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Honda has revised its diesel engine in the next generation Civic hatchback. It’s now cleaner and more powerful.

Wake up! This is lightly important news because the CO2 in the 2.2-litre i-DTEC engine drops from 129g/km to 110g/km, making a showroom-fresh 2012 Honda Civic tax-free for the first year and just £20 a year from then on.

Along with this drop in CO2, it’s also been treated to a tiny dollop of power too. The revised unit now produces 148bhp, up from the old four-pot’s 138bhp. And this adheres to an oft-quoted TG truism: more is better.

These increments, that make it slightly cleaner and more powerful than a 2.0-litre TDCI Ford Focus, have been made possible using subtle forms of engine witchcraft: the oil flow through the engine has been ‘managed’ to reduce circulation loss, engine materials have been revised for less friction and Honda has installed start/stop technology. The Civic was also blasted extensively in the wind tunnel to improve the car’s aero, reducing drag and refining high speed stability.

Katsushi Watanabe, dev lead for the new engine said: “Reducing the emissions was our key target and we’re proud to say that we have achieved this without compromising the high performance character of the engine.

“We want our customers to have fun when they drive this car”, he added.

The new Civic - the ninth generation of Honda’s hatch - will make its worldwide debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month, ahead of an ‘early 2012’ UK on sale date. Hopefully with a slightly more visually pleasing body than the one you see above.

Excited by this clean, cuddly news?

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