The L-series is a 4-cylinder engine created by Honda and introduced in 2001. It has 1.2, 1.3, and 1.5 L displacement variants, which utilize the names L12A, L13A, and L15A. Depending on the region, these engines are sold throughout the world in the 5-door Honda Brio Fit/Jazz hatchback and the 4-door Fit Aria/City sedan (also known as Fit Saloon). They are also sold in the Japanese-only Airwave wagon and Mobilio MPV.
Two different valvetrains are present on this engine series. The L12A, L13A, and one of the L15A varieties use (Japanese: i-DSI), or “intelligent Dual & Sequential Ignition”. This setup utilizes 2 spark plugs per cylinder. They fire at different intervals during the combustion process to achieve a more complete burn of the gasoline. This process allows the engine to have more power while keeping fuel consumption low thanks to the better utilization of gasoline. Emissions are also reduced. The i-DSI engines have a 2 valves per cylinder design and a modest redline of only 6000 rpm, but reach maximum torque at mid-range rpm, allowing for decent performance without having to rev the engine at high speeds.
The other valvetrain in use is the VTEC on one of the two varieties of the L15A. This engine is aimed more at performance than efficiency with a slightly higher redline with 4 valves per cylinder, which reaches peak torque at higher rpm. However, it still offers a good combination of both performance and fuel efficiency. Both the i-DSI and VTEC have relatively high compression ratios at 10.8:1 and 10.4:1, respectively.
Before April 2006, all vehicles sold with an L-series engine will have had a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic available. However, the introduction of the Fit in Canada and the United States will be the first time an L-series engine has been mated to a traditional automatic transmission with a torque converter. The L12A i-DSI is available exclusively in the European domestic market Jazz and is sold with only a 5-speed manual transmission. The three other engines are available with a 5-speed manual, a CVT, a CVT with 7-speed mode, or a 5 speed automatic transmission, depending on the region.
As of 2010, SCCA has approved the L15A (i-VTEC) to be used for Formula F, replacing the Ford Kent engine.
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