This content has been provided on behalf of Honda
GREEN-minded UK motorists are watching Honda’s latest unveiling in the US with an eye to grabbing what could be one of the most economical car deals around.
The Japanese firm’s new Accord Hybrid is set to hit American dealerships at the end of this month, with its European release dates soon to follow.
It takes enough fuel efficiency from its hybrid powertrain and small 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to achieve 50mpg (4.5 l/100km).
The 2014 Accord Hybrid employs the same chassis and powertrain as the Accord Plug-In.
It combines a 2.0 l (126 cu in) inline four cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that gives 140hp (106 kW) at 6,200rpm with a 124 kW electric motor-generator.
But there are two obvious differences.
The Plug-In, which is presently only available in New York and California, has a much bigger 6.7 kWh battery pack.
Also, the Plug-In’s starting price of over 40,000 dollars (£25,040) is significantly higher than the suggested 29,155 dollars (£18,246) for the Accord Hybrid.
The drivetrain affords the Accord Hybrid three major operating settings. In all-electric mode, the battery powers the electric motor at a maximum level of 42 kW (55 hp). This power level is a design limitation for the battery/motor-generator control electronics.
The battery and electronics are easier to cool at this power level, and cheaper to buy.
The 1.3 kWh battery in the Accord Hybrid stores the energy equivalent of about half a fizzy drink can of gasoline. Thus, pure EV operations are restricted mainly to starting acceleration.
Although the starting price of a basic Accord Hybrid is 6500 dollars (£4068) more than that of an Accord Sedan, the Accord Hybrid comes with more equipment as standard.
This includes Honda’s Lane Watch blind spot display, a rearview camera, Expanded View driver’s mirror, 17 inch alloy wheels, a 10-way power drivers seat, LED daytime running lights, multiple modes of data integration, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.
Initial tests indicate that the Accord Hybrid might even enjoy better gas mileage than the EPA figures in normal driving.
Click here for more information on Honda’s current range of cars.
Figures are in US gallons