2013 Honda Accord Sedan Shrinks, Gets Plug-in Hybrid Model

Hot on the heels of Honda’s debut of the Accord Coupe Concept at the 2012 Detroit auto show was Accord sedan news. Honda plans to add a gas/electric plug-in hybrid version of its best-selling car to the lineup for model-year 2013. The automaker last offered the Accord in V-6 hybrid trim for the 2007 model year; it was dropped because of slow sales and subpar fuel economy.

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Honda also announced that the new Accord sedan will be lighter and shorter. Honda hasn’t released specs but says the sedan’s new dimensions will improve the car’s driving dynamics and increase fuel economy.

Two non-hybrid engines will be offered: a 181-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection and a 3.5-liter V-6 with “more power than its predecessor,” Honda says. Four-cylinder models use a continuously variable automatic transmission, and V-6 versions get a six-speed automatic; a six-speed manual is available on both versions.

The hybrid model will be available only on the sedan body style, and although Honda hasn’t released details about the powertrain, the automaker did say it will have an electric range of 10 to 15 miles. It will use a lithium-ion battery pack that can be fully charged in four hours from a 120-volt outlet and in 90 minutes from a 240-volt charger. Drivers will be able to choose between all-electric and hybrid driving modes to balance fuel economy and performance. In the all-electric setting, it will have a top speed of 62 mph.

New-for-2013 Accord features include a lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring and forward-crash warning technology. Cameras mounted in the windshield and passenger-side mirror work with these systems to detect potential collisions. Newly standard across the board are a backup camera, Pandora internet radio functionality, SMS text messaging and Bluetooth connectivity.

The new sedan goes on sale this fall; the hybrid model will join it later in the winter.

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