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February 21, 2023

Honda Drops VTEC For Emissions Sake

Is it the beginning of the end for Honda’s famed VTEC technology? When it comes to the company’s new generation V6, that seems to be the case.

Buried in the details surrounding the all-new Pilot and uncovered by U.S. publication Car And Driver, the new V6 engine—J35Y8—drops Honda’s famous VTEC technology for the sake of emissions. The V6 with its Variable Cylinder Management or VCM system features new hydraulic lifters (hence no more valve lash adjusters) to help keep the valves closed when the engine switches over to three-cylinder mode. Instead, the new engine relies on cam phasers to continually adjust both intake and exhaust timing akin to Toyota’s VVT-i system.

Honda hasn’t completely sold out, however. While the new V6 doesn’t have VTEC, it does have double overhead cams—the first V6 to offer the tech since the Honda NSX. The new engine is quite compact thanks to the cam bearing caps being incorporated into the valve cover. It also has a higher pressure direct injection system that squirts fuel up to three times per combustion cycle at 4,351 PSI or 50 percent higher than the SOHC V6.

In other geeky tech specs, the new V6 keeps the current model’s bore and stroke (displacement is set at 3,471 cc), 60-degree bank angle, and 11.5:1 compression ratio. It also continues to use a timing belt as the SOHC V6 engine before it.

All in all, the new 3.5-liter DOHC V6 ups its output by 5 horsepower to 285 horsepower, while peak torque remains the same at 355 Nm at 5,000 rpm. Compared to the SOHC V6, these peak numbers occur at slightly higher engine speeds—100 rpm and 300 rpm more, respectively.

These changes, according to Honda, will allow its V6 engine to meet emissions standards until at least 2030.

Apart from the Pilot, the new DOHC V6 will surely make its way to other Honda vehicles such as the Ridgeline and Odyssey. Whether or not Honda will also drop VTEC on its 4-cylinder engines remains to be seen. Can you imagine a Honda without its famed VTEC?

will do the same for its 4-cylinder engine remains to be seen, but given how fast the emissions

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