Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Honda Accord is an automobile manufactured by Honda. It was introduced in 1976 as a 1600cc engine-powered medium-sized hatchback sedan, with styling similar to an upsized contemporary Honda Civic. A conventional four-door saloon was released in 1977.
Original plans were for a mid-size car, along the lines of the Ford Mustang. It was supposed to be a V6-powered car with a long hood and sporty pretensions. Honda chose the name Accord, claiming no other name was available. But this was during the fuel crisis era, and the initial design was changed for a high-mileage, low-emission vehicle, and in the USA and Japan, a version was produced using Honda's CVCC technology, meeting emission standards of the 1970s and 1980s without a catalytic converter.
In 1982 the Accord became the best-selling Japanese car by name in the USA, holding that position for 15 years.
In 1993, the fifth-generation Accord was released, and it was a sales failure in the US. While the larger, redesigned Toyota Camry was making waves in the American market, Japanese tax laws meant the Accord cannot grow as large as the Camry, therefore it was too small for American tastes, though it fits Japanese and Asian preferences perfectly. It also was a break from the revious four generations of the Accord, with their boxy, rectangular shapes, instead styling the car along the lines of the Prelude and Legend. VTEC engines made its debut in the Accord, and the JDM Accord also featured a 2.2L DOHC VTEC as its top-model. A V6 engine, the 2.7 L C27 from the Legend, was introduced in 1995 in the US market to compete with the V6 Mazda 626. This generation was also the first where Honda produced the Accord in its Swindon plant in UK for European markets. This European Accord was based on the JDM Ascot Innova , which in turn was based on the fourth-generation Accord (CB-series). Europe is a market where Honda did not conquer, as Japanese cars then were deemed plain and characterless. This marketing strategy sowed the seeds for future Accords, as Honda tried to accommodate customer requirements of different markets.
In order to increase the Accord's competitiveness against its rivals in different markets, Honda CEO Nobuhiko Kawamoto decided on one basic platform for the sixth-generation Accord, but with different bodies and proportions for local markets. In 1997 the Accord split into three distinct versions, European Honda Accord , JDM Honda Accord and USDM Honda Accord. The USDM Accord is finally big enough for American tastes, and both the European Accord and JDM Accord were designed with the requirements of their respective markets. Comparing the three Accords, it is clear that the US version is more distant than the other two, with the JDM and European car being more sporty and the US car being more family-orientated. The F-series VTEC engines made it's debut in the European and Japanese Accords, and the 90° C-series V6 engine was replaced by a more-compact 60° J-series unit for the US Accord. Surprisingly, Honda offered the US Accord in a number of Asian markets, resulting in mixed sales performance.
By 2003, the Accord had evolved through seven generations, with 2003 models offering power plants from 4 cylinder to V6 (for the US version only). Honda once again changed it's marketing strategy, by merging the European Accord and the JDM Accord , streamlining the product range from three different bodies to two. Incidentally, the European/JDM Accord is also sold in the US as the Acura TSX, and the USDM Accord is sold in Japan as the Inspire, but with a number of hi-tech features not seen elsewhere in the US range. Mechanically, the 4 cylinder is the new K-series , and the 6 cylinder was the same J-series V6 as the sixth generation's, but its intake runners, exhaust, and headers contributed to a 40 horsepower (30 kW) increase. Honda continued the sporty theme with the European/JDM Accords and the family-orientation with the US car. Again, Honda sold only the US Accord in Asian markets (now made in Thailand), with mixed results.
For the first time, Honda offered an "enthusiast" version of the Accord in US, mating their 6-speed manual from the Acura CL to the V6 Honda Accord Coupe. A specific 4 cylinder model is the first production car in the world to meet California's Ultra Low Emission standards .
The 2003 model year also debuted Honda's GPS assisted Navigation system as an option for the Accord. Prior to the 2003 model year it was only available on the higher end Acura line as well as the Honda Odyssey.
In 2004 Honda announced that they would release a hybrid version of the USDM Accord. This vehicle is detailed in the Honda Accord Hybrid page. With the 2004 model year Honda also introduced an updated version of the Acura TL in North America, a mid-range luxury sedan based on the Accord. The TL added features such as a multichannel DVD Audio sound system and a Bluetooth hands free cellular telephone interface, the first of its kind to be offered with any passenger car.
The Accord has been voted Car of the Year in Japan on numerous occasions, as well as setting the FIA speed record of Diesel cars in 2004, using a European Accord fitted with a 2.2CDT-i engine, the first Diesel engine by Honda. The Accord has been on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list 19 times, in 1983-1991, 1994-1995, and 1998-2005. It is the winningest vehicle in the 22-year history of that award. The Accord was also Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1977 and Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1994.
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