Honda's Accord Coupe offers glimpse of future


Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:50 a.m.
DETROIT - The next generation of Honda's top-selling Accord sedan likely will have a sportier, more sculpted look when it arrives in showrooms next fall.
Honda Motor Co. lifted the curtain Monday on an Accord Coupe concept that it said would serve as a glimpse of the future of the Accord, ''the single most important product in Honda North America's lineup,'' said John Mendel, Honda's senior vice president of automobile operations. ''For Honda, the Accord represents the flagship of our car lineup and our single best-selling model,'' Mendel said.
The two-door concept has a sleeker look than past Accord models, with edgier lines along the base, a long hood and a six-sided grille and quad exhausts in the rear.
The company said it will have a more powerful V6 engine, providing higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Five-speed, manual transmissions on current Accord sedans achieve about 26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
The new Accord is expected to be launched next fall.
Honda sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the United States in 2006, Mendel said, and the company expects to increase its sales to 1.36 million units this year. The company has increased U.S. sales every year for the past 11 years.
The company said it expects coupe segments to grow 34 percent in the U.S. between now and 2011.
The Accord was the third-highest selling passenger car in the U.S. in 2006 behind the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Corolla, according to Autodata Inc. Honda sold more than 354,000 Accords last year, but company officials note the model has maintained its popularity even though it was last redesigned in 2003.
Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, the nation's largest group of auto dealerships, said despite some striking new models in the pipeline, he does not expect other manufacturers to make a dent in the Camry's position in the midsize category.

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