Honda’s 2009 Accord will provide a strong challenge to the traditional premium manufacturers with new sporty styling and greater refinement. All engines in the Accord lineup 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. It adopts a ‘sharp-edged’ design with muscular wheel arches to emphasize the car’s wider track.
The more sporty approach to exterior design is perhaps best expressed in the new Touareg, 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.
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.
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 optimized valve lift and timing and increased inlet and exhaust air flow volumes.
Meanwhile, the 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine is more powerful, delivering 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 center 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 percent by following these commands.
The Accord’s interior features a dashboard that extends from the centre console to sweep around the front seats, creating a cockpit-like design.
The dash itself features ‘floating’ backlit instruments, with an LCD multi-information display contained within the center of the speedometer face. Controls positioned on the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the display through multiple screens of information. New is a service reminder that presents the driver with either the distance or days remaining to a required service, with an enlarged warning symbol appearing when the due date is imminent.
Meanwhile, stylish and highly supportive front seats have larger bolsters while a new internal structure is designed to reduce any transmission of vibration.
The three-spoke steering wheel follows a similar design to recent Honda models, and holds a complete suite of controls – including audio, cruise control and mobile telephone control. It is fully adjustable for reach and rake, with an extra 10 degrees of tilt adjustment compared to the previous Accord.
Clever storage solutions ensure the car is as practical as ever, including two center console side pockets; a lidded storage area to the side of the steering wheel; large front door pockets able to hold bottles and maps; bottle holders in the rear door panels, and a large centre console box.
The Accord also features an innovative system that utilizes both VSA and the car’s Electric Power Steering. Called Motion Adaptive EPS, it detects instability in slippery conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed to prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses millimeter-wave radar to maintain a consistent distance to a vehicle directly in front, which can help reduce driver fatigue.
The Accord’s passive safety features include front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, dual stage front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, full-length curtain airbags and ISOFIX fittings and tether anchor points for secure child seat fixture on all models.
Press Release courtesy of Honda.com.