Test Drive – Day 1 – Engine and Gearbox
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As we mentioned yesterday in the initial impression, Honda makes the best petrol engines and this one is nothing less than a gem in their stable. The earlier City was criticized for being underpowered and if there are one group of people who love a challenge more than anyone else, it has to be the Japanese.
The New City Honda has a very powerful 1.5litre i-VTEC engine that makes a maximum of 118PS. Honda says the Intake valve timing and valve lift settings switch to meet both low- and high-speed driving requirements. Optimized valve overlap in the low, mid and high speed ranges enhance intake and exhaust efficiency for excellent performance with plenty of torque throughout all speed ranges.
Enough of that technical blah blah, let us get into the drivers seat and see if any of this works.
Start the engine – No sound, but wait! the engine’s on. You wont notice the car’s on till you see the tacho. Very smooth revving and noiseless.
Engage the 1st gear via the short throw mechanism which is a pleasure to use, and the City rises and moves in a sedate manner. Shift into 2nd gear and it opens its eyes wider and is now more agile. Into 3rd and it begins to eat tarmac very quickly. To give you an example on how quick this car is we managed to do 60kmph in the 1st and nearly 100 in the 2nd gear, top speed we managed was 160kmph.
Noteworthy here is the very light and easy action of the hydraulic clutch – utilizing hydraulic pressure to reduce the force needed during operation and provides a fatigue-free left leg.
Due to the longer ratios, one doesn’t have to keep changing gears to be in the powerband, available as you approach the 2.5k rpm mark which maxes out till the 7k rpm. This City weighs lighter than its previous generations, the power to weight ratio works in its favor.
The engine comes into immediate action when called, tap the throttle and it is at your service in no time.
Drive back in tomorrow as we speak about the interiors and comfort.