Teased earlier this month, the new Honda Accord Hybrid features the same Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent multi-mode drive) powertrain as the Accord PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) that went on sale in the US earlier this year, minus the plug-in charging capability.
Teaming a 102kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a 124kW electric motor and a 6.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Sport Hybrid i-MMD unit delivers the Honda Accord Hybrid a total output of 147kW.
Combined with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) and a regenerative braking system evolved from that developed for the Honda Jazz EV, Honda claims the new Accord Hybrid can deliver fuel economy of 3.3 litres per 100km – 4.6L/100km better than the 7.9L/100km best of the recently released 2.4-litre four-cylinder-powered Honda Accord VTi.
Employing the same variable-mode driving system as the Accord PHEV – which helps the plug-in claim 1.4L/100km and a pure electric range of 37.6km – the Accord Hybrid will automatically switch between EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive depending on the situation.
EV Drive uses battery power for take-offs and low to mid cruising speeds while a generator recoups electricity during braking. Hybrid Drive takes over when more acceleration is required, combing both power units to provide maximum torque instantaneously. And Engine Drive powers the car solely by the petrol unit when cruising at high speed.
Both the Honda Accord Hybrid and PHEV are to be sold in Japan from this month featuring hill start assist, adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation – now operational from 5km/h rather than 15km/h – with the new Hybrid variant to go on sale in the US in October.
Honda Australia is considering adding both hybrid models to its range, though it says there are no current plans to launch them and neither will arrive before 2015.
Note: Images are of US-spec Honda Accord Hybrid.