Last week we brought you photos of a next-generation Honda Accord under heavy camouflage, and now our friends at Automotive.com spotted another Accord testing in California. This prototype was spotted near Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, California, and appears to be a plug-in hybrid model.
The big giveaway on this prototype car is the oval on the front fender, which is almost certainly the cover for a battery charging port. It’s no secret that the next Honda Accord will offer a hybrid powertrain, and we already knew it would be of the plug-in hybrid variety. An electric motor drives the front wheels and draws power from a 6-kWh lithium-ion battery. A 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine is mated to a generator to produce extra power once the battery is drained; the gas engine also can directly drive the front wheels at speeds above 40 mph.
Whereas the last Honda Accord we spotted was mostly covered, the light camo on this prototype gives us a clearer look at the model’s design. The sloping, somewhat pointed nose bears a close resemblance to the Acura-like beak of the Concept C sedan we saw at the Beijing Motor Show. The angular headlights are likewise very close in appearance to those of the Honda Accord coupe concept that bowed at the Detroit auto show in January.
It looks like the new Honda Accord will ape most other midsize sedans (notably the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion) by drawing a character line along the side of the car, bisecting the door handles. The roofline of this sedan also has a much more gentle slope than on past version of the Accord, a move that is both visually pleasing and usually good for reducing aerodynamic drag.
Honda previously sold an Accord hybrid, but killed it off for the 2008 model year after low sales.
In addition to this plug-in hybrid model, the new Honda Accord also should be available with a new direct-injection, 2.4-liter inline-four engine making at least 181 hp, as well as a 3.5-liter V-6 with over 271 hp. Those versions of the 2013 Honda Accord should launch this fall, but we won’t see the hybrid until early 2013.
For the full set of spy photos, head over to Automotive.com.