The Honda Company has a history of producing quality cars, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, robots, jets and jet engines, ATVs, watercraft, and many other important technologies. An interesting historical feature of the Honda Company is the origin of the Honda engine. Honda is the world’s largest engine manufacturer, with more than 14 million internal combustion engines manufactured each year.
After World War II, Soichiro Honda formed Honda Research Institute Company Ltd in Japan. In 1947, Honda built the Type A engine, a 1-horsepower 50cc two-stroke engine that clipped onto bicycles. Honda staff called it the “chimney” because of its tall cylinder. In September 1948, the Honda Motor Co. was formally established.
Honda’s first production car was the T360 mini pick-up truck that was powered by a small 356cc in-line 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Honda’s first production car was the S500 sports car. In 1961, the largest engines of the Volvo model called the 122-S series B-18 engine were built. In 1965 Honda built a racing car equipped with a 12-cylinder engine.
In 1973, The Ford Motor Company entered into an agreement with The Honda Motor Company to obtain technical data on a new engine that would reduce air pollution. They created the first engine to meet the guidelines of the 1970 US Clean Air Act.
In 1991, Honda reported selling 7,000 CRX-HF cars in which the Honda engine used computers and sensors to monitor valve action and air-fuel. The purpose was to increase the amount of air in the mixture to 20 parts for 1 part gasoline.
In May 1999, Honda announced that it would supply its new Formula 1 engines to British American Racing. The biggest highlight of the announcement was that Honda’s engine engineers had developed an oil trap that fitted into the engine. Also in 1999, Hybrid Electric Honda launched the first commercial hybrid electric car to be sold in the US as the Honda Insight. The first-generation Insight was built between 2000 and 2006. This was the lowest-fuel-consuming mass-produced car at the time. In 2000, Honda began mass-producing clean, high-performance engines.
The Honda Civic GX is the only natural gas vehicle (NGV) available in select locations in the U.S. In 2001, the Civic GX was rated the cleanest-burning internal-combustion engine in the world by the US Environmental Protection Agency. USA
In 2006, Honda announced that it would build a $ 154 million engine plant near Alliston, Ontario, Canada. It would be the first engine plant in Canada. In late 2006, Honda’s Brazilian subsidiary launched flex-fuel versions for the Honda Civic and Honda Fit. These models run on a mixture of hydrated ethanol (E100) and E20-E25 gasoline.
Honda introduced the second-generation Insight in Japan in February 2009. It will be the cheapest hybrid available in America.
Since 2002, Honda has been selling the Honda Civic Hybrid (2003 model) in the US It was followed by the Honda Accord Hybrid, which was offered in models from 2005 to 2007. Honda also plans to introduce a hybrid version of its Honda Fit. as well as another unique small hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z sports car that was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show.
Honda has a remarkable history in building solid engines. It will be interesting to see what the future of the Honda engine will bring.