Bland is banned

But the next Ac­cord keeps the same old en­gines

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­

AN all-new Honda Ac­cord prom­ises to bin the bland­ness next year.

First pictures of the new Ac­cord from the US show a car that has a punchier front end and sur­pris­ing curves and sculpt­ing on the sides.

The sedan is a big de­par­ture from the cur­rent car, which looks more suit­able for Homer Simp­son than Ralph Lau­ren.

Honda has again read­ied the four-door fam­ily Ac­cord along­side a wedgier coupe, al­though the two-door is not com­ing to Aus­tralia.

The new Ac­cord is a def­i­nite for 2013 and will con­tinue Honda Aus­tralia’s two-car pol­icy, run­ning along­side the smaller and more driver-friendly Ac­cord Euro.

But as with the new Civic lines, it’s once more a case of carry-over en­gines. It will get up­dated en­gines, with more ef­fi­ciency promised for both the four-cylin­der and V6.

‘‘ We will launch the Ac­cord in Aus­tralia in mid-2013 with the same engine line-up as we cur­rently have,’’ con­firms Honda spokesper­son Melissa Cross. ‘‘There will be some styling sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween this car and the car we launch here.

‘‘ There will be no Ac­cord coupe in Aus­tralia: this car is de­signed specif­i­cally for the US mar­ket. We will be sell­ing both the Ac­cord and Ac­cord Euro in Aus­tralia.’’

And what of the de­sign, which is such a ma­jor de­par­ture from the Toy­ota Camry-style blan­doid ef­forts of the past?

‘‘ De­sign for the Ac­cord is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween all the ma­jor mar­kets that sell the ve­hi­cle. This is co-or­di­nated through and by Honda R&D at Tochigi,’’ Cross says.

She is not dis­cussing me­chan­i­cal de­tails but the new Ac­cord points— on the de­sign front— to an even more ad­ven­tur­ous Ac­cord Euro and a boost for ef­fi­ciency and comfort. Over­all di­men­sions have shrunk slightly but the cabin di­men­sions are largely un­changed.

In the US, the 2.4-litre four gets di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and a con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion.

The V6 has also been tweaked, and the hy­brid ver­sion will be­come all-wheeldrive with a 2.0-litre four.

Cars­guide drove the hy­brid pro­to­type in Ja­pan last year. It feeds con­ven­tional petrol power through the nose, with elec­tric drive to the rear wheels.

Honda says the pro­duc­tion plug-in will run for 23km on its bat­ter­ies alone. The new Ac­cord gets lane-de­par­ture warn­ing and a front-col­li­sion alert sys­tem that uses stereo cam­eras in the wind­screen sim­i­lar to the Eye­sight sys­tem avail­able from Subaru in Aus­tralia.

Sleek: The Ac­cord Coupe con­cept points to a more ad­ven­tur­ous de­sign for the Euro

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