Honda is getting serious with its green cred as they have announced an updated Accord Hybrid for 2017 and two more models joining the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S.
We'll begin with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. The model took a break for the 2016 model year as Honda updated the Accord lineup with a revised look and new tech. But the Hybrid as a 2017 model with all of the changes seen on the 2016 model - updated exterior and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The big news is with the Accord Hybrid's powertrain. The 2017 model uses the next-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with a revised 2.0L i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a more compact electric motor, and improved electronics. The changes increase horsepower from 196 to 212.
Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Accord Hybrid stand at 49 City/47 Highway/48 Combined. These numbers are slightly different from the 2015 model which boasted 50 City/45 Highway47 Combined. This is due to Honda having to certify the fuel economy numbers under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for 2017.
Standard equipment includes a backup camera, remote start, and Honda Sensing (suite of safety tech such as collision avoidance braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, etc). Higher trims get a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but Honda says the 2017 Accord Hybrid will be arriving at dealers towards the end of spring.
Honda Clarity To Get Two New Members
Honda hasn't even started selling the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. (specifically California), but they have announced two new variations of it. For 2017, Honda will offer a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid version. Details are scarce on both models, but Honda says the Clarity EV will be sold in California first before moving to other markets. The Clarity plug-in hybrid will be sold in all 50 states and offer 40 miles of electric-only range.
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The Best Gets Better: More Powerful, Fuel Efficient and Technologically Advanced 2017 Accord Hybrid Launching this Spring
Apr 21, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif.
- Next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain expected to receive class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings; including 49 mpg city
- Most powerful and refined midsize hybrid sedan with 212 total combined horsepower
- Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies standard
- Doubled production capacity for expected sales increase
Honda will bolster its Accord lineup with the launch of the 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring, featuring a more powerful and efficient second-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain that has the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any midsize hybrid sedan and delivers the most power. With improved production methods and supplies of hybrid components, Honda is anticipating significant growth in sales of Accord Hybrid and is targeting annual sales to be more than double its previous best of just under 14,000 vehicles in 2014.
"The new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord – the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient in the lineup," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With Accord already America's most popular car three years running and the best-selling midsize car to younger buyers, we think this new hybrid model will add considerable momentum for the Honda brand."
In addition to its more powerful and fuel efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid carries the substantial upgrades made to the entire Accord lineup for model year 2016. This includes the latest technology Honda has to offer, including the available Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, to be offered as standard equipment on all new 2017 Accord Hybrids. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and wheels, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a midsize hybrid class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft.
Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined)1 put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version.
The Accord Hybrid's two-motor hybrid powertrain takes an elegant and innovative approach to hybrid power, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical transmission. The Accord Hybrid's powertrain seamlessly transitions between three operations:
- EV Drive – using its electric propulsion motor and lithium ion battery pack drives the front wheels for short distances under light loads (with the engine turned off)
- Hybrid Drive – the electric propulsion motor drives the front wheels while the gasoline engine powers a second motor/generator to supplement electrical current drawn from the battery pack
- Engine Drive – using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and gasoline engine.
With its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Honda Sensing™ technology, the 2017 Accord is anticipated to receive the highest available crash safety rating from the U.S. government – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA – and a similar top rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The 2017 Accord Hybrid will be available in three trims – Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring – and all grades will feature increased levels of standard and available equipment. New standard features include a wide angle rearview camera, remote engine start and Honda Sensing™, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Available new features on upper trims include a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlayâ compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Accord has been named a Car and Driver magazine "10Best" an unprecedented 30 times and has been the most popular car in America with retail car buyers for three consecutive years.2 The Accord is on track to earn a fourth straight year as America's most popular car with sales up 12.3 percent through the first three months of 2016. Accord also is the most popular midsize car with Millennials and has been #1 with under-35-year-olds for four consecutive years and leads all other cars in America, except Honda's own Civic, in sales to under under-35 car buyers since 2010.3
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid will make its first public appearance at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the aquarium's Earth Day weekend celebrations on April 23-24.
Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform
Apr 21, 2016 - DETROIT
- Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017
- New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options
- All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity
DETROIT – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs.
Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode.
With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology.
"The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales."
All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell's low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda's most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500.
Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell will feature an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, with a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers' experience with gasoline refueling.
In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030.
Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer.