Re: Honda better tell Porsche they can't do that...
(Score: 1, Normal)
Grace141 wrote: Owe, in the discussion thread in which you compared the Civic Si to a Ferrari I mentioned the idea of a level playing field.
- The 2016 CAFE requirements are calculated for each manufacturer based on a number of variables such as the types of car offered, the size of the cars, the wheelbase of the cars. The list is lengthy. I know it is fact that BMW received several exemptions for their cars because they were determined to be a niche manufacturer. I don't know about Porsche.
- The CARB ratings are specific about emissions from individual cars but no one here ever talks about the manufacturer ratings doled out by our friends in California more or less requiring each manufacturer to sell a given percentage of P-ZEV cars in its product mix with, again, total numbers of cars sold taking into account. This requirement has changed over the years but the last I read it was still in place.
- Economies of scale always come into play.
- I don' recall Porsche making a bold CO2 reduction commitment of any kind. Maybe they have and I just haven't read of it. We can agree this is a questionable (or silly) move by Honda but they didn't ask for my opinion. Honda's CO2 reduction goals go beyond the CARB requirements in scale because they are targeting a specific pollutant and not just an overall mix.
The question Honda should ask Porsche is how they will downscale this technology into a $22k US sedan and coupe which will sell in an unknown quantity. It won't be an Audi, for certain, so we'll see a $22k GTi/GLi with a 9k redline? Better still, a Jetta which won't fall apart within the first 150k miles. Has anyone here bought a new Jetta and put 150k miles on it?
The question we should be asking Honda is why not offer a high-er revving engine for the Si. Has anyone here with the access thought to do that? Has anyone inside Honda actually said "yeah, this is a lot cheaper"? Can anyone here who builds these motors or who works in the manufacturing sector say how many US dollars cheaper it is to build the K24 TSX motor than a separate K20 Si motor?
Grace, you have to hand pick facts about emissions and CAFE in order to build your argument.
1) The reason BMW got exceptions was because they convinced the US govt that they were "boutique." The number of sales required to get CAFE exemption pretty much matches BMW's total annual sales. It was not coincidental that it occurred that way as BMW lobbied hard, and won for that number.
That said, the EPA was also quite clear that ANY division of a volume automaker would be counted against a larger brand's EPA score. I.E. Audi counts for VW (as should Lamborghini, Porsche, etc), just as Lexus counts for Toyota and Acura counts towards Honda's score. Thus it is unlikely that companies like Porsche (who are building this monstrous high-revving V8) don't have the same concerns as Honda simply due to the fact that it all factors into VW's CAFE score. With the total US volume of VW and Audi, it isn't like their sales are so high that they don't have to worry about Porsche, which sells in a fair volume in and of itself.
Even if you remove Ferrari and BMW completely, it still doesn't explain away Ford, GM, Porsche, Audi, Subaru and Toyota, all of whom have several high revving offerings that will sticking around for awhile.
If this little factor didn't enter into the equation, I might agree that your argument has merit. But to pretend that 20,000 Hondas can't be offset with what amounts to a high CAFE score anyway, but 20,000 Porsches can magically disappear is simply silly.
You act as though something resembling a K20 with EGR and a few minor changes would be akin to a Bessemer Steel Mill, when the reality is that it would likely meet ULEV emission standards and perform very closely to the K24 that is in there now. It isn't like we are asking for a 7L decatted OHV V8 making 1200HP. Your groups assertions that the K20Z3 was some dirty pig are just silly. And it was a very clean engine without many simple technologies that Honda has developed AND implemented in the last 20 years, all of which improved emissions with little affect on HP. EGR and dual wall exhaust manifolds to name a few.
2) Your second premise is horrendously flawed because, again, it assumes that Honda has to meet some arbitrary metric that doesn't apply to anyone else. Last I saw, Ford and Toyota BOTH have to meet the same CAFE standards as Honda, and not only is the Scion FR-S equipped with a high revving NA 4 cylinder, but so is the Mustang. Too early to tell about the FR-S, but I can assure that several maginitudes more Mustangs are sold than Sis. So again, your premise is only valid if and only if, nobody else has to meet the same standard as Honda. Clearly, that is not the case, so clearly, your assumption that Ford can hide Mustangs but Honda can't hide Sis (which outperform the Mustangs to begin with in terms of CAFE score) is again, silly.
3) Even assuming CA is dictating different CAFE mixtures (which it isn't because CAFE is a nationally mandated program), your premise still doesn't hold for the same reason #2 doesn't hold.
4) Every vehicle sold in the US is required to meet the same minimum emissions standard. Perhaps you need to go back and read up on what CAFE is, because CAFE dictates MPG. Again, you can't tell me that a 30MPG Civic Si can't be lost in the wash, but the Mustang GT which is sold in far larger quantities and gets significantly worse MPG can. Especially when you consider Ford's fleet mix versus Hondas, and their current average MPG.
This brings me right back to my original point in this thread that you guys keep sending out the "emissions" and "MPG" mantra as though Honda is the only one that has to meet that condition. Sorry, but it is pure and total B.S. Honda is not special, they are not playing to a different set of rules, and I still have not seen a single slice of evidence presented from anyone who is anti-high revving that there is any factual data to suggest that putting a 20% larger engine that doesn't rev as high gets a better score. The only thing that contributes to Honda's score is the slight increase in MPG. Nothing else. From an emissions standpoint, the K24 does a little better, but again, there is nothing to suggest the K20 couldn't match it with very minor changes.
As for your cost assertions, let's look at why we know the K24 is cheaper.
