Honda B16 Engine
The Honda b16 series engine was one of the company’s most successful models in its modern series. The b16’s popularity was based around Honda’s decision to use the platform to showcase its evolving Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) VTEC (Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology. Every incarnation of the b16 platform used VTEC starting with the very first b16a found in the 1988 JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) Honda Integra. The b16 was then included in the following vehicles.
- 1992-2000 Honda Civic VTi (EDM)
- 1992-1997 Honda Civic Del Sol VTi (EDM)
- 1996-1998 Honda Civic Del Sol VTEC (USDM)
- 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si (USDM)
- 1999-2000 Honda Civic SiR (CAN)
- 1994-1995 Del Sol VTEC (USDM)
USDM – United States Domestic Market
EDM – English Domestic Market
CAN – Canadian Domestic Market
These are the models that were manufactured for the main English-speaking market. Other models were released in JDM and other trim lines worldwide.
The b16 was one of the first of a new breed of automotive engines that helped prove that big power can come in small packages. The first b16a engines that Honda included in their JDM Civics and Integras produced around 150 horsepower from a scant 1.6 liters, something that had previously been unheard of in this class of car. First in Japan and then once it hit the shores of the US, the b16 touched off a tuner craze. The draw for tuning of the b16 engine was simple: for the first time, a 4 cylinder small displacement engine was able to put out impressive horsepower numbers relatively easily. The small, light economy car platforms where the b16 was found lent themselves perfectly to modification for racing. A new era in performance tuning had begun.
That new era was embodied in an important concept in tuning: horsepower per liter. Instead of opting for bigger and bigger engines to increase power output in their cars, enthusiasts focused on getting more from less. The more horsepower that an engine builder could squeeze from a smaller displacement, the better. In fact it was the b16 that was the first engine in a mass produced car to reach the magic number of 100 horsepower per liter straight from the factory.
But it didn’t stop there. The b16 proved capable of putting out more and more impressive numbers with a variety of modifications such as forced induction (turbo and supercharging) and nitrous oxide. Over the decade or so that the B series engine dominated the import-tuner scene it became a tuner’s darling, with a variety of companies and racing teams using it in their vehicles and incredible aftermarket support.
2010 marks 10 years since Honda stopped producing their B series motors, but their strong design and performance have helped them retain their popularity. If you’re interested in getting more information about B-series tuning, try logging on to a dedicated Honda support forum. Tuners and enthusiasts have long been using online forums to share knowledge and tips concerning the venerable b16 motor.