Thursday, 16 June 2016

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid

 

With its innovative and elegant two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2014-2015 Accord Hybrid set the benchmark for a mid-size hybrid sedan in refinement, advanced technology and class-leading fuel efficiency. The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid moves even further ahead of its competitors with the application of a second-generation two-motor hybrid system, providing even greater fuel efficiency and class leading total system horsepower while benefitting from the styling and technological enhancements made to the Accord lineup for model year 2016. From an Accord family perspective, the new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord, the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient model in the lineup.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, the Accord has set the benchmark for vehicles in the midsize sedan class. Accord is widely recognized as a segment-defining product, delivering class-leading interior space and superior ergonomics along with outstanding fuel efficiency, refined and responsive driving dynamics and top-class safety performance. This is what has made the Accord America's most popular car for five of the past six years and for the last three years running, and the best-selling midsize car to buyers under 35 years old for the past four years.

The 2016 Accord received multiple enhancements that further advanced the 9th-generation Accord by making it more stylish, sophisticated and sportier and with enhanced safety features and other technological advancements. For the 2017 model year, the Accord Hybrid benefits from all these improvements that also include new premium features such as the combined application of Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, the expanded use of LED exterior lighting and the application of the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, offered as standard equipment on the 2017 Accord Hybrid.

Additional new available features for the 2017 Accord Hybrid, depending on model and trim, include remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, heated rear seats and auto high-beam headlights. The Accord Hybrid will also feature new exterior colors and interior fabrics and d├ęcor. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and unique alloy wheel design, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. in the midsize hybrid sedan segment.

Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined) put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. 

These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version.

Exterior and Interior Design
The Accord Hybrid gets a major facelift for 2017 that closely follows the changes made to the gasoline-only powered 2016 Accord models. In place of the previous wrap-around front bumper is a more sharply creased and intricately structured front fascia, the lower portion of which tucks into large intake-like meshed areas that house new standard LED fog lights. An Accord Hybrid exclusive, elegantly contoured aluminum hood meets up with a brighter, more pronounced front grille. 

The new more expressive face of Accord is complimented by a sharply sculpted rear bumper fascia and new LED taillight design. Blue-accents on the front grill, headlights and taillights of the 2017 Accord Hybrid, along with special "Hybrid" badging, provide a subtly distinctive look and visual differentiation between from its gasoline-only powered stable mates.

All Accord Hybrid trims have unique 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and feature the expanded use of LED lighting - LED daytime running lights (DRLs), taillights and fog lights for all trims, and LED headlights for the Touring trim.

The Accord Hybrid also gets a revised exterior color palette with five new colors - out of the eight available - as well as new interior tricot seat fabric (base trim) and color schemes including a sophisticated new wood grain-style dashboard trim.

Powertrain
Offering a significant powertrain upgrade from the previous Accord Hybrid, the 2017 model features the second-generation Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) two-motor hybrid powertrain. This sophisticated, refined and seamlessly operating system further extends the Accord Hybrid's advantages over its competitors with even more power and fuel efficiency.

Honda's second-generation i-MMD uses a two-motor hybrid approach with three operating modes - EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive - responding to the demands of the driver while maximizing fuel efficiency. Under most conditions, the vehicle operates in Hybrid Drive mode, in which the gasoline engine operates as a generator, supplying electric power to the hybrid batteries, with motive power supplied by the electric propulsion motor. Under certain conditions, the Accord Hybrid can operate on electric power only, with the engine shut off. In Engine Drive Mode, used mainly during medium- to high-speed cruising, the vehicle can operate on gasoline engine power only.

Changes to the two-motor i-MMD for the 2017 Accord Hybrid include upgrades to the gasoline engine, electric generator, electric motor, Power Control Unit (PCU), Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) and lock-up clutch. These second-generation refinements reduce weight, size and complexity, and increase power and efficiency, all of which have packaging and performance benefits. Furthermore, to enhance the fun factor, the i-MMD includes a new Sport mode.

The result of the 2017 Accord Hybrid's cutting-edge powertrain technology is a fun-to-drive character, aided by a new Sport mode and an 8.2 percent increase in total system power to 212 horsepower (as measured by the peak, concurrent output of the two electric motors and gas engine), coupled with fuel efficiency unmatched in its segment. The Accord Hybrid has EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 mpg (city/highway/combined) - giving it by far the best-in-class ratings for midsize hybrid sedans. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year.

Second-Generation Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) Two-Motor Hybrid System
The 2017 Accord Hybrid's second-generation i-MMD two-motor hybrid system is a highly efficient powertrain that selects the optimal drive operation under a wide range of driving conditions to combine a fun-to-drive character with excellent fuel efficiency. Detailed energy management for each component, as controlled by the Power Control Unit (PCU), enables this system to make the best use of both the electric propulsion motor and the gasoline engine to seamlessly provide smooth and responsive performance and to garner top EPA fuel economy ratings in the midsize hybrid sedan class.

To help maximize efficiency on the road, the Accord Hybrid seamlessly shifts between three distinct drive operations: EV Drive (100 percent electric motor), Hybrid Drive (electric motor and gasoline engine [driving the generator motor]) and Engine Drive (gasoline engine). The Accord Hybrid's powertrain shifts seamlessly and smoothly among the three driving operations, utilizing power from the Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine and the electric motor to suit the driving conditions moment to moment. An animated visual display of current operation power flow, including regeneration, can be displayed on the Multi-Information Display (MID) in the center of the instrument cluster.

EV Drive Operation
All-electric drive EV Drive operation occurs when starting from a stop, during light cruising and acceleration, and when braking. The gasoline engine is off when the i-MMD is in EV Drive mode and is decoupled from the drivetrain to reduce friction.

Hybrid Drive Operation
The electric propulsion motor alone powers the front wheels, as the gasoline engine (decoupled from the drive wheels) powers the electric-generator motor, which in turn provides power to the battery pack. This allows the gas engine-generator motor combo to supplement the battery by providing added electrical power to the propulsion motor or, alternatively, to charge the battery. In this type of operation the system works as a "series hybrid." The electric propulsion motor offers crisp acceleration, and can reach maximum torque almost instantaneously, thanks to electrical power that can be supplied from both the gas engine-powered motor/generator and the battery.

Engine Drive Operation

When cruising at medium to high speeds, the high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC gasoline engine provides propulsion via a new higher capacity lock-up clutch, which connects the generator motor (always linked to the engine) and the electric drive motor, effectively sending motive power directly from the engine to the drive wheels. In this type of operation the system works as a "parallel hybrid" where both the gasoline engine and, when required - for instance upon quick acceleration - the electric propulsion motor, both provide power to the wheels. The i-MMD powertrain operates without the use of a conventional transmission.

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