It's high time for a new Honda Accord. The current eighth-generation car is close to five years old, and sales have slid as competitors continue to make considerable inroads in the segment that's long been Honda's forte. Luckily, there's a new car just around the corner: the Accord Coupe Concept unveiled at Detroit previews the production 2013 Accord model due in showrooms later this year.
From a styling perspective, the Accord Coupe Concept is evolutionary, but perhaps not quite as much as the controversial 2012 Civic. While the greenhouse and both fascias will be familiar to anyone who's laid eyes on an Accord in the past 10 years, the new car -- as previewed by the Coupe Concept -- is a tad bit more stylish. There's a bit more curvature, more athleticism, more flair infused into this show car. The only conceptual novelties we think may not make it into production are the giant jeweled foglamps and the exhaust tips, which exit through the rear bumper fascia.
From a powertrain perspective, Honda's playing a bit of catch-up to the industry. Like many of its competitors, the next Accord will finally boast a direct-injection four-cylinder -- in this case, a 2.4-liter I-4 from Honda's new "Earth Dreams" powertrain portfolio. This engine can be mated with either a five-speed manual or a new CVT. Honda's 3.5-liter V-6 will also return, albeit in a slightly modified form that should yield a bit more power.
A new plug-in hybrid model, which functions primarily as a series hybrid, allegedly offers 10-15 miles of EV driving, and a top electric-only speed of 62 mph. Better yet, drivers can elect to reserve EV operation for a later point, perfect if their commute calls for highway driving followed by jaunts in the city.
Honda's also already playing up the tech angle, noting the next Accord will offer its new multi-angle rear-view camera, lane departure warning, and forward collision avoidance systems. All models will receive a conventional rear-view camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a SMS text messaging function, and Pandora internet radio compatibility as standard equipment. The new Accord will also be the first to offer Honda's new LaneWatch blind-spot detection system, which uses a camera mounted on the lower corner of the passenger-side rear-view mirror, and is tied to a display embedded in the mirror itself.
For more on the Honda Accord Coupe Concept (and the 2013 Accord), check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Detroit Show homepage.