Honda C engine
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Honda's first production V6 was the C series; it was produced in displacements from 2.0 to 3.5 liters. The C engine was produced in various forms for over 20 years (1985–2005), having first been used in its then new Legend model, and its British sister car the Rover 800-series (and Sterling).
|Honda C engine|
|Displacement||2.0 L (1,996 cc)|
2.5 L (2,494 cc)
2.7 L (2,675 cc)
3.0 L (2,977 cc)
3.2 L (3,179 cc)
3.5 L (3,473 cc)
|Cylinder bore||82 mm (3.23 in)|
84 mm (3.31 in)
87 mm (3.43 in)
90 mm (3.54 in)
93 mm (3.66 in)
|Piston stroke||63 mm (2.48 in)|
75 mm (2.95 in)
78 mm (3.07 in)
91 mm (3.58 in)
|Block material||Aluminum die-cast|
|Valvetrain||SOHC & DOHC 4 valves x cyl. with VTEC|
|Compression ratio||9.0:1, 9.6:1|
|Turbocharger||Variable geometry (some versions)|
|Fuel system||Fuel injection|
|Management||Electronic Control Unit|
|Power output||From 145 to 294 PS (107 to 216 kW; 143 to 290 bhp)|
|Torque output||From 167 to 304 N⋅m; 123 to 224 lbf⋅ft (17 to 31 kg⋅m)|
All C engines share in common a 90-degree V from bank to bank and common cylinder block bore centers. The engine family can be broken down into three sub families:
- C20A, C20AT, C25A and C27A (transversely mounted)
- C30A and C32B (transversely mounted rear)
- C32A, C35A, and C35B (one-off) (longitudinally mounted)
As a general rule, interchange of parts will not work between these sub groups.
SOHC 1,996 cc (2.0 L)
- 145 PS (107 kW; 143 hp) at 6,500 rpm
- 167 N⋅m; 123 lbf⋅ft (17 kg⋅m) at 5,500 rpm
The variable length intake manifold used six individual small-bore intake runners below 3,500 rpm for each cylinder and added an additional six individual larger bore intake runners at higher RPMs.
The C20AT was a turbocharged version, called the "Wing Turbo", producing 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS).
- 1989 Honda Legend
Honda replaced the variable length intake manifold with a variable geometry turbocharger to the C20A engine used in the Japanese Domestic Market Legend. The turbo with intercooler-equipped engine was the C20AT engine and are extremely rare. Honda pioneered variable-geometry turbo chargers. The "Wing Turbo", as Honda called them, were controlled by an 8-bit processor ECU and they were constantly adjusting. Basically, at low speeds the wings surrounding the turbine wheel inside the compressor housing on the intake side would be nearly closed to speed and direct exhaust pressure precisely on the turbine wheel. At 2000 rpm, the wings would fluctuate and it would act like a much larger turbo to increase fuel economy as needed. This car was quick and powerful, but the price premium over the slightly longer and wider Legend with the 2.7 L (2,675 cc) naturally aspirated V6 was too much for most, so the car disappeared. This was one of the only production Hondas ever turbocharged from the factory (excluding turbo engines of kei car for the Japan domestic market), along with the K23A1 straight-4 engine used in the Acura RDX and the ER straight-4 engine used in the first generation Honda City until model year 2017, when most of their model lines had the option of the 1.5L turbocharged engine.
SOHC 24 valves, 9.0:1 compression
- 165 PS (121 kW; 163 hp) at 6,000 rpm
- 211 N⋅m; 156 lbf⋅ft (21.5 kg⋅m) at 4,500 rpm
- 1986-1987 Honda Legend Sedan, 1986-1988 Rover 825 Sedan,
- 151 bhp (113 kW; 153 PS) at 5,800 rpm
- 213 N⋅m; 157 lbf⋅ft (21.7 kg⋅m) at 4,500 rpm
- UK and Europe (sold in US as Sterling 825i)
The engine utilized a 90 degree V-angle to the crankshaft in preference to the taller but more common 60 degree design, with a compression ratio of 9.0:1. The crankshaft had crankpins offset 30 degrees to provide a low profile engine that fires smoothly and evenly. The block and cross flow pent roof cylinder heads with 24 valves are die-cast from aluminum alloy and the cylinder bores are lined with cast iron. The exhaust system uses equal length exhaust pipes connected to the Exhaust manifold to minimize scavenging resistance and maximum total exhaust efficiency. An external high capacity water cooled oil cooler and filter maintain an efficient oil temperature.
Applications; non-North America:
- C27A-2 - 1988-1990 Honda Legend Coupe, 176 bhp (131 kW; 178 PS) (non catalyst) UK and Europe
- C27A-2 - 1988-1990 Honda Legend Saloon, 176 bhp (131 kW; 178 PS) (non catalyst) UK and Europe
- C27A-2 - 1987-1991 Rover 827/Sterling/Vitesse, 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) (non catalyst) UK and Europe
- C27A-1 - 1991 Rover 827/Sterling/Vitesse, 168 bhp (125 kW; 170 PS) (catalyst) UK and Europe
- C27A-1 - 1991-1995 Rover 827/Sterling/Coupe, 168 bhp (125 kW; 170 PS) (catalyst) UK and Europe
Applications; North America:
- C27A-1 - 1987-1990 Acura Legend Coupe, 161 bhp (120.1 kW; 163.2 PS) (catalyst)
- C27A-1 - 1988-1990 Acura Legend, 161 bhp (120.1 kW; 163.2 PS) (catalyst)
- C27A-4 - 1995-1997 Honda Accord, 170 bhp (126.8 kW; 172.4 PS) (catalyst) For this particular vehicle the engine was updated with a more efficient intake manifold.
