Honda has lifted the covers from its all-new, tenth generation Accord midsizer in the US, but at this stage, the model's future in Australia in unclear.
The Japanese carmaker showcased the high-tech sedan in Detroit, the heart of the American automotive industry, as it will be built alongside the cutting-edge NSX hybrid supercar at Honda's North American manufacturing plant in Ohio.
Honda Australia is yet to confirm whether the Accord will be offered locally, but company director, Stephen Collins has said his team is in the early stages of building a business case to return the nameplate to Australian showrooms in 2018.
Until then, the Accord will be offered in the US with a host of new technologies, including the world-first application of a ten-speed automatic in a front-wheel drive configuration.
The gearbox will be exclusively mated to a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that shares its basic architecture with the high-revving motor in the upcoming Civic Type R, providing a hint at a future powertrain alternative for the hot hatch which is, so far, only confirmed to arrive with a six-speed manual transmission.
The combination will only be offered in the range-topping Accord models as a replacement for the previous 3.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6, with the engine producing 188kW at 6500rpm and 370Nm across a band of revs between 1500-4000rpm - lower outputs than the 228kW/400Nm generated in the Type R, but delivering a more effortless character and lower fuel consumption.
The lower-grade models will feature a 1.5 litre four-cylinder turbo four-cylinder - the same as that used in the regular Civic hatch and sedan variants as well the new CR-V that arrives in showrooms next month. It produces 143kW and 260Nm and drives the front wheels through a Continously Variable Transmission (CVT automatic), which features a wider gear ratio spread for better launch performance at one end of the driving spectrum and increased fuel economy at the other end.
The Accord will also be available as a hybrid, although Honda has yet to reveal details of its petrol-electric motor set-up.
As showcased by the first official images, the Accord has a much bolder design than the conservative car it replaces with sharper edges and a swept back four-door cabin that follows the latest coupe-like trend to give it a more sporting profile.
It rides on a longer wheelbase with wider front and rear axles and sits lower than its predecessor to emphasise its hunkered-down stance.
The larger dimensions have also liberated more space within the cabin, with Honda claiming it has an additional seven centimetres of rear leg room to give it one of the most spacious rear seats in its class. Packaging improvements have significantly increased boot space too, particularly in the hybrid.
Apart from more room, the cabin also features more stuff with a 7.0-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen for the multi media system, which includes Bluetooth, smartphone mirroring and WiFi hot spot connectivity as well as wireless mobile charging.
As for safety, all US models will be equipped with Honda's full suite of active driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
Stay tuned to TMR for more on Honda Australia's progress in confirming whether the Accord will be sold locally.
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