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Feb 18, 2012 - 1:53:37 PM - Print

The Honda Accord Coupe Concept

The Honda Accord Coupe Concept is the first of several concepts leading up to the release of the all-new 2013 Accord. Along with near-production styling, the car will also display a new plug-in hybrid system and a range of powertrains that the company says will provide better fuel economy than any other vehicle in its class.


A lot is riding on the Honda Accord Coupe Concept: After supply difficulties from the tsunami and a tepid reception to the 2012 Civic, Honda is in dire need of a hit with the ninth generation Accord. One of America's best-selling cars, the Accord has been slipping in sales thanks to a wave of new competition from Ford, Kia, and Hyundai, while new competition from the redesigned Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu will further squeeze the family car market. It will also mark the 30th anniversary of Honda's Marysville, Ohio automotive plant. The first Japanese-owned car plant in the U.S, this production facility is where the company has built the North American market Accord since 1983. Set to debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the car will set the tone for Honda’s future in the North American market.

According to Honda, this concept "will convey the dynamic and aggressive profile." Whether it lives up to this description or not, the car’s styling is expected to be very close to the production version, just as the 2008 concept was nearly identical to the current Accord. Other concepts will follow the Coupe, leading up to the roll out of the production Accord, planned to be on dealer lots this fall as a 2013 model.

Honda is emphasizing a move toward higher gas mileage across the board, with the next Accord leading the way by delivering the best fuel economy in the family car segment. The new car will be the first to use the company's "Earth Dreams" technology strategy, first put on display at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. Current powerplants will be replaced by direct injection four cylinders and V6s, while a new CVT will replace traditional automatics across the board. These changes alone are expected to increase fuel economy 10-20% over the current model, while offering a modest bump in power.

The Coupe Concept will also utilize an upcoming plug-in hybrid system. Unlike the SH-AWD V6-based system included in Earth Dreams, the concept will debut a simpler, cheaper system powering only the front wheels via a four cylinder and electric motor combo. Along with electric-only and gasoline plus electric modes, this system will also be able the first hybrid to have an engine-only for improved highway fuel economy. All-electric range is expected to be around fifteen miles. Production models will be limited to the sedan bodystyle for at least the first model year. Other details, such as the charging system and production availability, should be released once the car hits the auto show floor.







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