Honda will launch a new version of the Accord Hybrid this coming October featuring an all-new two-motor drivetrain that should deliver up to 49 miles per gallon in the city, the maker claims.
The 2014 Honda Accord will be one in a wave of new hybrids utilizing the Japanese maker’s new Earth Dreams technology which features three distinctly different gas-electric drivetrains tuned to specific driving applications. Honda hopes the approach will expand its presence in the high-mileage market and help it challenge rival Toyota’s long-standing leadership in the hybrid segment.
The basic look of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will be familiar to those who already know the look of the sedan as redesigned last year. Features distinct to the gas-electric model will include a blue-accented grille and light lenses, LED daytime running lights, unique wheels, a decklid spoiler and hybrid badging.
It’s under the hood where the big difference can be found. After more than a decade, Honda is finally abandoning its original Integrated Motor Assist, or IMA, drivetrain in favor of a trio of hybrids powertrains more closely tuned for specific applications. There’s a simple, one-motor design for basic, low-cost applications, and a triple-motor system that will show up in several upcoming Acura models, including the new RDX flagship and the revived Acura NSX supercar.
The Accord, meanwhile, adopts a two-motor Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi Mode Drive powertrain. The system migrates from nickel-metal hydride to more advanced lithium-ion batteries and will be able to operate in three distinct modes. That includes, for the first time, a pure EV Drive mode in which it operates solely on battery power at low speeds and in medium to high-speed cruising,
In Hybrid Drive, meanwhile, it combines the power of a 124-lilowatt electric motor with the output of a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine to maximize acceleration. The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid also will be able to operate on gasoline power alone in less aggressive driving conditions.
The updated Accord Hybrid will be rated at 49 mpg City. 45 mpg Highway and 47 mpg Combined, according to EPA testing. That compares with Ford’s claimed 47/47/47 rating for the Fusion Hybrid and the 43/39 City/Highway numbers for the latest version of the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The interior of the new Accord will feature the expected touchscreen display with special features to track the function of the hybrid system – including nanny-style features to help encourage a driver to improve fuel economy.
The line-up of safety gear will include the new LaneWatch blind-spot display first introduced on the Accord last year, as well as Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning. The HondaLink infotainment system will add new cloud-based features such as Aha radio and Pandora, as well as a multi-angle rearview camera.
The 2014 Honda Accord will be the first hybrid produced at the maker’s flagship manufacturing facility in Ohio and its second gas-electric model assembled in the U.S.
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