John Watts on Acura's green powertrain plans
Honda will continue developing hybrids but the technology will probably aimed at smaller urban cars that are best able to take advantage of regenerative braking. The upscale Acura division is looking at other options. A new 2.2L diesel is coming to the Accord in 2009 followed by a V-6 diesel for the larger SUVs and vans. Both engines are likely to migrate over to the sister brand.
On the gas engine side, the turbocharged 2.4L in the RDX likely won't be the last of its type. Just as companies like Ford, VW and GM are developing or releasing downsized boosted engines with direct injection, the same types will expand to other Acura models. On the subject of ethanol, Watts was decidedly unenthusiastic. He said that corn ethanol wasn't a viable solution, although once cellulosic ethanol becomes commercially available it could help displace a chunk of the demand for petroleum. Although we didn't discuss it, long term it's probable that there will be Acura-branded fuel cell vehicles as well.
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