Honda has debuted a more stylish and sporty 2018 Honda Accord that launches this fall. The 10th-generation Accord is new from the ground up and features a lighter and more rigid body structure, new chassis design, two all-new, high-torque direct-injected and turbocharged engines, the world's first 10-speed automatic transmission for a front-drive car and a new generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid technology.
"We are redefining the Honda Accord for a new generation of buyers by bringing something unexpected that challenges the idea of what a mainstream sedan can be," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Even as we advance core values like great driving dynamics, safety performance and efficiency, the distinctive design of this all-new 2018 Honda Accord will help it appeal to both head and heart in equal measure."
The new Accord features a longer wheelbase (+2.16 inches), a lower overall height (-0.59 inch) and wider (+0.39 inch) body, wider wheel tracks (+0.20 in. front, +0.79 in. rear), a shortened overall length (-0.39 inch) and lower, sportier seating position (-1.0 inch front and -0.79 inch back). The greenhouse is positioned farther back on the body giving Accord a new stance and proportions. The combined effect of these changes is a more premium look, highlighted by shorter overhangs, bolder front fascia, a long and low hood and a visual center of gravity moved closer to the rear wheels.
The longer wheelbase allowed designers to move the second-row seats substantially rearward, giving Accord almost 2 extra inches of rear leg room. Overall passenger volume is increased by 2.5 cubic feet to 105.7 (based on LX). Trunk space has also been increased by nearly one cubic foot on the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engine powered Accords and by 3.2 cubic feet on the Accord Hybrid to a top level 16.7 cubic feet (+0.9 cu.ft.).
Honda's signature chrome wing front grille is positioned above a large main air intake and flanked by available 9-lamp full-LED headlights and LED fog lights. The deeply sculpted body sides enhance the visual length and strength of the lower body while the rear view is finished off with an upswept decklid, LED light-pipe taillights and cleanly integrated dual exhaust ports. Overall aerodynamic efficiency is improved by approximately 3 percent (based on EX trim) to make it the most streamlined Accord yet.
Inside, Accord features a panoramic forward view that is enabled by its lower cowl and by front roof pillars that are 20 percent narrower and moved rearward relative to the driver's seating position. The soft-touch instrument panel features an thin profile and three-tier design. There is also a contoured sport inspired steering wheel with deep-set thumb rests and available paddle shifters.
The new 1.5-liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with dual Variable Timing Control (dual VTC) produces a peak 192 hp at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm, up from 185 hp at 6,400 rpm and 181 lb.-ft. at 3,900 rpm on the existing, normally aspirated 2.4-liter model. The new 1.5-liter turbo is mated to a Honda continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or, in Sport trim, to a CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission (6MT).
The Accord can also be equipped with a new 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with i-VTEC valvetrain paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission or, in Sport trim, to the 10AT or an available 6MT. The new 2.0-liter turbo, sharing much of its design with the 2017 Civic Type R, produces 252 hp at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm, compared to 278 HP at 6,200 rpm and 252 lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm for the 3.5-liter V6 that it replaces.
Both turbocharged engines utilize a host of new technologies, including high-efficiency low-inertia turbos, variable valve timing, low-pressure-loss air intake and high-accuracy direct injection, to deliver immediate and powerful response along while still anticipated to receive top level fuel economy ratings. The two new automatic transmissions – the CVT for the 1.5-liter engine and new 10AT for the 2.0-liter engine – take greater advantage of available torque while maximizing quietness and efficiency during highway cruising. The redesigned CVT has an 11 percent lower ratio compared to the current version for more powerful launch performance, while the new 10AT is 22 lbs. 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.
The new hybrid powertrain will utilize a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency, the highest for any mass-produced Honda engine, paired with Honda-developed electric motors that are the first drive motors in the world to use magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals. As before, the Accord two-motor system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission.
Additionally, a new, more compact intelligent power unit (IPU), containing the hybrid battery pack and its control systems, is now mounted under the rear floor instead of in the trunk, preserving both cargo space (16.7 cu.-ft.) and the flexibility of a 60/40-split and folding rear seat, standard on all models and trims. Detailed specifications on the 2018 Accord Hybrid, including power and fuel-economy ratings, will be release closer to launch.
Mated to the new body is a more sophisticated chassis design. The chassis features a new Macpherson strut front suspension with L-shaped aluminum control arms mounted to an all-aluminum front subframe. The new setup better isolates and manages varying road inputs, improving handling precision, ride quality and cabin quietness along with outstanding high-speed stability and control. The more space-efficient rear suspension is a multi-link design mounted to a more rigid, floating rear subframe. Fluid-filled compliance bushings at all four corners further improve ride comfort and absorption of road irregularities, and all new Accords also feature, for the first time, an Adaptive Damper System with the ability to adjust shock absorber damping force every 1/500 of a second, providing for a more compliant and controlled ride in all driving situations.
Accord now has a 10 mm lower center of gravity. The adoption of lighter-weight turbocharged engines and other body design changes reduce the vehicle's moment of inertia, resulting in crisper turn-in and steering response. All models now have near optimal FWD weight distribution of approximately 60/40 (front/rear). Accords with the new 2.0-liter i-VTEC turbo and 10AT check in at approximately 61/39, a significant improvement versus the current V-6 and 6AT Accord.
All Accords will now come equipped with a Two-Mode Driving System featuring Normal and Sport settings, allowing the driver to dial-up/down the vehicle's sporty reflexes depending on the driving environment. The system engages with multiple chassis and drivetrain components, including the new dual-pinion variable-ratio electric power steering (EPS), automatic transmission, drive-by-wire throttle, adaptive dampers and Active Sound Control system, to provide the driver with an expanded range of driving characteristics. An ECON mode is also available that helps improve fuel efficiency by modifying throttle mapping and HVAC operation.
No pricing information was released.
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