Cleveland, Ohio – The V-6 sedan is dead, long live the turbocharger.
Honda is joining a growing number of automakers in retired V-6 engine options for mid-sized sedans. The 2018 Accord will feature either a hybrid powertrain or two turbocharged 4-cylinder options – a 1.5L I-4 or a 2L I-4.
"The tenth-generation Accord will be the most fun-to-drive, refined, and fuel-efficient Accord yet," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of America Honda Motor Co. Inc. "We expect this all-new 2018 Accord will make people rethink the midsize sedan."
The company hasn’t shared power or fuel-consumption details on the new engine options, but expect fuel-sipping performance. The 2017 Accord features either a 2.4L I-4 or a 3.5L V-6. So the small turbo 4 will be 37.5% smaller than the engine it replaces, and the 2L turbo is 42.9% smaller than the V-6 it replaces.
Hyundai was the first to dump V-6 options with the 2011 model year Sonata mid-sized. The 2011 Chevy Malibu followed suit, and Ford’s Fusion went all 4-cylinder for the 2013 model year. Toyota still offers a 3.5L V-6 on the Camry, as does the Nissan Altima. But equipped with powerful turbos and aggressive transmissions, automakers have been able to post similar performance numbers with I-4s.
In addition to lowering vehicle weight, downsizing engines offers manufacturing and design simplicity. Engineers can design a single engine bay that can fit a small number of similarly sized engines instead of having to create structures that support radically different engine size options. Planning for two small powertrains allows designers to fill engine bay space more efficiently, eliminating blank areas and shrinking the front end of the car slightly.
To maximize performance of the engines, Honda is offering three transmissions options.
- 10-speed automatic transmission – available with the larger 2L turbo 4-cylinder engine, the 10-speed system promises more accelerations at lower speeds and higher fuel economy at cruising speed
- Continuously variable transmission (CVT) – launched for the 9th generation Accord, the CVT will be the base transmission for the vehicle
- 6-speed manual – Stick shifts, a little-used option on the current Accord, will continue to be available for either of the turbo 4 engines
Honda plans to make the two engines at its Anna Engine Plant in central Ohio. The CVT will continue to be built in Russells Point, Ohio; and the 10-speed automatic will come out of Honda’s Tallapoosa, Georgia plant.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.