Honda has announced that the next of its new-generation models, the medium-sized Accord sedan, will follow the lead of many of its competitors replacing a large V6 engine with a high-output turbocharged four-cylinder.
In an official announcement from Honda’s North American arm, the company reveals that the next Accord will offer two four-cylinder turbo engines, a low-output replacement for the current 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder, and a high-output version to step in for the current V6.
The most likely candidates to fill those roles will be the 140kW/240Nm 1.5-litre engine from the new CR-V SUV and a derivative of the 235kW/400Nm 2.0-litre engine as used in the Civic Type-R hot hatch.
Honda has also announced that a new in-house developed 10-speed automatic will be made available with the 2.0-litre engine - an industry first in a front-wheel drive application, while the 1.5-litre will use a CVT automatic. Somewhat unusually, both engines will also be available with a six-speed manual depending on the specification - an option that’s unlikely to be seen outside of the North American market.
A new Accord Hybrid will also join the range, although Honda hasn’t yet offered any details about the hybrid powertrain except to say the green version will use Honda’s two-motor technology without a ‘conventional’ automatic transmission, much like the previous Accord Hybrid.
The tenth-generation Accord is a crucial model for Honda in the US, with the nameplate having held best-seller status numerous times including segment leadership for four years from 2013 to 2016. So far in 2017 the Accord is America’s number two selling car, beaten only by the Honda’s own Civic.
The outlook for Australia couldn’t be more different. To the end of 2016 the Accord sold just 719 units, well and truly trounced by the Toyota Camry (26,485 sales) and comfortably bested by cars like the Subaru Liberty, Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, Mazda6, and even beaten by niche offerings like the performance wagon-only Subaru Levorg and critically derided Holden Malibu.
To the end of May 2017, the Accord has slipped even further with year to date sales sliding by 56 percent compared to 2016.
The Accord’s future in Australia is currently under evaluation with Honda Australia director, Stephen Collins, having previously told Australian media that the Accord’s sales performance was under scrutiny. The decline of the medium passenger car segment locally could potentially spell the end of the Accord Down Under, but Honda is yet to announce their position on the new-generation model.
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