Thursday, September 5, 2013

New 9Gen Accord launched in Malaysia

The new 9th generation Honda Accord finally makes it way to Malaysia, more or less completing the launching cycle of Honda's best selling model for Asia. Launched yesterday, September 4th 2013 by Honda Malaysia, as expected for Malaysia, the line-up comprises two variants of the 2.0l type and one variant of the 2.4l type. 


The 2.0l Accord uses the existing R20A 2.0l SOHC i-VTEC engine, spec'ed to deliver a max power of 155ps at 6,500rpm and max torque of 19.2kgm at 4,300rpm. The two variants differs in the equipment level and fitting, the basic being the 2.0 VTi which comes with basic biege colour fabric-based interior while the 2.0 VTi-L comes with black colour leather based interior. The 2.4 VTi-L also comes with more features and accessories. 

The 2.4l Accord uses the new Honda 'Earth Dreams Technology' (often shortened to ED or sometimes also EDT) engine, an under-square 2.4l DOHC i-VTEC engine rated to deliver 175ps at 6,200rpm and 22.9kgm at 4,000rpm. Interestingly, the specifications for the same engine at the HAT (Honda Automobile Thailand or simply 'Honda Thailand') website are slightly different with the power put at 174ps and torque put at 23kgm (same rpm points). ASEAN Accords are designed/developed out of Honda's research facility in Thailand (Honda Research Thailand or HRT).

Honda's Earth Dreams Technology is their latest line-up of engines employing a series of technologies Honda has been working on exploiting over the past decade focusing on efficiency rather than performance. The two key targets are reduction in emissions (hence the use of the Earth based theme) and an improvement in fuel economy. Any power related increase will be a corollary of these two focuses. Unlike VTEC or Type-R which are more specific, ED/EDT doesn't signify a specific technological approach but rather makes use of a wide range of technologies, from straight-forward exploitation of existing techniques to reduce internal friction (e.g. use of exotic materials), to the outright implementation of technologies like the use of the Atkinson cycle instead of the normal Otto cycle and so forth. The top of the range is currently the 2.4l which is a regular Otto cycle engine in DOHC i-VTEC form and using Direct Injection, used by AHM in the 2.4l Accord for the USDM, Honda's largest and most important market. Various different variations using part of the above technologies are used in other engines in the range. The top of the range hybrid ED/EDT engine currently uses Honda's IMA-2 coupled with an Atkinson cycle engine in DOHC i-VTEC and also DI mode. These two engines are reserved for Honda's larger more important markets like the U.S. and JDM. For the 9G Accord for ASEAN, Honda has adopted the 2.4l DOHC i-VTEC port-injected ED engine (i.e. without DI). 

For the transmission, Honda continues with the standard 5AT that was fitted to the outgoing 8G Accord. As before, only the 2.4l Accord comes with manual sequential override activated via 'paddle shifters' on the steering wheel. According to the 9G Accord assistant chief engineer, the adoption of the 5AT instead of the CVT for the 2.0l variants like what is done for the USDM versions is because ASEAN Accord owners values a 'fun to drive' character in their cars which the CVT do not offer.

A significant change from the 8G Accord is the use of Macpherson struts for the front suspension instead of the double wishbone which has been a feature of the Accord for around two decades. The rear suspension setup continues to be independent multi-link.

As befitting its 'premium' status, the ASEAN 9G Accord comes with a whole suite of features and accessories that is normally associated with luxury type cars. This includes reverse camera, a new 'Lane Watch' feature which is a front passenger side-mirror mounted camera which expands the field of view of the left side of the car (to the driver) when changing lanes. Givens are the standard features like power seats, dual zone air-condition, and so forth.

A feature worthy of special mention is the new Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control (ANC & ASC) systems fitted to both 2.0l and 2.4l types. This is a system whereby low frequency sound is generated and broadcasted into the internal cabin. This is an off-phase (180deg phase differential) sound with the same frequency as the exhaust. These two sounds will then cancel each other out in the cabin, effectively reducing exhaust noise to near zero. This feature was first used on the previous 8th generation Accord in the U.S. and other premium markets but left out of our ASEAN 8G Accord. But it is now in our 9G Accord and is a significant and important feature.

A host of important and worthy safety and security features adorns the new 9G Accord, with newsworthy items being the new Honda 'Lane Watch' feature mentioned above, a multi-angle reverse camera system, full dual front and side airbags, and of course the standard VSA, HSA, ABS, and EBD complement. The steering is now a 'motion adaptive' EPS system. CMBS or Collision Mitigation Brake System, a feature which detects when we are approaching the front vehicle too fast and automatically applies the brakes which is a feature of the top grade Accord in premium markets including in Thailand but is not offered in Malaysian Accords.

Below are selected photos from the launch event. The Grey/Silver Accord is the basic 2.0 VTi variant, the black is the VTi-L variant. The Modulo-fitted Tafetta White unit is the 2.4 VTi variant.






Rightmost in this photo is Nakano-san, assistant LPL for the 9G Accord
Accord 2.0 VTi


Accord 2.0 VTi-L


2.0l SOHC i-VTEC engine for the 2.0VTi and 2.0VTi-L
 Modulo Accord 2.4 VTi

 

 New Earth Dreams 2.4l DOHC i-VTEC engine
Base Accord 2.0 VTi
Base 2.0 VTi has fabric-based beige colour interior

5 comments:

FiTTo said...

Wong,You must do a review for this car for 'us' outside N/America. And the JDM hybrid too.

TOVA said...

Hi Fitto.

Thanks for your comment. Thus far, I have been attending Honda Malaysia's media drive for new cars, or most of them anyway so I am hoping to have a chance to test drive this new 9G Accord soon. When I do so, I will try to post a quick review, just like I did for the new 4G CR-V. Also expect the same layout as the CR-V review, with the use of in-car video to help illustrate the driving experience (hope you like that feature).

As for the Accord Hybrid... that doesn't look good at the moment as Malaysia's tax exemption for hybrid vehicles will terminate after end of this year with no indication of it being renewed and Honda Malaysia is not keen to sell a fully imported (CBU) Accord at full tax as it will drive the price up to beyond 200k.

Thanks for your support.

TOVA said...

A bit of frustration. The Accord media drive event clashes with my holiday to Korea so I will be skipping/missing this event. So have to wait for the cars to be available for test loan before I get a chance to drive one.

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Anonymous said...

As I read your article this is the impression I get : Pay such a hefty price compared to US and Japanese markets, but this not included, that not included.....WTF

TOVA said...

It is unfortunate my article gives that impression and it definitely wasn't my intention. However, you definitely have your very valid point. It is a 'peril' that is maybe unique to TOVA when we cover Honda for the Asia region - we look at Honda in the context of the World or at least of Asia and that unfortunately includes Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, etc. They are much larger markets and gets different, often better specs and variants. This is why I have always reminded Malaysian Honda enthusiasts that we have been unusually lucky because at least we did get the FD2R when it was available. Unfortunately Honda HQ has already informed HMSB that they will not get this privilege again for future models. The other thing is about the price premium we pay, I feel it is more a reflection of our country's specific automobile industry conditions and constraints. Certainly Honda has to make money in order to survive and within the custom duties and other taxes imposed by the Malaysian government, the high price is a reality of the situation. My new contributor, Ian Lim, for e.g. is as painfully aware of this because Singapore for e.g. has the rather 'unique' COE which in reality jacks up the final overall price of a car to very high levels, even if the original base selling price of the car is relatively way cheaper than the rest of ASEAN.

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