Technology

Powertrain

Earth Dreams Technology

An awareness of rising fuel costs combined with Honda's ground-breaking environmental performance targets led to the creation of Earth Dreams Technology.

Honda's advanced driving performance is enhanced by low emissions to deliver the ultimate vehicle. 

"Earth Dreams Technology" is an expression for a set of technologies which takes into account both our need to protect the environment and our desire to provide a joy of driving.

Honda has set a target of 20% reduction in CO2 emissions for all products sold worldwide by 2020.

VTEC

The petrol engine was born over 100 years ago. Until VTEC, engine performance was a delicate balancing act as improvement in one area was always achieved at the expense of another. Combining drivability in everyday situations with outright performance is what VTEC is all about.

VTEC: an entirely new approach to engine design:

A 4-stroke engine goes through induction, compression, combustion and exhaust strokes to generate power. Before the advent of VTEC, the valves controlling the intake and exhaust strokes were operated according to fixed rules. If the intake valves were opened a relatively small amount to increase drivability at low engine speeds (as used in normal driving conditions), the engine could not intake enough air at higher engine speeds, sacrificing outright performance. On the other hand, if the intake valves were opened wide to increase breathing at higher engine speeds, performance at low engine speeds would be compromised. This is a dilemma that had plagued engines for over a century.

The new approach is to regulate valve operation to optimise performance at all engine speeds - opening the valves a small amount at low engine speeds, and opening the valves wider as engine speed increases. That's the breakthrough we call VTEC.

i-VTEC with Variable Timing Control

i-VTEC is the technology used in the latest family of Honda engines. The engines incorporate a host of innovative features designed to deliver a cutting-edge combination of performance, efficiency and low emissions. The technology combines VTC (Variable Timing Control) - which continually adjusts camshaft timing - with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which changes valve lift, timing and duration. The result is impressive horsepower and high torque with outstanding fuel economy and low emissions. In addition, the new engines are rotated 180 degrees from the traditional Honda layout, bringing the exhaust manifold closer to the catalyst for improved operating temperature and reduced emissions at start-up.

Honda has designed a multitude of engine variations dependant on engine requirements, for example, a high-performance version of i-VTEC which operates VTEC on both camshafts.

i-VTEC Valve Control System

The 'intelligent' i-VTEC system adds new VTC (Variable Timing Control) to VTEC to provide continuously variable camshaft timing - taking the concept of variable valve timing to new heights. In short, VTEC + VTC. Not only does i-VTEC provide a substantial performance increase across a broad power band, it boosts fuel economy while also reducing exhaust emissions.

VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control):

The innovative VTEC system is able to adjust the lift and opening duration of the valves to help the engine produce both abundant low rpm torque and excellent high-rpm power. At low rpm, VTEC adjusts valve timing and lift for optimum cylinder filling and fuel efficiency. In addition, the timing of the intake valves is staggered and their lift asymmetric - creating a swirl effect within the combustion chamber. The result is increasing burn speed with improved combustion stability. As engine rpm builds, VTEC transitions to a high-lift, long-duration cam profile for improved high-rpm engine output.

Earth Dreams CVT

The Earth Dreams CVTs are Honda’s latest evolution of the continuously variable automatic transmission. It offers smooth gear ratio transitions and excellent acceleration, matched with efficient low rpm cruising. It provides a more enjoyable drive by making the CVT feel more natural and engaging with the new G-Design Shift.  Weight, friction and pressure have been reduced and a new torque convertor has been adopted. Fuel efficiency has improved by around 10% over the earlier 5 Speed Automatic (5AT).

Paddle Shift

The Earth Dreams CVT transmission features a wide spread of ratios to maximise off-the-line acceleration, providing relaxed and fuel efficient cruising. When using Paddle Shifters it converts to a 7 Speed shiftable gearbox.

Its operation is now simpler and more logical to fully exploit its capabilities. On the gearshifter is a simple 'P R N D S' gate.

Slot the gear lever into Drive and your Honda will provide conventional automatic changing; if you momentarily want a more urgent response then you can simply change down a gear using the steering wheel paddles, and once the car is identified as returning to cruising mode, the system reverts back to automatic operation.

