Driven 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid The Chronicle Herald

23 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Driven 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid The Chronicle Herald отключены
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

Driven: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda has long been known throughout the industry for its innovative engineering and the 2014 Accord Hybrid is the latest example.

Here we have Honda at its best elegant, simple engineering resulting in a mid-size sedan with micro-car fuel economy numbers; a family car with no transmission, in the classic sense, and regenerative braking that could serve as lessons to other hybrids.

This is the ninth-generation Accord, introduced as a new model last year and quickly acclaimed as the family car of the year by my fellow AJAC members.

The hybrid version however is brand new, a complete rethink of the process with a two-motor hybrid system called i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive).

Like all hybrids it utilizes a combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor for motivation.

But the manner in which that power is delivered sets a new standard for efficiency and transparency.

Like virtually all other hybrids, the Accord Hybrid has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. Operating on the Atkinson Cycle, which allows more efficient combustion and easier restarts, it provides 141-horsepower; less than an engine operating under conventional means.

That slight decrease in power is offset by that from the electric motor which delivers maximum torque from idle and 166 horsepower.

The combined output of the two is 196 horsepower. You can’t simply add the two numbers together because they reach peak power at different times.

The i-MMD system incorporates two electric motors, two control units and a high-output 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. Where it differs is that the two electric motors replace the transmission.

One motor, producing 226 lb-ft of torque from rest, using power from the lithium-ion battery pack, drives the wheels, changing speed as necessary, thus acting as a transmission.

The other motor drives a generator which supplies power to the battery pack.

Above 80 km/hr or under heavy throttle application or demand, a clutch engages connecting the engine to the drive wheels.

The Accord hybrid thus operates in three modes:

1. pure electric; energy from battery powers the car;

2. hybrid; engine on and powering the generator which drives the electric motor and wheels with assistance from the battery pack;

3. engine only; at highway speeds.

The Accord Hybrid starts in electric mode and always tries to be in electric mode. The control unit selects which of the three, EV, hybrid and engine modes the vehicle is in and continually pushes for electric operation.

Where others lurch between electric and hybrid drive modes, the Accord does so seamlessly with only the sound of the engine coming on stream to tell you things are changing.

Honda provides an aptly-named green ‘EV’ button that forces pure electric operation as long as there is sufficient battery power.

The second example of Honda’s elegant engineering is the brake system for the Accord Hybrid.

The Electric Servo Brake is used to not only to slow the car, but regenerate electricity just like other hybrids.

But in this case it does so seamlessly, without the abrupt grab felt in other systems as the regeneration and braking functions join forces.

The system on the new Accord utilizes a ‘Pedal Feel Simulator’ attached to the pedal assembly, to maximize energy capture while providing good brake feel.

This proprietary design was first utilized on the Fit Hybrid sold in the U.S. Upon initial and under light pedal application (up to 0.2 G) the regenerative braking system slows the car while capturing energy.

It feel like a normal brake and re-powers the battery quickly. With more pressure, the hydraulics kick in and conventional friction braking comes into play.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

The transition is all but impossible to detect.

Other than the drive and braking systems, the 2014 Accord Hybrid is essentially the same as other Accord sedans.

Virtually all dimensions are the same except for the trunk which drops in capacity from 450 litres to 360 because of the battery pack, which also precludes lowering the rear seat back for more room.

Honda countered the added weight of the electric motors and battery pack with extensive use of aluminum instead of steel for the hood, rear bumper supports and some suspension components.

The external differentiation is limited to unique wheels, a tiny rear lip spoiler, a rear air diffuse and blue trim accents around the grill, head and tail lights.

Inside, the instrument panel is unique with a large central speedometer flanked by a bar chart on the left displaying power delivery and on the right fuel; and battery charge levels are visible.

The center of the speedometer is sued to display various secondary pieces of information.

The Accord Hybrid comes in two trim levels, base, and Touring at prices $6,000 and $12,000 above the equivalent base and V6 Touring models.

In addition to the fuel-saving hybrid drivetrain both have a raft of additional standard equipment when compared to their counterparts.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Price: $31,645 base, $37,385 Touring, includes freight and PDI

Engine: 2.0-litre DOHC four-cylinder, electric motor, electric transmission, front wheel drive

Dimensions: length, 4,682 mm; width, 1,849 mm; wheelbase, 2,775 mm

Competition: Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (2nd gen)

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