Hybrid Cars accord-tech_main

Published on October 31st, 2013 | by Jo Borras

11

50 MPG Accord Hybrid Goes on Sale Today, Without a Transmission

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

The new for 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid goes on sale today, with a reasonable pricetag, a 50 MPG EPA rating, an almost impossibly low-emissions 4 cylinder engine, a torquey electric motor, and withOUT a conventional transmission.

As I mentioned in my initial review of Honda’s 50 MPG Accord Hybrid earlier this month, this new Honda is different from other hybrids. Instead of an engine connecting to a conventional gearbox or CVT, the new Honda’s engine is directly connected to the drive wheels. The torque multiplication of lower gears is simulated with variable input from the electric motors at low speeds. As before, the best way to sum it up is like this: the 50 MPG Accord Hybrid drives exactly, precisely, and inimitably like a slot-car.

The batteries, electric motors, and Earth Dreams engine inside Honda’s new hybrid are definitely awesome, but the real magic to the car is in its ECU …

Honda Accord ECU

… which is massive.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid’s driving dynamics and fuel efficiency all come down to that box up there. Much more than a conventional ECU, the Honda unit acts as a voltage converter and capacitor, handling how much juice goes from the battery to the motor and back into the battery during regenerative braking and engine braking. It’s a marvel, and it’s complicated enough that the three Honda reps I was listening to describe all did so using slightly different, equally simple, deceptively confusing analogies. Still, the system works- the implication there being that Honda’s engineers are smarter than me … and I can live with that.

You can buy the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid today for as little as $29,155, which climbs to $34,905 with all the digital, leather, and sliding see-through roof goodies tacked on. So, that’s it. Go out and get you one.

 

Source | Photos: Honda.


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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • UncleB

    One day this will not escape American Logic? But it really does deliver very good mileage, very good performance, and is very very advanced. Are we awaiting the wireless “on the fly” charging systems, to finally say good bye to gasoline, the benzine ring, and many cancers in America?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I’d be a lot happier if I could buy a flex-fuel or CNG electric hybrid, too.

      • UncleB

        Toyota’s new “taxi” CNG/Hybrid?

    • http://www.Xenu.net/ simkatu

      Unfortunately almost all of our electricity is produced by burning hydrocarbons, so until we fix that problem the electric car isn’t any better at reducing CO2 emissions than a gasoline car.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        That is totally inaccurate. While it is true that hydrocarbons produce a majority of America’s electricity, the claim that there is no benefit is factually inaccurate- hugely so, in fact. Even if you’re 100% coal based electricity! your EV is putting out less CO2 per mile than a 30mpg car. Fact. Go back to lobbying for the coal industry so we here else.

  • GregS

    Be nice if this power train makes it into the Acura line up. I looked at the ILX and was thoroughly unimpressed.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I thought the ILX was Civic-based? That might make it too small- but it would also make it quicker and nimbler! Count me in!!

      • GregS

        Not sure what model it was based on, but the point being that Acura is severely behind the times with no diesels and only 1 crappy hybrid. I guess they’re spending all their R&D budget on the new NSX instead of coming out with some better power trains. Disappointed as I am an Acura fan.

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