2018 Honda Accord: Turbo power on tap
Following the introduction of turbocharged engines on its Civic and CR-V lines, Honda will continue to roll out turbocharged powerplants across the board. A version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that debuted in the 2017 Honda Civic Type R will replace the current 3.5-liter V6 in the Honda Accord as the top-spec engine when the next generation of this benchmark sedan bows this fall as a 2018 model.
In a preview drive of a test mule equipped with the new direct injection engine at Honda's Tochigi Proving Grounds in Japan, the new engine didn’t feel lacking for power. Mated to Honda’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission (which just bowed in the 2018 Honda Odyssey), the 2.0-liter quickly and seamlessly motivated the sedan to 125 mph on the large oval. We were only allowed two laps, but toggling between Normal and Sport modes allowed us to experience the throttle blip downshifts of the latter when changing gears using the shift paddles.
Two turbos, three transmissions plus a hybrid
The new Accord will feature the Civic and CR-V's turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine as the base powertrain, which will be offered with a choice of a continuously variable automatic transmission or 6-speed manual. The 2.0-liter turbo will come with the 10-speed automatic, but will also be offered in certain trim levels with the 6-speed manual. The lineup will also again include a hybrid.
Honda would not divulge output or fuel economy figures, but for reference the current Accord produces 185 horsepower (189 for Sport models) and 181 lb-ft of torque from its normally aspirated 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. The 3.5-liter V6 makes 278 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. In the Civic, the turbo 1.5-liter 4-cylinder is rated at 174-180 horsepower depending on trim level, with torque ranging from 162 to 167 lb-ft. The 2017 Honda Civic Si makes 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque from the 1.5-liter turbo, while the Type R is rated at 306 horsepower. Expect both Accord engines to make something in between.
For duty in the Accord, the new 2.0-liter turbo has been tuned to run on regular gas and gains a secondary balance shaft. As for the new 10-speed gearbox, Honda says it can transmit 20 percent more torque, but weighs 10 percent less than the 6-speed automatic it replaces.
‘‘With these three advanced new powertrains, the tenth-generation Accord will be the most fun-to-drive, refined and fuel-efficient Accord yet,'' said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of American Honda. "Just as the new Civic injected new energy into the compact car segment, we expect this all-new 2018 Accord will make people rethink the midsize sedan.''