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Honda Accord to go hybrid

Finally: Honda’s 10th-generation Accord was launched in the United States two years ago but is only now reaching Australia in right-hand-drive form from Thailand.

Dual-motor hybrid to crown new Honda Accord range due in December

Honda logo30 Oct 2019

HONDA Australia has confirmed that its new-generation Accord will get a dual-motor hybrid powertrain when it lands – belatedly – in local showrooms in December.

 

The 10th-generation sedan, which was launched in North America more than two years ago, will also get an entry-level variant with the familiar 140kW/260Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine that does duty in the CR-V and Civic.

 

But the Thai-built Accord bound for Australia misses out on the high-performance powertrain that matches a 191kW/342Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission in North America.

 

This engine, based on the 2.0-litre unit that powers the Civic Type R, replaces the V6 that has been deleted from the global range this time around.

 

Announcing details of the new Accord’s Australian launch, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said it would mark the return of Honda’s hybrid technology to the mainstream Australian market.

 

“With the exception of NSX, this is the first hybrid in our local line-up since 2016, and understandably the Australian market and consumer preferences have evolved in that time, so it’s great to be able to give Honda customers that option once again,” he said.

 

Mr Collins said Honda Australia did not have big volume targets for the Accord, but it remained important for the Honda line-up.

 

So far this year, Honda Australia has sold just 104 ninth-generation Accords to the end of September, making it the smallest seller in the range apart from the high-end NSX sportscar.

 

The Accord competes in the shrinking mid-size-car segment that is dominated by the now-imported Toyota Camry and – a good way behind – the Mazda6.

 

Sold in two specifications in the current generation – VTi-L and V6L – the Accord serves as the sedan flagship since the demise of the Japanese-built Legend.

 

New-generation Accord production kicked off at Honda’s Ayutthaya factory in Thailand in March this year, starting with left-hand-drive variants that have since been launched locally in Thailand and other ASEAN markets such as Indonesia.

 

While the Accord has taken its time reaching our shores, it is taking even longer to get to Japan where Honda’s home market will only get the fresh model in about January.

 

The big interest is in the 158kW hybrid version that matches an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 107kW of power and 175Nm of torque with two electric motors – a 135kW/315Nm one for propulsion and another acting as a starter/generator.

 

The powertrain has three drive modes, shifting between full EV drive, hybrid drive and petrol engine drive.

 

Dubbed third-generation Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) in Honda-speak, the powertrain is being spread across the range under Honda’s 2030 Vision for powertrain electrification.

 

The recently unveiled CR-V received a version of it, as did the all-new Jazz that debuted at last week’s Tokyo motor show.


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