Home > auto, history > CVCC – The Little Honda That Could

CVCC – The Little Honda That Could

It’s difficult to pinpoint the beginning of the modern green car movement, but one critical point along the way was the U.S. Clean Air Act in 1975. The legislation was in response to the first oil crisis in 1973 and mandated stricter emissions requirements for cars. For all but one manufacturer, the only way to meet the tighter regulations was to install catalytic converters in the exhaust system. American drivers, for the most part, hated those first generation catalytic converters because they robbed performance and required unleaded gasoline.

But that wasn’t the case with the 1975 Honda Civic. Honda amazed the rest of the auto industry with the introduction of a new engine design that was clean enough to pass the tailpipe sniffer without the dreaded catalytic converter. Honda’s CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) engine design first appeared in the Civic. Simply put, the CVCC cylinder head allowed more complete combustion of the fuel/air mixture, so tailpipe emissions were lower. A larger version of the design was then introduced in the first generation 1976 Honda Accord.

On a personal note, I owned an early 1976 Accord with the CVCC engine while in college and remember at the time that it was an impressive piece of engineering. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder CVCC engine only produced 68 horsepower, but without all the modern day safety and emissions equipment, the car only weighted 2,000 pounds. The power-to-weight ratio made it reasonably quick and fuel economy with the five-speed manual was above 40 mpg on the highway.

The Civic has come a long way from it’s earliest versions.

via Vehix

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Categories: auto, history
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