Cars

10th generation Honda Accord debuts with 10-speed automatic

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Honda has taken the wraps off the 10th generation Accord in Detroit yesterday. The 2018 Accord is lighter, features more tech, and gets Honda Sensing technology as standard on all models and trims.

Speaking of the design, Honda explains that the designers and engineers went back to the fundamentals of proportion and stance with a sporting and athletic appearance, like a sprinter in the blocks. The approach reinvigorates classic Honda design principles, such as a low and wide body, expansive visibility and sporty seating position, and then translating them into a thoroughly modern, sporty and premium design.

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 longer wheelbase has enabled an extra 2-inches of rear legroom. 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.).

The front fascia is highlighted by Honda’s signature chrome wing front grille and flanked by 9-lamp full-LED headlamps and LED fog lights. Rear-end gets LED taillamps too. The new design has improved the aerodynamic efficiency by around 3 percent.

Honda says that the 2018 Accord’s new body structure is lighter and more rigid, utilizing 29 percent ultra-high-strength steel, the most extensive application of this weight-saving material in any current mass-produced Honda car. Overall, the new Accord employs 54.2 percent high-strength steel (above 440 MPa).

Also, the total vehicle weight is down between approximately 110 to 176 pounds (50 to 80 kg), depending on trim, while body torsional and bending rigidity are improved 32 and 24 percent, respectively.

As for the tech and features, the driver’s seat now has 12-way power adjustment with height-adjustable lumbar support, heated seats, 7-inch TFT instrument cluster, 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HondaLink telematics which includes emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and more.

Touring trims of both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre models also feature a new 6-inch driver’s Head-Up Display with selectable information, including speed, engine rpm, turn-by-turn navigation, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Additional connected-car technologies available on the 2018 Accord include wireless device charging, automatic Bluetooth phone pairing with NFC, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates.

Audio systems vary by trim, starting with 4 speakers and 160 watts on LX, 8 speakers and 180 watts on Sport and EX trims, and 10 speakers and 450 watts on EX-L and Touring trims. All models feature USB charging ports (two 2.5-amp ports on EX and above) along with Bluetooth connectivity.

Powertrains
The 2018 Accord has three powerplants on offer, two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain.

The new 1.5-litre 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 on the existing, naturally aspirated 2.4-litre model. Transmission options include a CVT or a 6-speed manual.

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The Accord can also be equipped with a new 2.0-litre turbo with i-VTEC valvetrain paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission or a 6 MT. The new 2.0-liter turbo, sharing much of its design with the race-bred 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 and 252 lb.-ft. for the 3.5-litre V6 that it replaces.

Honda says that the redesigned CVT has a 11 percent lower ratio compared to the current version for more powerful launch performance, while the new 10 AT 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 6-speed automatic.

The new hybrid powertrain will utilize a 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency, paired with Honda-developed electric motors that are the first drive motors in the world to use magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals, said Honda in the official statement.

Safety tech
As for the safety tech, all Accords will feature the full suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment. Honda Sensing includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition. Additional available driver-assistive technologies include Blind Spot Information, front and rear parking sensors, Cross Traffic Monitor and Driver Awareness Monitor; and all models feature a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with dynamic guidelines.

Standard active and passive safety systems include Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), advanced front airbags, driver and front-passenger side airbags and new driver and front-passenger knee airbags.

Accord Models and Trims
More detailed information will be provided closer to launch, but the 1.5-litre powered Accord will be available in six trims – LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. The 2.0-litre model has four trims available, which are Sport, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. And the new Accord Hybrid will be available in five trims – Hybrid, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. Sport trims for both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre engine variants will now feature 6-speed manual transmissions.

Accord Manufacturing
All variants of the 2018 Accord will be produced at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio auto plant. Accord’s 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbo engines will be produced at Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant, and its CVT transmission will be manufactured at the company’s Russells Point, Ohio plant.

The new 10-speed automatic transmission will be produced at the company’s Tallapoosa, Georgia plant. Honda recently announced a combined $149 million investment in the Russells Point and Tallapoosa plants to facilitate production of the new 10 AT.

Since its launch in 1976, Honda has sold more than 13 million Accords in America.

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