1) The block is shared with every other K24 powered car sold worldwide. Since Honda literally builds hundreds of thousands of these per yer (if not over a million), there is some incremental cost savings there. The K20 did not share the identical block casting, because the K24's lengthened stroke required more deck height. The K24 block is several MM taller.
2) The K24 in the Si is essentially exactly the same as the engine in the TSX, but more importantly, it is virtually identical to the engine in the Accord EX. There again, is your volume advantage. Put a new tune on it (dirt cheap by engine component and manufacturing standards) and MAYBE change the pistons slightly (either way, they still match the TSX). Since the bore on the K24 is slightly larger than the K20Z3 (87mm vs 86) there is an incremental cost savings there too.
Add another incremental savings for the minor production line simplification of only having to deal with the K24.
2) Cylinder head. The K24 cylinder head is cheaper by virtue of simple component count. The exhaust cam is simpler, which means less material (fewer cam lobes), and less machining (don't need to machine as many lobes). There are no complex rocker arms on the exhaust side, and there are no lost motion assemblies. The split rocker arms and LMA's alone would reduce total parts count by a significant margin. Then, you have the reduced cost of the integrated exhaust manifold, which is one less part that Honda has to assemble since it is already in the head. The casting is a little bit more complex and expensive, but overall, not as much as what they save by not having to weld an exhaust manifold together on a much more complex head. They also save money on the gasket, which is now smaller and has less material. It is also not as complex as the 4 port gasket on the K20Z3. The transmission is largely the same as the TSX as well. My understanding was that the K20 and K24 transmission casings, castings and internals are fairly significantly different. People trying to swap K-series parts into their Hondas were typically having to mix and match transmissions because they aren't all the same.
Now, you said you wanted numbers, so here is the best I can do. I can buy all components wholesale and here is what it would cost me:
Short Block: $1654
Short Block: $1567
Now, before you get all defensive, Honda's internal cost is very secret and nobody who had access to that stuff would divulge it. However, I have to assume that they have a fairly standard method of calculating retail cost based on internal cost, so to some degree, I am inclined to believe that the margins of difference are somewhat related to their cost savings/losses.
We know that the powertrain is more "drivable" by virtue of its additional torque, and we also know that it does slighly better in MPG and emissions. What we don't know is how the K20Z3 would have faired with a little bit of extra cost and a few minor changes. Given the fact that the powertrain could be up to 30% cheaper though, I think it is pretty hard to deny that internal cost savings played a large role, especially with all of the media stuff floating around about Honda having to reduce cost in the face of financial apocalypse...
*As an interesting side note, HPD sells the K20R from the Civic FD2-R for less money than it sells the USDM K20Z3. And it made an additional 25HP and about an additional 20 lb-ft of torque over the same, broad powerband. That puts it within about 10 lb-ft of the K24Z7, but it made more than 90% of its peak over an additional 3-4K RPM vs the K24Z7. Again, you ALL chose to focus solely on the revs. While yes, the revs are a large part of what has ALWAYS made Hondas fun (all the way back to their motorcycles and cars from the 60's), it is STILL less about the K24's rev ceiling and more about Honda's total retreat from engine technology. From a purely technological standpoint, the K24Z7 is inferior to the K20Z3 as far as an engine in an enthusiast product is concerned. You can sit there and tell us we are wrong all you want, but the reality is that if you took the K20Z3 head and bolted it onto the K24Z7 block (which is what NASA and SCCA are allowing race teams to do), you would be looking at more like 220-230HP and probably similar peak torque. But the part you wouldn't hear about is that the K24 with a K20Z3 head would produce a powerband very similar to the K20Z3, with it making 90+% of peak torque from just off idle (about 2,000RPM to just shy of 6-7K RPM). The current K24Z7 can only deliver that % of peak torque between about 3K and 5K RPM, so no matter how you slice it, the engine could have been better. The funny thing about this, is that if you look at the K24Z7 dyno curves, Honda could have gotten that power without increasing the redline at all. Why? Because not having the torque drop like a rock over 5K RPM would have allowed the engine to make a lot more top end power without NEEDING more revs (since HP is a function of torque x RPM). If the Si debuted with a K24Z7 that made 220HP and 170-180 lb-ft from 2K-7K, you wouldn't have heard a peep out of me, even with a 7100RPM redline. But now, I get a very marginal performance increase and I lose about 80% of what separated the Si from its much faster competitors. Or they could have put a K20R, or a K22 with more emissions friendly tuning. Either way, we would have gotten a lot more car. The only thing we wouldn't have gotten was a cheaper car, and frankly, I would have been OK with that. So let's pay less focus to the revs and more attention to the real problem, shall we? Even assuming the K20Z3 is the single shittiest engine ever built, it has the lowest torque and nobody wants to rev past 6 grand, the K24 is still an excuse of what it should have been, and even worse, is a lame excuse for what Honda COULD have made.
Perhaps you guys don't understand because you don't spend the time looking at the stuff some of the enthusiasts do, I don't know. What I do know is that the K24Z7 is compromised in a lot of ways versus what it could have been. The only unquestionably strong answer I can find that Honda wouldn't have been able to work around with minor effort is cost.
Think of it as akin to the VCM J35 in the Accord. It isn't necessarily a bad engine, and you would never know the difference; until you drove the non-VCM J35 in the Accord coupe 6MT, or any number of older, non-VCM J series engines. On paper, it has more torque and power than the J30A4/A5 it replaced in the 7th gen Accord. Realistically, it isn't faster (peak or otherwise) because it makes it additional torque in a very narrow range of RPM. It isn't more flexible, it isn't more refined, it doesn't deliver the same real world MPG, and it isn't as nice to drive. Does it make more torque? Yes. Does it perform vs the J30A4/A5 to a margin that its specs on paper would suggest? Not even close.