Re­freshed Ac­cord set for re­turn

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By NEIL DOWLING

HONDA’S Thai-built Ac­cord is be­ing charged up to make a fresh tilt at Aus­tralia’s mid-size car mar­ket.

The Ac­cord, here in the mid­dle of next year, boasts a big­ger cabin with more lug­gage room but over­all, is about 130mm shorter.

It is also 25kg lighter thanks to its 56 per cent use of high-ten­sile steel.

Un­usual for Honda is that this car will be the same for its global mar­kets.

Pre­vi­ously there were de­sign and struc­tural dif­fer­ences be­tween Ac­cords made in the US and, for ex­am­ple, Thai­land, Ja­pan or China. New is a con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion (CVT) that re- places the five-speed con­ven­tional au­to­matic.

A six-speed man­ual re­mains an op­tion in the 2.4-litre while the 3.5-litre carry-over V6 — with cylin­der man­age­ment that lets it run on three cylin­ders — gets a six-speed au­to­matic.

Honda claims the CVT will mean bet­ter fuel econ­omy and im­proved ac­cel­er­a­tion. Honda’s ‘‘Earth Dreams’’ driv­e­trains make an ap­pear­ance with three pow­er­plants — a new 2.4-litre four-cylin­der engine, aV6 and a hy­brid.

Un­like many of its ri­vals, there is no tur­bocharg­ing.

The 2.4-litre claims more power, bet­ter fuel econ­omy and lower emis­sions than its pre­de­ces­sor.

It will have di­rect petrol in­jec­tion and an updated vari­able-valve tim­ing sys­tem that in­cludes vari­able cam tim­ing. It is expected to pro­duce about 140kW.

Plans are for a new twom­o­tor Plug-in Hy­brid (PHEV) Ac­cord model next year but Honda Aus­tralia hasn’t made a call on this.

It will be the first time Honda has put this tech­nol­ogy into pro­duc­tion.

In­for­ma­tion re­leased in the US says the two-mo­tor hy­brid al­lows engine power to drive the front wheels, charge the bat­tery pack or power the gen­er­a­tor.

The Ac­cord will also have elec­tric-as­sist steer­ing to fur­ther re­duce fuel con­sump­tion. It is sim­i­lar in de­sign to the Holden Volt’s driv­e­train.

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