On 11 February 2008, Honda officially announced the all new Accord for Europe. Building from previous success of the Accord lineage in Europe, Honda rebuild it with extensive and ground breaking technology for safety, performance and environmental awareness (how much does Honda paid me to write this stuff?).
Frankly, I’ve never been a “wagon person”, I’m more into the sedan crowd. However, after seeing the Accord Euro Wagon, I’m amazed how the design can excite me so much. Personally I consider wagons design take their cue from a hearse, but not this Accord. Well, if I have to be snobby, this Accord Wagon also looks like a hearse, but a cool, futuristic, jet age hearse. I want my dead body to be carried on that hearse.
And… We also have the usual sedan guise for the Accord. I have to admit, the design is a stark reminder of previous generation Accord Euro but with a more modern and cool feel. Honda take the cue of past design and redo it perfectly… So why the fat Accord (American/Asian Accord or Japanese Inspire) looks like… Well, it looks like vanilla compared to Accord Euro’s Triple Chocolate Chip Raspberry Durian Surprise (I want to make that ice cream flavor).
Now let’s talk about its safety feature and everything else…
To say that this car is safe, we have a lot more and I should emphasize this, A LOT MORE to talk about. Unlike those auto company whom claim that their cars are the safest needs to worry a lot about this car. For its safety package (some are optional) Honda offers several step ups for the all new Accord Euro. First, let’s talk about its active safety package. The all new Accord Euro has Motion Adaptive Electronic Power Steering. This steering aid is not just your average electric driven power steering, it also detects instability in slippery conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction. Being a front wheel driven car, this system benefits a lot during aqua planing, a situation where the steering suddenly jerks towards a deep puddle when the front wheel is running through it. There’s also Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), where brakes are applied to left and right wheels and automatic engine modulation to maintain trajectory stability. Both systems are a standard across the Accord Euro range. There’s also the usual complete set of airbags, brake assists, ABS, and every boring safety stuff in the current automotive world.
Then we have the Advanced Driving Aid System (ADAS) which is optional for the car, and I have to say, you got to have it. The ADAS is a combination of three system, the Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS). Weird marketingless acronym and technical jargon aside, the ADAS is the most complete active safety package Honda currently offers, only lacking the infrared vision found on Honda Legend and automatic parallel parking feature. Let’s break the ADAS system one by one:
- LKAS, like the name implied is a system that monitors your current heading on the road and maintains straight line through seamless torque steer input. A camera monitors the traffic lane to knows where the car is in relation to the road. Of course, you still need to turn sharp bends manually, this system only maintains straight heading and light bends.
- ACC, it’s one of my dream feature for a car. Unlike regular Cruise Control, Adaptive Cruise Control uses milimeter wave radar to judge the distance between the Accord Euro and the car in front of it. The speed of the car then reduced and increased (to the limit we set) automatically in relation to the car in front of it. This way, your right foot is literally free from the pedal on highways, especially in combination with the CMBS.
- CMBS, is a braking system that monitors the speed and distance towards an object in front of the car. If there’s a pending obstruction or another car, it will first warn the driver of pending crash, and if the warning is not heed, the car will brake automatically, gradually and then full stop. This is a cool feature that every car must have in my opinion. Using the same milimeter wave radar on the ACC, the car will notify the driver by jerking his seatbelt if there’s a “drastic reduce” in speed of the object in front of it. If the jerking is not enough, it will then applies the brake.
I don’t condone the use of excessive driving aids actually, it makes the driver less apparent towards the condition of the road. Honda is aware of this and doesn’t apply the full auto pilot control of the car to the itself. The LKAS for example, it can actually turn for itself on gradual bends (not sharp) and thus making the car totally self driving. However, if the car noticed that you are not holding the steering wheel, it will tell you to hold it back… Or what? Don’t know… Potentially, the car can drive for itself for 15 seconds before the LKAS system asks you to hold back the steering wheel again. After all, the LKAS only maintains straight line given you manually steer the car. Theres’ a video link I put about how ADAS system works at the end of the entry.
Powering the car will be three engines, all new for 2008 Accord Euro. A 2L i-VTEC engine producing 156 ps, revised to deliver better fuel economy, a 2.4L i-VTEC producing 200ps (the engine that is used on Acura TSX), and the all new i-DTEC diesel engine. As the second generation diesel engine from Honda, it produces 150ps from a 2.2L, up from 140ps from the passing i-CTDI engine and it is claimed to be more frugal. All engine complies to Euro-5 emission standard that will be effective next September. Just for comparison, my country only recently adopts Euro-2 emission standard (that’s 3 level below Euro-5). All engine type have a choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto sans the diesel which only available in manual trim. However there are rumors abound that next year it will be offered with 5-speed auto. Probably current generation automatic Honda transmission couldn’t handle the abundance of torque generated from the engine.
That’s that for the all new Honda Accord Euro 2008 sedan and wagon. As usual, the car will come to North America under the guise of Acura TSX. I actually like the Acura grill better, let’s hope the ADAS system makes it to the states because it could be that “luxury” item Acura needs (pending the V8, full size flagship sedan and supercar).
Source and viewing material
Official Honda press material
Video on how ADAS system works