Alternatively you can move the shift lever to S mode for sportier change points and added engine braking effect. Using the steering wheel paddles in S mode provides a sequential shift mode, allowing manual shifting and gear hold. To heighten control and driver involvement, the shift logic in manual mode delivers quicker, firmer shifts than in fully automatic mode.

Real Time 4WD

Honda's 4-wheel / AWD drive system is designed to best match the majority of driving situations that vehicles realistically encounter. The fully automatic Real Time 4WD system enhances our SUV's all-weather and off-road capabilities when driving in rain, snow, dirt roads and sandy conditions, without the significant weight, fuel economy and handling performance drawbacks of a conventional four-wheel-drive system.

The Real Time 4WD system sends power only to the rear wheels when there is insufficient traction for the front-wheel-drive system. The system consists of the conventional front-wheel-drive system, a compact transfer case that distributes torque to a propeller shaft running the length of the vehicle, a dual-pump system with a multi-plate clutch, a cam unit mechanism, the rear differential, and left and right rear-wheel driveshafts.

VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) acts as an additional benefit with Real Time 4WD, by applying braking force to a slipping wheel thereby redirecting driving torque to the wheel with more traction.

Drive by Wire

Electronic Throttle Control is the technical name for what is known as 'drive by wire'.

In place of the conventional mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine throttle control, ETCS provides an all-electronic system able to detect throttle pedal position by means of a series of sensors. It then relays that information to a computer which instantaneously activates the throttle by means of a DC motor.

The control software works in harmony with the engine management system to provide smooth and responsive adjustments, which are directly proportional to driver input.

It is also fully integrated with the automatic transmission and cruise control software. This enhances the precision of these systems for maximum driver enjoyment.

Gear Logic Control

When in automatic mode, the transmission incorporates an advanced Gear Logic Control, which works to reduce gear 'hunting' and unnecessary changes.

Gear Logic Control alters the shift schedule when travelling uphill or downhill, reducing shift frequency, and improving speed control.

Throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration are continuously measured, then compared with a map stored in the transmission computer. The Gear Logic Control System then determines when the car is on a hill; if this is the case, the shift schedule is adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.

Gear Logic Control also keeps the transmission in its current (lower) ratio when the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied (such as when decelerating to enter a corner). This function leaves the chassis undisturbed by excess shifting during spirited driving, ensuring that abundant power is immediately available without a downshift, maintaining momentum and allowing rapid acceleration out of a corner.

Safety

Honda's commitment to safety is not limited to the needs of just car drivers but extends to passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of all vehicles— everyone on the road.

Honda leads the field in automobile safety research. With two of the world's most advanced indoor crash safety research facilities, an unprecedented variety of tests are conducted to provide Honda with a deeper understanding of what happens in real world collisions. From this, Honda develops new technologies that advance safety.

Find out more about the range of Honda safety technologies.

Fuel Economy

ECON Fuel Saver System

The ECON button modifies various vehicle systems to improve your Honda's overall energy use, improving your fuel efficiency.

Better fuel economy is achieved in a number of ways, depending on the vehicle's transmission and drivetrain. The ECON button modifies the following vehicle systems: control of the engine; efficient gear changes for transmissions; air conditioning and cruise control.

Low Emission Vehicles (LEV)

LEV is a term applied to a vehicle which meets the highly-regarded Californian USA anti-pollution laws. As part of a programme to reduce the vehicle exhaust emissions of all vehicles sold in California, the State has set emission lowering targets to be reached over the next few years. This targeted approach has arguably generated the most powerful emission lowering law in the world.

The standard set for LEV status is a 70% reduction in Hydrocarbon (HC) and a 50% reduction in Nitrous Oxides (NOx) emissions over that allowed in 1995.

The LEV engines fitted to all New Zealand new Hondas not only meet with the stiff LEV standard well ahead of the required target date, they actually exceed the standard by a further 80% reduction in emissions. To achieve this, without sacrificing performance, Honda applied subtle design changes to the standard SOHC/DOHC engines in these areas:

  • The way air and fuel are fed into the engine, especially when cold.
  • Redesign of the fuel injection system to deliver more precisely the amount of fuel at any given time.
  • Changes to the exhaust design allowing for a quicker warm up of the catalytic converter and stability of operating temperature.
  • Changes to the material composition and surface area of the catalytic converter allowing for increased cleaning of the exhaust gasses.

