Learn more on the Honda City 3-cylinder P10A2 engine- Research paper attached

So, there’s the new GN1 Honda City in Thailand with a new engine. What's so special about it? Is it any good?

First, here's some performance figures of the 3-cylinder engine:

Power output: 122 PS @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 173 Nm @ 2,000 rpm - 4,500 rpm

998 cc Inline-3, DOHC, with Variable Valve Timing Control (VTC), Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) and a single-scroll turbocharger from Borg Warner

The 3-cylinder engine is the Honda P10A2 engine which is, if I’m not mistaken, what you would find in the 1.0-litre turbocharged Honda Civic (for Europe, China etc.). The 1.0-litre turbocharged engine in the Honda Civic is paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

Details on the P10A2 Honda City (GN1) 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine:

Displacement988 cc
Bore73 mm
Stroke78.7 mm
Compression ratio10:1
No. of inlet valve per cylinder2
No. of exhaust valve per cylinder
Intake valve diameter28 mm
Exhaust valve diameter23 mm
VTC*Intake and exhaust
VTECIntake only
Fuel injection systemDirect injection
Camshaft driveTiming belt

*Variable Valve Timing Control (VTC)

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1.0 Civic Turbo. Photo: Auto Express UK

When I first heard of it, I thought the 3-cylinder turbo was something completely new for the GN1 Honda City. But since the engine has already been tested in the 1.0-litre turbo Honda 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 Honda City fans.

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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 in the GN1 Honda City, a balancer-less system is applied.

There’s more information on the P10A2 engine in a research paper by the researchers at Honda R&D, and I have attached that at the end of this article.

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The Honda 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.

Below is the research paper by the Honda R&D team on the P10A2 Honda 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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*2021 Update: Malaysia only gets the GN2 Honda City (1.5-litre engine) and is the first country in the world to get the i-MMD Honda City RS (GN3)

You can access the PDF file here

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