By on January 10, 2012

Get this straight: with the exception of perpetual NSX foreplay, Honda doesn’t do “concepts”. Their concept cars are usually production vehicles with tinted windows. So it is with the new Accord Coupe “Concept”. The current Accord has come in for more criticism than any Accord in history… so what’s changed?

Edited to include more shots that show the evolutionary link between the current Coupe and the new one.

Let’s start with SHOCKING MECHANICAL NEWS! Honda, a company so conservative at times that it was selling the majority of its production vehicle with carburetors long after General Motors had fuel-injected the freakin’ Iron Duke, has finally put six-speed automatic transmissions in the Accord. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether production models will have a nifty little retro “6-speed” badge under the right rear taillamp.

Oh, wait. Turns out it’s just the V-6 that gets a six-speed. Four-cylinder models get a CVT. That four-cylinder is the new EarthDreams 2.4 direct-injected model, putting out 181hp and 177 lb-ft. The new V-6 will also make more power, but Honda didn’t say how much more.

On the now-mandatory hybrid side of things, the Accord Hybrid has finally ditched the old IMA system for a proper two-motor setup that will allow the Accord to run in full electric mode. Range in said mode is quoted at a serious-business 10-15 miles. And it’s a plug-in, with full recharge in four hours at 120v and 1.5 hours at 240v.

Standard tech includes Bluetooth across the range and a rearview camera, a color LCD display, and a Pandora interface. Optional: lane assist.

We will be partnering with Speed:Sport:Life to bring you a full Accord Coupe gallery later in the day.

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43 Comments on “NAIAS: Accord Coupe Concept...”


  • avatar
    86er

    Does the latest 4 banger have fewer horses than the previous one, or am I thinking of Hyundai’s 4 banger?

  • avatar
    geeber

    Interestingly, while the new coupe is the size of the current model, the new sedan will be lighter, shorter and narrower.

  • avatar
    nearprairie

    Reliance on all the shiny-shiny, chromey-chrome, bling-bling accents is more evidence a designer is clueless about what the actual car-buying market really wants. But because it’s a Honda I’ve no doubt the loyal company choir will feel preached to and line up with check books clenched firmly in their collective teeth.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      So what’s the problem then? You drive a car you like, while Hponda and their customers get on with life?

      Also, it’s not the styling that made those customers loyal. My dad and his wife have around 600k miles on 3 Honda’s since 1991. The kind of reliability that gets a 1991 Accord to 200k miles with no sweat, while getting good gas mileage (while GM still thought we should be buying the Cavalier) is what keeps those people buying Hondas.

      Personally, I haven’t bought a Honda or a Toyota. Close family members have, sand I’ve participated extensively in the maintenence of both. They’re great cars. But I personally prefer to avoid up-front costs and pay mylocal auto maintenence establishments, so I buy used Fords. They depreciate like you wouldn’t believe, and I understand and enjoy the maintenece – but I just had to spend $1200 on the front suspension components and several seals on my 123k-mile Ford Escape. Of I’d bought a 2002 CRV or RAV4, I would have paid a lot more for the car, but would only have had to change the oil. Pick your poison. The Honda and. Toyota owners have made very sensible choices, even if though you disagree with it and I seem to enjoy Fords on the far side of the depreciation curve. Pick your pooison, I guess.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Does Honda make a CVT that work s for moe than a year or two? Does anyone?

    For me, mandatory CVT means no sale. (Yeah, I know, but wife won’t drive a manual)

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      My wife is in the CVT-only camp. She doesn’t drive a manual, but she has 140k miles in a Prius. So, she thinks something is wrong with the car when she hears an abrupt RPM change. I’ve never been a fan of the slushbox, either, though I don’t mind driving modern electronically controlled ones very much and I acknowledge that they’re an excellent fit for the kind of driving I do these days and my budget. Give me a continuous function over a step function, though, and I’m happier – especially when that comes with the ability to keep the engine at peak torque or peak efficiency.

  • avatar
    Littlecarrot

    The good news: No Billy the Big Mouth Bass front end!

  • avatar
    Dan

    I was disappointed to read in the press release that the V6 is keeping Honda’s awful VCM system.

    An OHC engine without independently variable valve timing in 2012 is every bit as dated and inferior as those carbed A20s were in 1985.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    New plug-in hybrids from Ford and Honda make me wonder whether the non-plug-in hybrid will soon be a thing of the past. While we don’t have any firm info on the Ford, the 10-15 mile electric driving range on the Accord seems to suggest that Honda believes the “sweet spot” for battery size, at least for a plug-in hybrid, is much smaller than that envisioned by Toyota General Motors and Fisker. Ten miles will get me to work and back (barely), so this will work for me. If the Accord and/or Fusion plug-in hybrid is priced a lot lower than the Prius hybrid, I might just go for one.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    It looks like a decent evolution of the current Accord Coupe, kind of Civic writ large though. What does back end look like?

    How about the sedan? I’ve had a hard time liking that one. I’ve been partial to the current Accord Coupe since it was released. I even looked at one to replace my former 03 Accord Coupe LX, but the money wasn’t there.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I am trying to figure out if this is an all new car or a refresh. Looks like a refresh. I am shaking my head at many of honda’s design directions. I really think they are getting overtaken on all fronts not only in design, but powertrain, interiors. Acura is almost becoming a joke. I did just buy a new 2012 Odyssey though, only kid on my block with a 5 speed auto. Still gets admirable fuel economy though, just couldnt stomach the extra 4 grand to get the 6 speed in the touring trim for an extra 1 mpg. But, my decision to buy Honda came down to …..yikes….price. I think it wasnt long ago that Honda’s vehicles sold themselves on their merits.

