There is no way to overstate how crucial the new Accord launch is to Honda's future. After some recent missteps, from the launch of the dowdy and unloved Crosstour to the yawn-inducing 2012 Civic, and with new competition mounting from Ford, Hyundai and Kia, Honda clearly needs a winner in its redesigned midsize sedan.
While we already know that Honda will be introducing a continuously variable transmission and a new Sport trim in the 2013 Accord, now we've finally got some images of the car. Unfortunately, the vehicle is heavily cloaked, but we can still see a few details. On the lower grille there appears to be a honeycomb mesh similar to what was seen on the Accord Coupe concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show this year, while the horizontal slats on the upper grille resemble those on the facelifted Crosstour.
The big question, however, is just what size the new Accord will come in. The current model had grown from being a medium midsize sedan to a smallish large sedan, and of course, a few generations back, the car was actually a compact. While it's hard to say with just these images for reference, it appears that the next-gen Accord is unlikely to change dimensionally.
Further reinforcing that belief is that we hear direct injection will be added to both the Accord's four- and six-cylinder engines, which, along with that CVT, should allow Honda to boast of improved fuel economy without downsizing. Not to mention that the new-for-2012 Toyota Camry didn't get any smaller, and Honda certainly isn't going to be the first Japanese carmaker to blink on that all-important comparison.
Check out all the images in our gallery.