Connectivity

Advanced Display Audio

Honda offers the latest in smartphone connectivity, with some models allowing you to seamlessly integrate either Apple or Android devices with the Advanced Display Audio Unit.

Apple CarPlay™ is a smarter, safer and more fun way to use your iPhone in the car. It offers easy navigation and extensive audio and communication capabilities, all while you keep your eyes safely on the road. Use Apple’s highly intelligent Siri voice assistant to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and select your favourite music.

Android Auto™ allows you to quickly connect your compatible smartphone for navigation, communications, music and more. By extending the Android platform in a way that’s purpose built for the car, Android Auto is designed as powerful voice actions, with safety in mind.

Apple CarPlay, iPhone and Siri are trademarks of Apple Inc. CarPlay and Siri require iPhone 5 model and above running iOS 7.1 or higher.

Android, Android Auto and Google are trademarks of Google Inc. Android Auto requires Android™ 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

Navigation

GARMIN NAVIGATION APP

Some models have a in built Garmin Navigation App. Satellite Navigation from Garmin means you always know the best way to go, even if you do not have an active smartphone connection.

SYGIC

Honda also offers Sygic Car Navigation which provides offline maps, routes, turn by turn guidance and millions of points of interest, all of which when connected, appear on the Touch Screen of your Display Audio equipped Honda. You can also preplan your route and arrival time on your phone before even leaving the house. Sygic Car Navigation works via an App that is downloaded from the Apple App Store to a compatible iPhone, which mirrors onto your Honda Display Audio Screen.

Active Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is designed to dramatically reduce low frequency noise in the interior. The system operates whenever the car is running, regardless of whether the audio system is on or off.

There are two microphones in the cabin area.

The microphones capture low-end drivetrain frequencies entering the cabin, and send a signal to the Active Noise Cancellation unit. The control unit then creates a precisely timed reverse phase audio signal that is sent to an amplifier, which powers the door speakers and the subwoofer positioned on the rear parcel shelf.

Since the system is designed to cancel low-frequency sound, it doesn’t use any of the audio system's tweeters. The ANC dramatically reduces exterior noise. 

In the frequency range below 100 hertz, ANC results in an impressive 10 dB reduction in noise level.

Convenience

Magic Seats

Honda's Magic seats are a testimony to the very best in ingenious design. Once you have experienced Honda’s innovative rear seating, it is impossible to return to back seats that only fold one way.

The back seats don't merely fold down, they can flip up as well, resulting in 18 possible configurations for transporting almost anything.

Tall Mode is the first of the really astounding innovations. The back seats cleverly flip to give you the full advantage of the height of the car from the floor to the ceiling. That’s over 1.2m of height and a whole lot of options.

Utility Mode is the simplest configuration - where the back seats fold down like a regular hatch. But Honda’s engineers solved a little problem here as well – the seats fold completely flat, so you can slide in a chest of drawers without it snagging on the seats.

Long Mode is a surfer’s dream. The passenger seat folds down to fit in objects up to 2.4m in length. An incredible innovation, creating even more freedom.

Refresh Mode gives an even more spacious layout. After removing the head rests and moving the front seats forward, the back seat can be tilted down to form a bed like layout offering a comfy position to relax and refresh.

These are just the obvious combinations. Need to transport two bikes and a baby seat? Easy. How about two sets of golf clubs, three pieces of luggage and three passengers? No Problem.

The Magic Seat system will change car interior space as you know it. 

Smart Proximity Key & Pushbutton Start

To get into a Honda vehicle with smart proximity key and push-button start, you just need to have the key fob within a few feet of the car — it can stay in your pocket or your handbag. Touch the inside of the door handle, and the car will unlock if it senses the key fob within range. 

To start the car, simply press the start/stop button while your foot is on the brake pedal.

To turn the car off, just put the car in Park and then press the button.

Remote Window Open & Close

By holding down the lock button on the key-fob, windows can be opened a short way down to let in air on a really hot day. A useful feature if this is done half an hour or so before you are going to get in the car. Likewise these can be quickly closed using the same functionality.

Automatic Boot Opening

An added feature for the CR-V is the new electric tailgate which opens and closes at the push of a button. It lets you set the opening height to suit you or the garage space your car is parked in.