    • 0 avatar
      Guzzi

      gooood decision on the 5-speed AT. just say no to beta testing Honda’s transmissions. that they are force-feeding the CVT on the lower end models raises my gorge.

      Hopefully the MT option in the coupe will continue. I thought it was the only Honda where you could get the 6-cylinder and the MT. Did they finally sort the six speed MT?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Definitely looks like a facelift to me, not a completely new model — let alone a “concept!”

  • avatar
    segfault

    Are they now doing a hybrid version of the Accord Coupe?

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    I guess I won’t be trading in or selling my 2002 Accord EX V-6 until something better comes along.

    That day may be getting farther away than closer.

    • 0 avatar
      Rob Finfrock

      After the ’94 Accord was introduced, I used to joke how each new generation of the Civic and Accord seemed less attractive than the previous models. It is extremely sad to see Honda apparently adopt that mindset as a corporate credo.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I see the target buyer of this car as a bitter divorcee in her 40s.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Add some chrome under the headlights and…

    http://imganuncios.mitula.net/2010_kia_optima_4dr_sdn_i4_auto_lx_red_94513022095792427.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Where would the LED running lights go?

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Well it looks like Honda took this ’10 Optima and added the chrome/LEDs…. Jazzed it up a bit.

        I think we’re seeing the industry has caught up/surpassed Honda/Toyota. They stood out for so long making a good product in a sea of bad choices. While they still make a good product the competition finally has a clue and they’re being left behind.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Are those square brake intakes framed with LEDs suggesting that they are driving/fog lights? If so I think I just threw-up a little in my mouth. Everything seems to be framed by chrome, including the brake lights, the exhaust ports and fog light things that are making me sick. Man I miss the 80s when the monochromatic look was in. Chrome should only be used for logos, nameplates, exhaust tips and (when used properly) window trim and grills. Maybe chromed plastic holds up longer then black which fades over time? What other reason would explain all this shiny crap surrounding various part. Heck why not just put chrome wipers on too?

  • avatar
    WriterParty.com

    Looks somehow cheaper than the coupe it’s replacing, but otherwise, aside from the flame-surfaced sides it’s nearly identical. I’m more waiting to see if they can do anything about the fugly sedan version.

  • avatar
    alf42

    Seeing this car made me register for an account. As a Honda loyalist, I’m so displeased with the design direction Honda’s taken lately. The grill on the new CRV looks like a Gillette razor. Is that supposed to be attractive?

    I also despise their overuse of chrome. Not everyone wants to look like a rapper or a teenage street racer. Who in the world is designing these? And who’s approving the designs? Ugh!

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    Wow. Way to embrace the Accord line’s 1970’s-sized front overhangs.
    I hope the next gen Accords correct that.

    And that fog light/exhaust outlet coordinated combo looks just as stupid to me as it did on the previous generation Chevy trucks.

    Other than the aforementioned front overhang, Honda design does a decent job with side views. It’s the face and tail that mess this up.

    It’s a shame that Honda will pretty much have to leapfrog a generation of driveline development to get back in front of everybody.

  • avatar
    chrisgreencar

    This is the all-new 2013 Accord? Comparing photos of a 2012, this is definitely a refresh. I don’t get it. They went from 4-year to 5-year cycles a few years ago, and 2012 is the end of the current cycle. So, what gives? A mild refresh for the next 5 years? Honda is looking worse and worse. (I will admit that the 2012 Civic has grown on me slightly, though.)

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Please tell me they haven’t scrapped their MT alternatives. The gearboxes are the only reason I even think about Honda anymore.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I certainly wouldn’t trade my 2011 for one of these. I guess Honda’s not fixing what ain’t broke.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    This new Accord is what the next Fusion should have been. Conservative styling that will stand the test of time. I expect the engineering to be conservative such that reliability rules. And, like all Honda’s I expect it will last well beyond 200,000 miles with decent resale value at 100,000. When will Detroit get it?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “When will Detroit get it?”

      Circa 2005.

      It won’t matter to you or me for another decade or so, since that’s how long it takes for a reliable car to sink into my price range (in my case) and how long it takes to create a proven track record (in your case, presumably).

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Did they change anything other than the bumper covers? A lot of people knocked the new Civic and Camry for closely resembling their predecessors, but those look like clean sheet redesigns compared this this. The sheet metal looks absolutely identical to the current car.

    The sedan must be a real stinker if this is the model their teasing.

    Seems like a complete waste of an auto show unveil. Honda’s “concepts” are a joke. And a disheartening one to former fans of the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      If you put the current car beside this concept, you can see the changes. Honda tidied up the character lines on the current car and made everything “tighter.”

      Supposedly, the sedan will be shorter and narrower than the current car. The current sedan has come in for most of the criticism, particularly for looking bloated, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Honda saved the more extensive changes for that model.

      I like it, but after the dramatic changes to the Fusion and most recent Sonata, I can see why people are underwhelmed by this new Accord.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Barely much change but getting rid of the huge chrome Ford Fusionist front grill was a HUGE improvement. The front end looks slimmer and sleeker…similar to the light treatment of the 2004 generation Acuras. Not of fan of the huge, lit, squarish holes in the front end though.

  • avatar
    GalaxieSun

    The current Accord Coupe is the best-looking car Honda has on the market IMHO. This evolutionary design is a good thing. It’s not a refresh as every inch of the sheetmetal is new. The side surfacing changes are quite obvious. However, if Honda doesn’t offer an MT on the 4-cylinder models they are making a BIG MISTAKE. It’s the best manual transmission out there Honda, don’t deprive us of it!

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