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Honda Type R engines

Honda Type R are variants of the famous VTEC engines introduced by Honda in the early 90s to the Japanese domestic market. These VTEC car engines for sale were offshoots of motorcycle engines for which Honda is also famous for. It is to the world’s benefit that Honda engineers strive to invent and innovate beyond the realms of conventional wisdom. One has only to look at the oval piston motorcycle engine that they developed for racing to realize this. This V-four had eight valves per cylinder and two connecting rods per piston.

In developing the VTEC automobile engines, Honda engineers aimed for a specific output of 100 hp per liter. In those development days and during that era, this was a figure that even turbocharged or supercharged engines found hard to achieve. Development of this engine was started in 1984 and given the standard industry goal of a 15-year/250,000 km engine life. A target of 160 horsepower at 8,000 rpm from a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder normally-aspirated engine seemed like an impossible goal then. But time has proven that these Honda engineers led by Ikuo Kajitani developed an engine which has made history. By using advanced metallurgy, racing technologies and out of the box thinking, these VTEC engines influenced engine design for mass production, being copied by the likes of BMW, Porsche, Mercedes and even Ferrari in their next-generation engine designs.

Although there are many Honda Type R engines and corresponding models for the Japanese domestic market, Americans first got the VTEC engine in the NSX in 1991. However, the engine that really made Honda famous were the B-series engines that were released the following year in the Integra (B18C engine) and the Civic (B16A). Strictly speaking, the only Honda Type R engine that was released for the American market was the 190 horsepower (from 1800 cc) B18C5 that was found in the Integra Type R. Sporting a 5-speed close ratio transmission and a helical LSD, it was an instant hit in whatever market it was introduced. Not introduced to the US domestic market was the EK9 Type R Civic, which sported the B16B engine. With hand-ported heads and a 9000 rpm redline, it was rated at 185 hp.

Interestingly, the B-series engines rotate counterclockwise, another innovation that Honda engineers introduced for this engine class. The thinking was that by having the engine run counterclockwise in a front-drive car, the engine’s rotation would help the car stick better to the road. Whether this contributed to the impeccable road and track manners of the B-engine equipped Type R Integras and Civics is a matter to be discussed for another day.

Although Honda also introduced the H22 and KA20 engines to the US domestic market, the cars that they were put into were not Type R variants. In Europe and Japan though, these VTEC Honda Type R engines were used for the Accord Type R, the Prelude Type R and successor to the Integra DC2, the RSX. At this point in time, there are plenty of Honda Type R engines being imported into the U.S. and they are still very popular with JDM aficionados for their reliability and easy to modify nature.

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