According to them, the automatic transmission version of the i-DTEC TSX was unable to pass emissions testing. Notably, Honda's diesel four (which has been recording stellar milage in its European-only i-DTEC Civic) does not employ the urea injection used by Benz, Audi, and BMW to pass stringent U.S. NOX guidelines. Other diesel manufacturers (like VW, with its 2.0-liter TDI employed in the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI) have squeaked through emissions standards without urea injection, but apparently the Honda didn't quite pass muster. The six-speed manual is reported to have passed emissions testing, but Honda figures that manual only would be a tough sell in the automatic-happy U.S.A.
Supposedly, development of a V-6 TSX is being sped up, but this is no consolation for buyers demanding better mileage along with torquey performance. Suddenly, Honda is upping displacement and power just as the market is adjusting the other way; witness Fukui's recent announcement of the development of the firm's first ever production car V-8. It will be quite interesting to see how this all plays out.--Colin Mathews