Ah, the Ford Mondeo estate…
Er, no actually. Though when you compare the two together there are remarkable similarities. No, this is a Honda, and it’s the company’s Accord Tourer concept. It previews the production Tourer (estate) that will be shown, along with the saloon, at the Geneva Motor Show next March. The two production cars will then go on sale in summer 2008.
So what can I expect from the new Accord?
For a start it’ll be completely different from the Accord saloon and coupe that are currently being readied for sale in America. The European-spec cars are different from the ground up. Honda wants the new Accord to be sportier than ever, partly because now more than ever it’s aiming directly at the Germans. That’s why we’ve got our fingers crossed that the production Accord will retain all the details seen on the Tourer concept. The only major changes should be the addition of production door handles, wing mirrors and wipers. Now if only the front didn't remind us so much of the Hyundai Genesis…
Any other details?
The new Accord will offer two petrol engines (2.0 and 2.4-litres) and a 2.2-litre diesel. Like every new car these days Honda says power us up, emissions are down, and fuel economy is much improved. No more details than that. The 2.2-litre diesel is the next generation of Honda’s first oil burner. For the new Accord it will get a particulate filter as standard but Honda is also working on a system similar to Audi’s AdBlue and Mercedes’ Bluetec to reduce NOx emissions. But unlike Mercedes or Audi which use urea from a storage tank onboard the car, Honda’s system generates ammonia from the catalytic converter. The ammonia causes NOx to change into harmless nitrogen. Honda also made reference to ‘innovative chassis technology’ but officials weren’t saying anything more. It could be marketing tosh, or the Accord could get something like Renault’s new four-wheel steer. After all, the Honda Legend has four-wheel drive and steer and the company had a cult following for 4ws on the Prelude, not least from CAR's LJK Setright.
What else was on display at Honda?
There was a new version of the Small Hybrid Sports Concept in the Honda F1 team’s green and blue livery. Another version will appear at the Tokyo Motor Show later in 2008. There was also the Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle that will go into production for Japan and the USA in 2008. And Honda also confirmed that next year we’ll see a new hybrid production vehicle built specifically for the technology, unlike today’s Civic Hybrid. The new car will also be smaller and cheaper than the hybrid Civic. Honda also showed a Gold Wing motorcycle with the world’s first production airbag for a bike, while its thin film cell solar panel showed Honda is working on environmentally friendly ways of producing hydrogen.