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i-VTEC Technology: A Masterpiece from Honda's Inno...

04 April 2014, 12:52 PM

The Japanese car maker, Honda has been present in the domestic auto market for over a decade now and has gradually witnessed its prominence among prospective buyers. At present, the car maker is mentioned in the 5 top most successful auto manufacturers of India, competing with the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. There are several factors that have contributed in this trustworthy image of the auto maker, ranging from technology to designs and unique innovations. Amidst these aspects, one chief reason that has provided a boost in the company's growth is its technology of i-VTEC engines. The legendary i-VTEC is used in the petrol versions of Honda's models and is acknowledged for its exemplary on-road performance.

A Brief Introduction into the History

With an aim to improve the efficiency of its engines, Honda first developed a unique system of VTEC – acronym for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. It used dual-camshaft profiles and monitored the opening of exhaust valves and air-fuel intake valves with respect to the engine speed. The technique was first implemented in the company's sports motorcycle, Honda CBR400 as HYPER VTEC. Soon the company marked the advent of a Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) VTEC engine in its car, Integra. In the early nineties, this technology was left unnoticed until the Honda Acura Integra GS-R was launched with the DOHC VTEC engine. It was incorporated by a 1.7-litre mill that churned out 160 bhp with an 8000 rpm limit.

During the mid-1990s, the same engine was tapped under the hood of Honda Integra Type R after minor retuning and the results were astonishing. The car produced 197 bhp of power output, which was way more than any of the sportscars present during that time. Over the years many refurbishments were carried in the VTEC system and the most crucial was the i-VTEC (where I stood for intelligent). This technology further utilised Variable Timing Control (VTC) to provide superior results. It was first witnessed in the K-series 4-cylinder mills of the company and marked its official debut in USA under the bonnet of Honda CR-V.

i-VTEC in India

In India, i-VTEC technology was first introduced under the hood of the company's iconic sedan Honda City. It was blended with a 1.5-litre engine, which could develop a power output of more than 110 bhp with a peak torque of over 140 Nm. These figures were a big deal in the Indian auto market and the more surprising part was the fuel economy of this engine. The engine efficiently delivered an Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) tested mileage of over 16 kmpl. Soon the i-VTEC made its debut in other cars as well, such as Honda Accord, Jazz, CR-V and the recently introduced Brio and Amaze.

This technology has won many accolades of global and national levels, and continues to elate the company's vast fan following. Auto experts believed that in the past few years when diesel cars hugely dominated the Indian roads, it was Honda's petrol models that were still purchased largely. The i-VTEC methodology has been a distinct innovation from the company's think tanks and in the coming future too, it will be certainly delivering, if not similar then, a better performance.

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