The Anna Engine Plant, Honda’s largest engine plant in the world, began production of an all-new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that is powering the return of Acura Type S models. The latest in an incredible line of high performance powertrains built exclusively in Ohio, the new engine debuted in the 2021 Acura TLX Type S, which went on sale this week at Acura dealerships nationwide.
The new 3.0-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 turbo engine incorporates technologies from the twin-turbo NSX supercar to produce 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE Net1), making the TLX Type S the best performing Acura sedan ever. The new Type S engine also will power the upcoming 2022 MDX Type S. Both the TLX and MDX are made exclusively in Ohio.
“The last year has brought unique challenges but the knowledge and experience of our team here at the Anna Engine Plant never lost sight of our objective, to deliver a high performance engine to power Acura Type S products,” said Rick Riggle, plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant. “Our entire team understood the importance of this Type S engine to the Acura brand and our associates take great pride in making it for our customers.”
35 Years of Engine Production in Ohio
The Anna Engine Plant began engine production in 1985 and has produced more than 28 million engines over the past 35 years. The all-new 3.0-liter Type S Turbo V6 engine is the latest in a long line of high performance engines built at the Anna plant, including the 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged, V6 engine built exclusively in Ohio that went into production in 2017 for the Acura NSX supercar. The Anna Engine Plant also builds the engine that powers the most powerful Honda production model ever sold in America, the Civic Type R.
Manufacturing the All-New 3.0-liter V6 Turbo Type S Engine
The all-new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine for the Acura Type S was developed by some of the company’s most experienced powertrain engineers in Japan and the U.S., including team members who developed the twin-turbo V6 in the Acura NSX.
The Anna Engine Plant is the exclusive global production source for the new Type S V6 turbo engine. Marking the start of production of a new V6 engine series , the company’s first all-new V6 engine in a quarter century, and the company’s first mass produced turbocharged V6 engine, represented a major challenge. This led to both new technologies in the engine and the need for new production processes to build it.
The new engine adds dual overhead cam (DOHC) technology, turbocharging, as well as technologies from the twin turbo engine that powers the NSX. More information about the new engine design can be found here. Following is information about efforts at the Anne Engine Plant to bring the new engine into production.
- Expansion projects: various expansion projects were required to begin production of the new Type S V6 turbo on the Anna Engine Plant’s largest assembly line. This included over 60 pieces of new or highly-modified equipment, the complete overhaul of the V6 engine block machining line, a new sub-assembly line for the turbocharger and a new Valve/DI assembly line.
- New processes: a new cylinder head design for the new V6 engine platform added complexity in assembly to the efforts of production associates to verify the placement of key parts and achieve the highest quality. Working with key suppliers, the Anna engineering team came up with an original solution to install the valves with the cylinder head fixtured upside down to ensure correct location of the valve assembly parts. This assembly requires more exclusive parts, including dual cotters, springs, and retainers, in a considerably tighter area. This is the first cylinder head in global Honda that uses this valve assembly process.
- Master trainers: the project leaders at the Anna Engine Plant recognized early on that the new technologies and assembly processes required for the new engine would create new challenges. To ensure a smooth and high-quality production launch, a decision was made to establish 10 “master trainers” who would help lead the process training during trial production. The associates who became trainers have several years of experience in Engine Assembly. Besides facilitating the new model trial events, the master trainers conducted several training events to ensure that the entire team of production associates were prepared to start mass production.
- COVID-19 impact: during the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic created additional challenges as the all-new engine worked toward mass production. Prior to COVID-19, a number of engineers and production associates from the Anna Engine Plant spent time in Japan, where development was based, to work on production processes for the new engine. However, travel restrictions related to the pandemic prevented Honda R&D engineers from Japan from coming to the U.S. during a critical stage in the preparation for mass production. This required Anna Engine Plant associates to take on a larger role in preparing the new Type S engine for mass production during production trials and finalizing new processes.
On several occasions, the team used virtual meeting technologies to enable up to 50 engine designers in Japan to view the trial builds on the floor of the engine plant in Ohio. This helped the engineers understand how the design was impacting production processes, supporting final changes that would ensure the successful launch of production.
Honda Manufacturing in Ohio
Honda’s U.S. manufacturing operations were established in 1979 with the start of motorcycle production in Marysville, Ohio, followed in November 1982 by the start of automobile production at the Marysville Auto Plant.
Today, Honda employs more than 11,000 associates in Ohio across five plants with total capital investment of $12.7 billion and the capacity to produce 680,000 Honda and Acura automobiles, 1.18 million automobile engines, 1 million automobile transmissions and two-motor hybrid systems, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Honda’s five major Ohio manufacturing facilities include three auto plants, the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant and Performance Manufacturing Center, as well as the Anna Engine Plant and Russells Point transmission plant. The company has invested over $3 billion in these facilities over the past six years, continually modernizing equipment and adopting new technologies to advance quality and efficiency for Honda and Acura customers here and around the world. Learn more at https://ohio.honda.com/.
More information about Honda is available in the Digital Fact Book.
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1.355 hp @ 5500 rpm, 354 lb.-ft. torque @ 1400-500 rpm (both SAE Net)