Predictably, it looks sportier. But how excited are you with the prospect of an Accord with a Type-R(ish) engine and 6-speed manual?
This is the upcoming Honda Accord which made its debut at Detroit recently. Looks less than the executive D-segment barge that it is and more of a quasi Acura with sporty dreams. Well, it does feel like that's exactly what Honda is planning. The way things are going at that company, who’s to doubt there's more up this Accord's tail pipe?
That sporty new look is expectedly backed by a healthy list of other new ‘stuffs’: a more advanced chassis, more rigid and lighter body, the latest safety driver-assistive and connected-car tech and the latest generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid. The drivetrain steps up the plate with a pair of all-new turbocharged engines and the world’s first 10-speed automatic for a front-driven car.
No surprise that it is bigger. Wheelbase grows by 55mm and width by 10mm. But to get that athletic Acura (okay, let’s relate it to the Civic, rather) the upcoming tenth-generation Accord is lower overall, shorter overall, and with sportier seating position (respectively by 15mm, 10mm, and 25.4mm in the front and 20mm at the back). Front wheel track goes up by 5mm and 20mm at the rear.
The profile is dramatically different to the (current) Accord, with increased visual weight to the rear portion of the vehicle. Of course, this is also more in line with the current Honda design direction, particularly with the long hood, unreserved front grille and shorter overhangs.
Up front are LED foglights together with 9-lamp full LED headlights. The rear gets LED lights too.
Based on the US market EX variant, aero efficiency is improved by three per cent.
Very modern sums it up, finally coming with a large eight inch TFT screen that looks like it displays more than basic car information. Unsurprisingly, it is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus giving the latest in HondaLink telematics with new capabilities that includes emergency roadside assistance, remote locking and unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics and geofencing.
The American Accord will undoubtedly come in various variants, with the top ones fitted with a six inch heads-up display that can show speed, engine rpm, navigation details and traffic sign recognition. Also available are wireless charging, in-car 4G Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth with NFC technology.
All three available engines are new: the first is a 1.5-litre direct injected turbo with dual Variable Timing Control that makes 192hp at 5,500rpm and 260Nm of torque between 2,500 and 5,000rpm. This is paired with either a CVT or 6-speed manual transmission.
The second engine is a 2.0-litre direct-injected turbo with i-VTEC that makes 252hp at 6,500rpm and 370Nm from 1,500 and 4,000rpm. Of note is that this engine has similarities to the one fitted in the 2017 Civic Type-R. However, in addition to the 6-speed manual, it can also be mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. This new transmission is almost 10kg lighter has a 68 percent wider overall ratio range with a 43 percent lower first gear, and a 17 percent taller top gear compared to the current Accord's six-speed automatic.
As for the hybrid, the regular power will come from a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle unit with a high thermal efficiency of 40 per cent, the highest from a mass-produced Honda engine. The electric motors, meanwhile, use magnets that contain no heavy rare-earth metals which reportedly is a first-in-the-world achievement.
The hybrid battery pack and control systems are placed underneath the rear floor, thus negating the issue routinely found in other hybrids – a compromised boot space.
However, Honda has kept the new powertrain’s efficiency figures close to their chest for now and will only reveal it closer to launch.
Honda Sensing is a major component, a feature which by now is getting more familiar with Malaysians following the latest Honda CR-V launch. But an additional feature included here is the Cross Traffic Monitor system.
With advanced front airbags, driver and front-passenger side airbags and new driver and front-passenger knee airbags (plus VSA); a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) system is also part of the package.
With the major jump in tech and features found in the new CR-V, it is important that the Accord establish itself as the top-of-the-deck model within the Honda passenger vehicle family again, specifically in the Malaysian context. So what are your thoughts about the tenth-gen Accord? For a start, would you consider the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine for a D-segment a bit of a stretch?