I was halfway to Dynolab, Inc. in Marietta, GA, when it hit me: of the many times I've dyno tested a car, I've never dyno tested one with an automatic transmission. With some of the manumatic cars, it's no big deal, select 3rd or 4th in manual mode, and proceed as normal. With a normal automatic, how can you get a solid pull through the rpms without the tranny deciding to kick down? Well as it turns out, you really can't. That means you're somewhat limited in showing the actual torque curve of a given motor. In this case, the best we could do was to run through the gears until we reached about 55 mph in 3rd gear, and then ramp up the throttle until we cleared the "kickdown zone" which seemed to be right around 60mph.
As you can see from the plots, Honda may truly be sandbagging on the output numbers of this new J30. At nearly 196whp, this car puts down as much or more than a TL/CL Type S motor (typically 190-200whp). And this motor is still relatively green, only showing 1120 miles on the odometer at the time of yesterday's dyno runs. With a few more miles on the odometer, you might see these motors clearing 200whp. The good news is that I peeked under the car yesterday (photos to come) and much like its Acura cousins, it appears that it also has room for improvement in the exhaust department. The factory manifold makes the same 180 degree turn just ahead of the merge, and aft of that, the piping is quite thin. So there may be perhaps an additional 10 or more whp to be found with exhaust mods, and then perhaps more with an intake. I should note that I filled up the tank with premium fuel about 20 miles prior to the dyno test. I don't know what it was running in the prior tank, as it was delivered to me "FULL".
We made several passes, and interestingly the power notched up incrementally after each of 3 runs. By the 4th run, we saw 195.9hp, and on the 5th run, it again rang up exactly 195.9hp, and virtually identical torque readings. If you look at the plot, you can see a sudden notch down in power, just past 6800 rpms. On the earlier runs, we saw similar notches, but sometimes at lower rpms. My best guess is that the ECU was pulling a bit of timing either due to mild detonation. Notice how flat the torque curve is - it hovers just above 170 lb-ft from 4000rpms and just begins to slowly taper past 5200 rpms. I have a feeling it would be around 170lb-ft well ahead of 4000 rpms, but we just couldn't get full throttle in 3rd gear without a kickdown below that point. There are absolutely no holes in the torque curve, and you can feel it on the street.
I did not have our normal video gear with me for the test, but I used my digital still camera's movie mode (which apart from the audio quality, is actually not bad for shooting video) to create this MPEG clip. A slightly smaller file is available in Real G2 format Here
I would like to take a moment to thank DynoLab Inc. for the use of their dyno facilities for this test. I highly recommend their services to anybody in the Southeast, and especially the Atlanta area. Conveniently located just a few miles off I-75 in Marietta, GA, their facilities are top notch, and their in-ground Dynojet 248 makes it much easier to strap the car down than the above-ground types. You can set up an appointment by calling 678-560-0692.