Honda Cars India today launched the new Accord Hybrid, which is billed as the “most refined, technologically sophisticated and most fuel efficient hybrid model in its segment.”
The Accord Hybrid’s 143hp 2.0-litre petrol motor is paired with two electric motors to provide a combined output of 215hp. It delivers 23.1 kilometres per litre and is priced at Rs 37 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The car is imported as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) from Honda Thailand and will initially be sold through select Honda dealerships in India. On the price front, the Accord Hybrid is more in league with the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 than its immediate rival in India, the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The green sedan is powered by Honda’s two-motor hybrid system – Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) combined with an ultra-efficient 2.9-litre i-VTEC Atkinson cycle engine.
There are three modes of operation for the hybrid system – Hybrid Drive, EV and Engine Drive. In Hybrid drive, the electric power is supplied by both the cars batteries with the engine acting as a generator. In Engine drive mode, the engine powers the wheels directly and in EV mode the car is driven under battery power only but the range is a very limited 2km.
Speaking at the launch, Yoichiro Ueno, president and CEO of Honda Cars India, said: “The all-new Accord is automotive perfection with many dimensions of advanced technology and safety systems. The Accord brand was initially introduced in India in 2001 in its sixth-generation version and has been our flagship model in the country. The latest ninth-generation model in its hybrid version will further strengthen the Honda cars brand in India.”
How rival Camry Hybrid stacks up
The Accord’s immediate rival is Toyota’s Camry Hybrid which is a whopping Rs 610,000 cheaper due to local assembly and the FAME scheme. Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which sells the Camry Hybrid at Rs 30.90 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), has seen demand grow for its eco-friendly sedan over the past two years.
The Camry Hybrid, the first-ever locally manufactured hybrid car and the first hybrid to receive a demand incentive under the FAME scheme in India, develops 205PS and delivers 19.16 kpl. Since its launch on April 30, 2015, the Camry Hybrid has sold a total of 1,877 units till end-September 2016.