Honda’s 3 Banger (P10A2) in The New City
So, there’s the new Honda City in Thailand with a new engine.
Some brief information on the engine:
998 cc I3, DOHC, with Variable Valve Timing Control (VTC) and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) and single-scroll turbocharger (Borg Warner)
Power output: 122 PS @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 173 Nm @ 2,000rpm - 4,500 rpm
Transmission: CVT Automatic
The engine is the P10A2 which is, if I’m not mistaken, what you would find in the 1.0 litre turbocharged Civic. (Yes, there is a 1.0L Civic in Europe and China. There is a 6-speed manual and a CVT automatic option)
When I first heard of it, I thought the 3-cylinder turbo was something completely new for the Honda City. But since the engine has already been tested in the 1.0 turbo Civic, I guess you could look up YouTube videos on the 1.0 Turbo Civic for more information on how the engine feels. The engine had made its debut sometime in 2016 so it’s already been a while. Looks like good news for the City we might be getting soon.
Now, the idea of a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine is not something new. Some “performance” ‘Kei’ cars had turbocharged three bangers (Suzuki Cappuccino, Daihatsu Mira, Suzuki Alto). Three-cylinders are notorious for their excessive vibration due to the first order vibration of the engine. With 3 cylinders, 1 cylinder is always performing the opposite motion of the other 2 cylinders. Usually balancers are applied but in the case of the Honda P10A2, a balancer-less system is applied.
There’s more information on the P10A2 engine in a paper by the researchers. (I’ll just link it up here for you.) from h-tune.co.uk
The paper in JPEG form is also attached at the bottom of this article JIC you’re interested. They’ve also done extensive work on the cooling system of this 3-cylinder power plant. (Just right-click and 'open image in new tab' to download)
Mohd Farhan Alias from mekanika.my also did an extensive article on this which is very good. (I’ll link that up here.)
Most small cars of today, even with 3 cylinders, are naturally aspirated. Recent turbocharged 3-cylinders that come to mind are the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost and the Mini Cooper (or BMW 1 series with BMW’s B38 engine). With a 1.0L displacement, Honda’s P10A2 really does remind one of Ford’s 1.0L EcoBoost. Although in Malaysia, a Honda would be much cheaper than a Ford, so the choice is obvious, if you’re not keen on spending too much money. BMW’ B38 is a 1.5L which is much bigger than both engines from Honda and Ford. Also, in Malaysia, one does not buy a B-segment car because it’s a 3-cylinder turbocharged car with refined technology. One buys a B-segment car because one can afford the monthly payments without breaking the bank.
The City with such a small displacement will be an interesting car in the Malaysian market. The engine is also a teeny bit complex in my opinion with the presence of both VTC and VTEC. It also seems to incorporate the Atkinson cycle with some manipulation on the valve timing before TDC for the power stroke. Oh, by the way, transmission will be a CVT. It seems like CVTs are quite hard to avoid in today’s market. It’s just something you’ll have to live with.
Research on the 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. You can download the PDF at h-tune.co.uk. If the link no longer works in the future, you can always contact me for it. Below is the paper in JPEG form. Just right-click and 'open image in new tab' to view it bigger.