Honda’s all-new Accord will provide a
strong challenge to the traditional premium manufacturers in the
D-sector, with sporty styling, greater refinement and excellent driving
dynamics. All engines in the line up will be Euro 5 emissions compliant,
and the model will feature a sector-leading package of safety systems.
The new Accord’s styling is an
evolution of the current model, although it’s significantly wider and
slightly lower than its predecessor, and adopts a ‘sharp-edged’ design
with muscular wheel arches to emphasise the car’s wider track.
The more sporty approach to exterior
design is perhaps best expressed in the new Tourer, which still offers
incredible versatility and practicality, but a mix of curves and crisp
lines at the rear give the estate a more stylish overall appearance.
Three advanced, low emission
Making its debut in Accord is Honda’s second-generation diesel engine –
the i-DTEC – which builds on the outstanding qualities of the
award-winning i-CTDi unit. Not only is the new diesel more powerful –
offering 150 PS at 4,000 rpm – it also offers cleaner emissions and is
smoother to drive.
Like its predecessor, the new i-DTEC
engine is compact, lightweight, refined and quiet in operation. It
employs the latest piezoelectric multi-stage fuel injection technology,
more efficient exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter for
significantly reduced emissions. Peak torque is now 350 Nm (258 lb.ft)
at 2,000 rpm.
The 2.0-litre petrol
i-VTEC offers 156 PS at 6,300 rpm, and improves on its class-leading
fuel economy. Key technological changes include increased diameter
intake valves, further optimised valve lift and timing and increased
inlet and exhaust air flow volumes.
Meanwhile, the 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine
is more powerful, delivering a respectable 200 PS at 7,000 rpm and peak
torque of 233 Nm (187 lb.ft) at 4,500 rpm. Behind the figures are a
compression ratio increased from 10.5 to 11.0:1, larger valves, revised
valve timing, and reduced exhaust system pressures.
All three engines are matched to a
6-speed manual transmission, while both petrol engines have the option
of a 5-speed automatic. An automatic gearbox for the i-DTEC engine will
be launched in early 2009.
Manual models feature a Shift Indicator
Light which appears in the centre of the rev counter. ‘UP’ or ‘DOWN’
graphics are displayed to advise the driver of the optimum point (in
terms of best fuel economy) at which to change gear; Honda tests have
demonstrated fuel savings of as much as five per cent by following these
Agile, secure handling
To create a more involving, communicative drive, the Accord development
team used the highly-rated BMW 3 Series as a benchmark, and enthusiastic
drivers will appreciate the new car’s greater agility. A lowered centre
of gravity, a wider track and the all-new front double wishbone and rear
multilink suspension with variable rate dampers, plus greater body
rigidity mean that the Accord more readily reacts to driver input.
Handling is more responsive and confidence-inspiring and body roll has
Speed sensitive electric power steering
is standard on all models and the new axial system features a high
output, low inertia brushless motor which provides excellent steering
feel at higher speeds for a sense of stability and confidence. A quicker
steering ratio has also been adopted in keeping with the Accord’s more
agile chassis characteristics.
Comprehensive safety package
As well as a host of passive safety features, the new Accord boasts an
outstanding array of dynamic systems delivering even greater security.
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard across the range and is
designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering,
acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking to the right or
left hand wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as