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2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept Debut

We get our first glimpse of the 2013 Honda Accord.

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What's New

The 2013 Honda Accord is on its way, and we got our first glimpse of it at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show thanks to the Honda Accord Coupe Concept. Until the reveal, Honda had kept a tight lid on what exactly the car would look like, taking the path of saying nothing to ensure that the Accord Coupe Concept's details didn't leak before the show. But as expected, the Accord Coupe Concept is very similar to what will appear in showrooms in a few months. But beyond the new sheetmetal, there's a lot in store for the new Honda Accord. Honda will debut new engines and transmissions, striving for best-in-class fuel economy, and it will also debut a plug-in hybrid version of the Accord.

Who It's For

The Honda Accord is the brand's bread-and-butter sedan, and has been since the model's debut in the mid-70s as a step up from the Civic. The current generation debuted in 2008 and is the biggest Accord ever, with a roomy back seat that's positively limo-like next to some of its competitors. But the Accord has had a tough time lately. Part of it stems from the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and the flooding in Thailand, which took the wind out of Honda's sales. But on top of that is a marketplace that's more competitive than ever. Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Chevrolet and of course the Toyota Camry are all vying for the same mid-priced sedan buyers, and it's no secret that the current Accord was starting to look and feel old. This new car comes just in time.

Key Features

At last we have more details on what will be under the new Accord's sheetmetal.

  • New engines: While the Accord's drivetrain selections may sound familiar -- four-cylinder, V-6 and hybrid -- Honda says it will achieve class-leading fuel economy with all of them thanks to advanced fuel injection, a continuously variable transmission for the four-cylinder, and a six-speed automatic for the V-6.
  • Plug-in hybrid: The 2013 Honda Accord will once again have a hybrid version, albeit this time with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. Honda says the plug-in will be able to go up to 15 miles on electric power alone, at speeds up to 62 mph.
  • Quick recharging: The plug-in hybrid version of the Accord will offer quick recharging of its 6 kilowatt-hour battery; four hours on a standard 120-volt outlet, or 90 minutes on a 240-volt.
  • Lane Watch: This new technology one-ups blind-spot detection by using a small camera, mounted on the passenger side mirror, that gives a super-wide angle view of traffic. Backup cameras, including a multi-angle version on navigation-equipped models, will be available.

What We Think

Now that it has recovered from the natural disasters of 2011, Honda's North American vice president John Mendel says Honda's firing on all cylinders again. At first blush, the new Accord sounds, at least on paper, like it has the goods to go against the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and the new Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion. By making technologies like collision warning, lane-keeping assist and other systems available, Honda is clearly serious about reclaiming its best-in-class status. The Accord Coupe Concept that was shown off certainly looks the part, a subtle but needed refinement of the current car's shape, and one that's probably very close to the production version (we don't expect the big chrome fog light surrounds to make the cut). Of course it will be a few more months before we see what the production version looks like, especially the sedan, and a few months more before we can tell you how it drives.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Detroit 2012