During the night, Honda opened the flood gates and officially unveiled the 2008 Honda Accord, the eighth generation of the automaker's perennial best-seller. There's too much new stuff to talk about, so we'll hit the highlights here and you can check out Honda's exhaustive press release after the jump.
The Accord for 2008 is available as a sedan, which has grown large enough to be classified a large car by the EPA, or a coupe. There are three basic engines available, including a 3.5L iVTEC V6 producing 273 horsepower and 250 ft-lbs. of torque. Do the math and you'll realize the '08 Accord with this engine is the most powerful Honda ever produced. It also features a new Variable Cylinder Management system when ordered in the sedan that can power the vehicle on three, four or all six cylinders to achieve an excellent 19/29 mpg. The other two mills are a 2.4L inline-four producing 200 horsepower/170 ft-lbs., and another 2.4L producing 180 horsepower/166 ft-lbs. All models of the '08 Accord can be ordered with a five-speed automatic, while four-cylinder models can also be had with a 5-speed manual transmission, and the V6 Coupe can be optioned with a six-speed manual.
Read on after the jump for more.
Trim levels include the LX and LX Premium (LX-P), EX and EX-L, and the EX V6, while the coupe is offered as the LX Sport (LX-S), EX, EX-L and EX V6. Suddenly it seems that family sedans can be ordered in as many configurations as full-size trucks.
This segment sells itself largely based on safety, and the new Accord has it in spades. This will be the first time the entire Accord model range comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control is also standard, along with six airbags to protect everyone's extremities in a crash.
The new Accord styling, meanwhile, is evolutionary in the classic Honda sense. This Accord has never strayed from a look that would be acceptable by the many, and the new design is no different. This time it incorporates styling cues from other marques whose offerings are significantly upmarket, most notably BMW. One can see elements of the 3-Series sedan in the C-pillar of the new Accord, and the Accord Coupe comes close to a dead ringer for BMW's two-door model.
Inside the cabin, the Accord again remains conservative, favoring function over form. Indeed, the recently redesigned Civic from Honda has been criticized for its interior that looks like a battle station aboard the Starship Enterprise, but the '08 Accord serves up a traditional center console and gauge cluster with easy to read fonts and ergonomic switchgear.
The one thing Honda didn't reveal about the new 2008 Accord is its price, which we expect to grow. Considering the Accord is now classified as a Large Car by the EPA (but just barely), it will face competition from above and below, particularly the hotly contested Mid-Size segment populated by the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. Hopefully Honda doesn't price it out of contention, a possibility some argue is inevitable with the amount of new technology and expensive engineering it contains.
While we wait for its price tag to be revealed, check out our high-res galleries of the 2008 Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe and let us know what you think in the comments.
08/21/2007 - TORRANCE, Calif -
The all-new 2008 Honda Accord moves the world of mainstream transportation in a refined, dynamic and sophisticated direction with an expanded range of innovative technologies designed for more power, greater efficiency and enhanced safety across the entire lineup of sedans and coupes.
Completely redesigned for 2008 with increased dimensions for a more spacious interior, the sedan styling theme expresses a powerful presence with sharp and strong character lines. The coupe is further individualized with an aggressive stance and unique proportions that create a muscular, sporty demeanor.
"The all-new Honda Accord has become more advanced and refined with a new level of engineering sophistication," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "As the Honda brand's flagship automobile, the Accord is designed to exceed expectations with premium technology, a more spacious interior and increased power, while retaining the fun-to-drive character and innovative feel that has always distinguished the Accord."
An available 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine produces 268-horsepower - the most ever for any Accord - while introducing a new generation of fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) technology and achieving a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV*) rating. The VCM system operates in six-cylinder mode for power and 4- and 3-cylinder modes for efficiency, resulting in an EPA city/highway fuel economy rating of 19/29* miles per gallon (Accord Sedan V-6).
Also new for Accord, an Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure enhances frontal collision compatibility with vehicles of different sizes and bumper heights. Additional safety equipment standard to all Accord models includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), also known as Electronic Stability Control; side-curtain airbags; dual-chamber front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), active front seat head restraints, anti-lock brakes and more.
