNG powered vehicles will have to make do with petrol or diesel on inter state trips, which is why car makers provide a dual fuel option in CNG and LPG vehicles. In Honda’s case too, expect the City sedan to be available with a dual fuel CNG-petrol option, if indeed the car makes it to production. In due course of time, Honda might launch more cars with the CNG dual fuel option if the City sedan succeeds in India.
Cars like the Brio and the Jazz are prime candidates to get a CNG-petrol dual fuel option. While the CNG equipped Honda cars could be a short term measure to boost sales, the real deal is still a turbodiesel motor under the hood. Honda has already begun testing the Brio with a diesel engine option, and in 2013, the Brio Diesel hatchback is expected to be launched in India. Other cars like the Jazz and the City too are expected to get diesel engines in the coming years although Honda, with typical Japanese secrecy, remains tight lipped about equipping its cars with diesel engines.
Honda is developin a new range of small capacity turbo diesel engines to equip its big volume cars. The first in the line of such engines is the 1.6 Liter i-DTEC engine that powers the UK-spec 2012 Civic sedan. Honda is aiming for high fuel economy, high torque and low tail pipe emissions for its brand new turbo diesel engine range. The 1.6 Liter, four cylinder turbo diesel engine produces a peak power of 120 Bhp and 300 Nm.