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Top 10 Memorable Honda Accords
The 2013 Honda Accord is now available and showing the whole automotive industry what the Japanese automaker can do. No longer content to sit in the shadows of the Camry and Altima, the new Accord features a huge list of standard features, a fuel-friendly CVT and is even available as a sexy coupe.
The Accord has always been somewhat of a halo vehicle for Honda, and we’ve picked out ten Accords which stand out in the car’s 40 year history. Unfamiliar with the new Accord? Then read the review right here.
It’s amazing to think that it’s been 12 years since Honda introduced its first hybrid vehicle – the first generation Insight – to the world. Back in November 1999, the Insight was a peculiar hybrid but still boasted the world’s highest fuel economy among all gasoline-powered vehicles.
And despite Toyota clearly surpassing Honda in hybrid development (and sales), the Japanese automaker is still proud to announce that it has surpassed 800,000 hybrid vehicle sales worldwide.
Currently, Honda sells seven hybrid models in approximately 50 different countries around the world. The Acura ILX, which will launch in the North American market in spring 2012, will bring that total to eight.
Honda’s hybrid sales have increased steadily over the last couple of years. In 2005, with just the Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid and first-generation Insight on the market, Honda hit 100,000 units. May 2007 saw the achievement of 200,000 units, but it wasn’t until August of 2009, when the second-generation Insight came to the market, that Honda topped the 400,000 mark. In 2010, Honda introduced the CR-Z and the Fit Hybrid and by the end of the year has surpassed the 600,000 unit landmark. A year later in December of 2011, Honda was happy to have surpassed 800,000 hybrid vehicles total.
While Honda continues to be one of the biggest names in hybrid technology and sales, it’s well off the pace of Toyota which to date has sold well over three million gas-electric vehicles.
Along with a new lineup of direct-injection gasoline engines and a performance-oriented electric SH-AWD equipped V6 hybrid model, Honda has announced a new two-mode hybrid system that will come paired with a 4-cylinder engine. Replacing the brand’s out-dated Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) single-mode hybrid system it will allow for an electric-only range at low speeds, as well as a full gasoline mode and a combination hybrid mode.
Using an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack mated to a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine Honda is promising it will be the world’s most efficient hybrid drivetrain, while also making the bold statement that it will deliver “enhanced driving performance.” Whether or not that means it is capable of topping the Prius’ 50-mpg rating and offer reasonable power remains to be seen.
Regardless, we’re not likely to see the system used in a small hybrid with Honda creating the two-mode hybrid to first be used in mid-sized vehicles. We saw the first example of this with the new two-mode hybrid (a plug-in version) being used in an Accord model (above) during a technical presentation and driving event held at the company’s Twin Ring Motegi race facility.
A new Honda hybrid system has been rumored and reported on for quite some time, but now the wait is over – almost. Honda has announced a car using the new plug-in hybrid powertrain will begin production next year, with a non plug-in version arriving 12 months later in 2013.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is now the focus of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over possible faulty brakes and ‘unintended acceleration.’
NHTSA is currently looking into a crash involving a 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid, where the driver reports the brakes failed to work and the vehicle accelerated on its own, crossed into traffic and crashed, leaving the passenger dead and the driver disabled.
The driver of the car lists 22 ‘similar’ cases in the NHTSA database involving Honda Accord Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid models.
Over the past year, Toyota has recalled 10 million vehicles due to highly publicized ‘unintended acceleration’ concerns. After significant investigation by NHTSA and the DOT, both organizations have determined driver error was the cause in the majority of cases while some cases did involve pedals becoming jammed due to issues with floor mats.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hybrid Odyssey a possibility
Slowly, Honda appears to be learning how the hybrid marketplace works. In a recent interview Honda CEO Takanobu Ito said that the company is working on more powerful two-mode hybrid systems (like the one used by Toyota) that will allow for the car to operate using either gas, electricity or a combination of both. Currently, Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) setup does not allow for electric-only driving and as a result the system isn’t nearly as efficient as Toyota’s – although it is much cheaper to produce.
A more powerful two-mode hybrid setup would also be a viable drivetrain for larger vehicles, like the Accord, Pilot and Odyssey – which is rumored to have a hybrid version in 2011. Honda isn’t rushing the new two-mode setup to market, however, and is reportedly waiting on a lithium-ion battery pack to help deliver optimum fuel economy.
From 2005 to 2007, Honda made the Accord Hybrid (above). Honda built the car as more of a performance vehicle than a fuel-miser, however, and it showed. The car’s fuel economy rating wasn’t overly impressive and sales were even worse.
A two-mode hybrid setup would allow for significantly improved fuel economy, with a Hybrid Accord once again a possibility, along with a hybrid Odyssey, or Pilot or CR-V, or…
[Source: Automotive News via GreenCarReports]