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Getting a Taste for Honda’s Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Versions of the Accord

Honda has been teasing us with Accord hybrid details for more than a year now, going back to the 2010 L.A. auto show when the big H debuted its plug-in hybrid platform intended for use in a mid-size sedan. Earlier this year, we had the chance to drive the Accord plug-in hybrid’s running gear fitted to a last-gen Accord. Now, we’ve had a chance to drive the production version of both the Accord plug-in, which comes out early next year, and the standard Accord hybrid, which is set to bow later in 2013.

As we earlier in the year, the hybrid system is unique among current configurations. Gasoline power comes from a 2.0-liter inline-four running the Atkinson combustion cycle. With an electric water pump, electric A/C compressor, and even electric variable-valve timing, the engine has no accessory drive belt. Attached to a system of clutches and both a generator and drive motor, the system can run in a number of configurations: full EV mode, using electric power derived from the combustion engine’s generator, the engine driving the wheels with electric assist, or purely on gasoline propulsion.
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