The Accord is available in sedan and coupe body styles with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V-6 engine choices. Available transmissions include a 5-speed manual (standard with all 4-cylinder engines), a 5-speed automatic (standard on sedan V-6 models, available with all 4-cylinder engines and V-6-powered Accord Coupes,) and a 6-speed manual transmission (exclusive to the Accord Coupe EX-L V-6 6MT).
Sedan trim levels range from the well-equipped Accord Sedan LX and plus-featured LX-P (177-horsepower 4-cylinder engine), to the nicely-equipped Accord Sedan EX (190-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or 268-horsepower V-6 engine), to the premium and upscale Accord Sedan EX-L (190-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or 268-horsepower V-6 engine). Coupe trim levels range from the well-equipped Accord Coupe LX-S (190 horsepower 4-cylinder engine), to the nicely-equipped Accord Coupe EX (190-horsepower 4-cylinder engine) to the premium and upscale Accord Coupe EX-L (190-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or 268-horsepower V-6 engine).
Premium quality with a simple, modern and spacious design describes the philosophy behind the Accord's interior. The larger Accord Sedan total interior volume of 120.0 cubic feet (+3.3 cubic feet compared to 2007) moves the EPA classification from the midsize sedan class to the large sedan class. The additional space is intended to provide "equal" seating comfort for front and rear passengers. Rear legroom of 37.2 inches (+0.4 inches) approaches the impressive second row legroom of the Honda Pilot SUV (37.4 inches). The wider interior (+1.5 inches) allows the front seats to be positioned farther apart to allow for a wide center console more commonly associated with the finest luxury vehicles.
The Accord interior is designed for a dynamic, intuitive and upscale presence, starting with an easy-to-read information display on every vehicle. A zone styling approach separates operation-related instruments (top) and information-related instruments (lower). At night, the controls are further separated by color to distinguish between climate controls (aqua green) and audio controls (white). Classically-styled gauges for the speedometer and tachometer are perfectly round (instead of being truncated at the bottom). Steering wheel audio controls are standard on every Accord. Careful attention was paid to the symmetry of the exterior and interior of the vehicle - including sight lines related to the dashboard height and the visual presence of the hood to the driver.
Redesigned front bucket seats are larger, and feature substantial lateral support to complement the Accord's sporting side. The fold-down lockable rear seatback increases cargo-carrying versatility; the sedan includes a lockable pass-through.
Three impressive audio systems are available - all with MP3/Windows Media® Audio (WMA) playback capability and an auxiliary input jack. The standard system features 160 watts, a single-disc CD player and six speakers. A Radio Data System (RDS) displays information broadcast by participating radio stations that often includes call letters, station type and programming information.
The Accord Sedan EX and Coupe LX-S add a 6-disc in-dash changer. The premium audio system, which comes standard on Accord EX Coupe and Sedan EX-L models, has a six-disc CD changer, 270 watts total amplification and seven speakers including an 8-inch subwoofer. XM® Satellite Radio is standard equipment on all Accord EX-L models.
The latest-generation of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice activation (available on EX-L) uses an 8-inch screen and an interface dial for user input. Features include the Zagat Survey™ guide for restaurants, nightlife, hotels and attractions. Navigation-equipped models also include Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.
Intended to convey a prestigious presence, the Accord Sedan embraces a traditional three-box shape that emphasizes both a dynamic and athletic feel with the sophistication of a timeless sedan form. Dimensionally, the Accord Sedan's overall length of 194.1 inches (4-cylinder models, V-6 models add 0.2 inches for front spoiler lip) is 3.0 inches longer than the 2007 model. The width of 72.7 inches is 1.1 inches wider, and the height of 58.1 inches is 0.9 inches taller. Even though the size is larger in every dimension, the vehicle's torsional rigidity has increased by 20 percent as a result of advanced body construction that uses 48 percent high-tensile steel - the most high-tensile steel by volume of any Accord to date. A significant benefit to the advanced body construction is that total vehicle weight increased only by approximately 5 percent despite the larger size, greater rigidity and added features.
The Accord Coupe styling radically breaks from the sedan with a uniquely aggressive image. Its long hood, sleek roofline and muscular lines suggest power and a heightened agility compared to the sedan. Dimensionally, the Accord Coupe's overall length of 190.9 inches is 3.2 inches longer than 2007 model, its width of 72.8 inches is 1.2 inches wider, and its height of 56.4 inches is 0.6 (LX-S) to 0.7 (EX, EX-L) inches higher. Compared to the 2008 Accord Sedan, the Accord Coupe is 3.2 inches shorter in length, 1.7 inches shorter in height and 0.1-inch wider.
A performance-inspired double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension are designed to provide world-class chassis dynamics. The Accord Sedan wheelbase of 110.2 inches is 2.3 inches longer than the 2007 model, while the 62.2-inch front/rear track is 1.1 and 1.0 inches wider, respectively. The Accord Coupe wheelbase of 107.9 inches is 2.8 inches longer than the 2007 model (track is identical to sedan). Ultimately, the suspension design with wider tire sizes, standard ABS and standard Vehicle Stability Assist is intended to enhance driver confidence and handling performance.
The 2008 Accord Sedan also comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, or16- or 17-inch aluminum wheels depending on model. (The Accord Coupe has 17-inch aluminum wheels standard, with 18-inch aluminum wheels available on the Coupe V-6). The 17-inch wheels are the first for a four-cylinder Accord and the Coupe's available 18-inch wheels are the largest ever for a Honda car.
All 2008 Accord engines deliver increased horsepower across the board, along with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. In total, these power plants represent the most powerful and advanced technologies of any Accord in history, and are also projected to deliver excellent real-world fuel economy performance. All engines only require regular unleaded fuel. Powertrain highlights include:
2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan LX, LX-P)
177 horsepower at 6500 rpm, 161 lb-ft. of torque at 4300 rpm
5-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission
Estimated EPA fuel economy of 21/31 mpg City/Highway** (Sedan, Automatic)
PZEV* or ULEV-2 emissions
Accord Sedan EX, EX-L; Coupe LX-S, EX, EX-L includes:
High-flow exhaust system with variable-valve silencer
190 horsepower at 7000 rpm, 162 lb-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm
3.5-liter, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine (Sedan EX V-6, EX-L V-6; Coupe EX-L V-6: 5AT)
268 horsepower at 6200 rpm, 248 lb-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm
5-speed automatic transmission
V CM for improved fuel efficiency
Estimated EPA mileage of 19/29 mpg City/Highway** (Sedan)
PZEV* or ULEV-2 emissions
3.5-liter, SOHC, VTEC V-6 engine (Coupe EX-L V-6: 6MT)
268 horsepower at 6200 rpm, 248 lb-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm
6-speed manual transmission
VTEC provides two intake cam profiles for increased low- and mid-range torque
Estimated EPA mileage of 17/25 mpg City/Highway**
Through a comprehensive and evolving approach to vehicle safety, Honda seeks to provide a high level of occupant and pedestrian protection in all of its cars and trucks, regardless of size or price, as well as increased compatibility with other vehicles as part of the Safety for Everyone initiative introduced in 2003. Consistent with the Safety for Everyone initiative, every 2008 Accord integrates sophisticated safety technology that includes the ACE body structure; side curtain airbags; driver's and front passenger's dual-chamber side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); and dual-stage, dual-threshold driver's and front passenger's airbags (SRS).
Additionally, the Accord has active front seat head restraints that are designed to help reduce the severity of neck injury in the event of a rear collision. Standard active safety features include VSA, a four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system (ABS) with brake assist and electronic brake distribution (EBD), front seatbelts with an automatic tensioning system and load limiters, and a pedestrian safety design in the front of the vehicle. Passenger-side seatbelt reminders and daytime running lights are also standard equipment.
The Honda Accord was first Japanese-nameplate car assembled in the United States and calendar year 2007 represents the 25th anniversary of its manufacture here. The first Japanese-built Accord was introduced as a 1976 model, and by 1982 it was being manufactured both in Japan and in a brand-new automobile assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio. The success of the Accord set a path for Honda, and conclusively proved that assembling cars in America was a viable proposition. Seven more Accord generations followed, leading to the eighth-generation 2008 Accord.
*PZEV models are automatic transmission only, as certified by California Air Resources Board (CARB), are available in California and some Northeastern states.
**Based on 2008 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle