Honda has released the first official photos of the production version of the ninth generation Accord in both four-door sedan and two-door coupe body styles before it goes on sale in North America this fall.
The appearance of the coupe variant shouldn't surprise anyone as the Japanese carmaker had previewed the model with a thinly disguised concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January this year.
As with the coupe, the new Accord sedan's looks are an evolution of the current, 8th generation model, though Honda would like you to believe that both body styles represent the "most sculpted" Accords ever.
"This car is the most sculpted and the most dynamic Accord yet," stated Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda. "Following Honda's long-held philosophy of 'man maximum, machine minimum,' the beautiful exterior evolved from a focus on interior space and the needs of the people inside it."
There are no images of the cabin yet but Honda says that even though the exterior lengths of the 2013 Accord sedan and coupe "are noticeably shortened", smart packaging allows for "increased passenger and cargo space" in both models".
Previously, the Japanese carmaker had revealed that the 2013 model will introduce several novelties including forward collision warning technology, a lane departure warning system, blind spot detection, and a standard rearview back-up camera for parking.
Back in January, during the presentation of the Coupe concept, Honda said that the new Accord will be lighter than the current model and that the reduction in size and weight will help improve its handling and driving dynamics.
At the time, the company had also told us that the 2013 Accord will be introduced with three new or improved engines.
These include the first North American application of a hybrid powertrain linking a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit to an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) and a 120kW (161Hp) electric motor fed by a 6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
According to Honda, the two-motor hybrid system moves continuously through three modes: all-electric, gasoline-electric and direct-drive.
In all-electric mode, the 2013 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will have a city driving range of approximately 10-15 miles (16-24 km) and a top speed of 62 mph (100km/h). The battery can be fully recharged in less than four hours using a 120-volt, outlet and less than 1.5 hours using a 240-volt charger.
The other two powerplants for the 2013 Accord are a new 2.4-liter direct-injected (DI) engine delivering more than 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque and a range-topping and re-engineered 3.5-liter V6 i-VTEC with more power and torque than the current version.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit will be paired to a 6-speed manual transmission or a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), while the V6 will be available with a choice of a new 6-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The new Accord will compete in the increasingly competitive mid-size segment with rivals such as the also new 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Toyota Camry, VW Passat, 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.
Honda did not say if the North American Accord will be offered in the same form in other markets such as Europe.