The Honda Accord V6 Is Dead

The Honda Accord V6 Is Dead

Honda announces its all-new, 10-generation '18 Accord, featuring what the automaker claims is the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, launches later this year.

On the base end, Honda will offer a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine - presumably a version of the one used in the Civic and CR-V. This engine is actually based on the 2.0-liter block from the Civic Type R, but with a different low-inertia turbo and a different tune that will allow the 2018 Accord to run on regular octane fuel (rather than requiring premium). The two-motor hybrid needs no transmission thanks to its unique design.

Indeed, though Honda is using the 2018 Accord as an opportunity to ditch the V6 and go all-in on 4-cylinders, it's not junking the stick-shift too.

US sales of midsize sedans have plunged 18 percent through May of this year, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Given the Accord's central role to Honda's automotive efforts, the company absolutely has to get it right.

The 1.5-liter engine is direct-injected and turbocharged, and can be paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission that will likely give the best EPA-rated fuel economy of any model in the range.

More interestingly, perhaps, are the transmission options on tap. The Japanese automaker has announced that the 2018 Accord will feature an all four-cylinder lineup when the 10th generation model launches later this year, powered by a pair of smaller turbocharged engine options.

Honda hasn't disclosed the power rating for the new turbo 2.0-liter, but my highly unscientific seat-of-the-pants feel says it's somewhere around the 250-260 hp mark, with similar figures for torque output.

We had just two laps of the 2.5-mile banked oval at Honda's Tochigi R&D center to test the upcoming Accord's highest-performance locomotion system. The 3.5-liter V6 makes 278 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque.

The 1.5-liter turbo engine already is in the smaller Honda Civic, where it produces 174 horsepower and gets 36 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

The more powerful 2.0-liter engine can also be paired with the 6-speed manual-unusually for a mid-size sedan-but the more common transmission will be a new 10-speed automatic, the first such unit fitted to any sedan sold in the U.S.

Honda says the new Accord will have "a new-from-the-ground-up design" with a more aggressive design. Honda recently announced a $149 million investment in the Russells Point and Tallapoosa plants to facilitate production of the new 10AT and its components in America.

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