- C27A-1 - 1988-1991 Sterling (marque), 168 bhp (125.3 kW; 170.3 PS) (catalyst)
The DOHC VTEC C30A is a 2,977 cc (3.0 L) version, producing 270 bhp (274 PS; 201 kW) at 7,300 rpm and 284 N⋅m; 210 lbf⋅ft (29 kg⋅m) at 6,500 rpm of torque. The engine was the second Honda Engine ever to utilize Honda's proprietary VTEC variable valve timing system in an automotive application, which adjusts cam lift and duration depending on engine RPM and throttle position. VTEC allows the C30A to produce a high maximum power level while maintaining a relatively flat torque curve. C30A was also equipped with Variable Volume Induction System (VVIS), which used a primary and a secondary intake plenum. Secondary intake plenum engages at 4800 RPM to improve engines breathing ability and broadens torque curve.
The C30A also made use of titanium connecting rods, which was another first in a mass-production vehicle. The lightweight rods allowed a higher RPM to be achieved while maintaining the strength of traditional steel rods. The C30A block is an open-deck design made from an aluminum alloy with cylinders sleeved in ductile iron. The heads are 4 valves per cylinder (24 valves per engine total), twin-cam design and contain the VTEC mechanism, which is actuated by oil pressure. For maximum performance, the C30A uses a direct ignition system, with individual coils positioned directly over each cylinder spark plug.
Due to its DOHC layout and its lightweight rotating assembly, the C30A is capable of reliable high RPM operation.
Due to its complexity, cost and use of exotic materials, the C30A was used exclusively on Honda's NSX car. For NSX's equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, Honda used a slightly less powerful version of the C30A, which utilized less aggressive cam timing and produced 252 bhp (188 kW; 255 PS).
An advanced version of this engine exists (though not in a production form) that campaigned briefly in the 2004 JGTC racing series (see Super GT) by the factory-supported Team Honda Racing group in highly modified GT-spec NSXs. This engine has various upgrades and modifications by Mugen and is the first turbo-charged Honda engine used in the series (prior to 2003, the GT-spec NSXs used a highly advanced, naturally aspirated variant of the C32B engine). Though the exact performance figures are kept secret, it is rumored to output more than 500 bhp (373 kW).
The C32A is a 3,179 cc (3.2 L) version. The SOHC depending on model year, produces 200 hp (203 PS; 149 kW) and 230 hp (172 kW).
Applications; North America Only:
- C32A1 - SOHC USDM - 200 hp (203 PS; 149 kW)
- C32A6 - SOHC USDM - 200 hp (203 PS; 149 kW)
- 1996-1998 Acura 3.2TL
- C32A1 Performance variation - Also known as the "Type-II" - Uses a higher flowing intake manifold and slightly more aggressive camshaft - SOHC USDM - 230 hp (233 PS; 172 kW) at 206 N⋅m; 152 lbf⋅ft (21 kg⋅m)
The C32B is a highly tuned DOHC V6 used in the Honda NSX, which produces 290 bhp (294 PS; 216 kW) at 7,100 rpm and 304 N⋅m; 224 lbf⋅ft (31 kg⋅m) at 5,500 rpm of torque. The engine is essentially an update to the C30A and does not share commonality with the C32A. Honda increased displacement to 3,179 cc (3.2 L; 194.0 cu in) through the use of larger 93 mm (3.66 in) pistons over the 90 mm (3.54 in) used in the C30A. To accommodate the larger pistons, Honda used an advanced metallurgical technique on the cylinders called Fiber Reinforced Metal (FRM), in which an ultra lightweight alumina-carbon fiber is cast into the traditional aluminum alloy for enhanced rigidity. This process allowed thinner cylinder walls to be used while providing acceptable cooling characteristics. The C32B also used 36 mm (1.4 in) intake valves, which are 1 mm (0.04 in) larger than those in the C30A.
The C35A is a SOHC and carries the largest displacement of the C series at 3,473 cc (3.5 L; 211.9 cu in). The c35a was the first mass-produced engine to use block forged connecting rods contributing to precise balancing and an exceptionally strong bottom end. The C35 also contains a balance shaft to dampen engine vibrations associated with 90 degree design V6 engines. Besides the addition of these forged components, the overall design is similar to its smaller counterpart the C32A, with some parts being interchangeable. The 9.6:1 compression ratio of the C32A is also retained, despite the increase in displacement.
The C35B (name unconfirmed) is a DOHC V6 with VTEC which shares basic design properties with its SOHC non-VTEC counterpart but with more aggressive camshafts and slightly lighter cylinder walls. This was the only DOHC VTEC V6 ever built by Honda for longitudinal applications and was only used in one non-production car, the Honda FS-X concept.
- 1991 Honda FS-X concept- 280 hp (284 PS; 209 kW)