New 2008 Honda Accord
2008 Honda Accord (the 8. generation of assembled cars in America) will go on sale in mid-September in the US. Honda’s flagship model has completely been redesigned with increased dimensions for a more spacious interior with an aggressive stance and muscular look.
It is powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine which produces 268-horsepower. It comes with a new generation of fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) technology and achieving a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV1) rating. The VCM system operates in six-cylinder mode for power and 4- and 3-cylinder modes for efficiency. Honda claims that this gives an EPA city/highway fuel economy rating of 19/292 miles per gallon for the Accord Sedan V-6.
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).
2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan LX, LX-P)
3.5-liter, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine (Sedan EX V-6, EX-L V-6; Coupe EX-L V-6: 5AT)
3.5-liter, SOHC, VTEC V-6 engine (Coupe EX-L V-6: 6MT)
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.
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.
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 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®.
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.
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.
Also new for the Accord is an Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that 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.
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.
FYI, the Honda Accord was first Japanese car assembled in the United States and this year, they celebrated 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.
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