Honda has opted to bring back to the lineup a hybrid version of its popular Accord sedan as it launches the 10th generation.
Set to go on sale in early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will offer, according to Honda, premium technology, exceptional cabin space, the ability to run in an all-electric mode for 10 to 15 miles and a calculated total driving range over 500 miles.
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan features one of four new powertrains for the all-new Accord. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid will also serve as the basis for a conventional hybrid version of the Accord Sedan, which will join the Honda Accord lineup in the summer of 2013.
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by Honda’s first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new Earth Dreams 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower, teamed with a 124-kilowatt (kw) electric motor.
Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kwh) lithium-ion (li-ion) battery, and total system output is 196 horsepower. The battery pack is mounted above the rear suspension, which helps maintain interior and trunk space and provides protection for the battery pack in a collision.
The two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord PHEV powertrain to move seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Honda expects fuel efficiency for the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid to exceed 100 MPG-e, and is also expecting the new sedan will receive an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Drivers of the 2014 Accord PHEV will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the plug-in Accord to their own commute.
In its default upon start-up, the Accord PHEV acts as a pure electric vehicle and will continue on in full-electric mode until battery capacity necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds or under high demand for acceleration, the gasoline engine can kick in to provide additional power.
In “HV” mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending motor power between gasoline and electric to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level. In “HV Charge” mode, the Accord PHEV blends gasoline and electric power while also augmenting the battery charge level.
The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan will feature an electric servo braking system, similar to the setup on the Honda Fit EV, which contribute to extend the range over which the regenerative braking can take place.
Honda says the plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet, and in less than one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2″ charger. The free HondaLink EV smartphone application will allow owners to easily monitor the charging state of the Accord PHEV.
The Accord PHEV chassis begins with the core engineering of the Accord Sedan, but then adds an all-aluminum front subframe (replacing the steel and aluminum version on the gasoline-engine Accord). The Accord PHEV uses proprietary 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels with a special low-aero drag design, fitted with 225/50-17 tires.
The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will be built in Sayama, Japan.