Honda unveils new Accord
* First Accord and Accord Tourer details * Official pictures released * Car to be shown at Geneva motor show...
These are the first pictures of Honda's new Accord and Accord Tourer, which Honda hopes will compete for sales with the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
The Accord is wider and lower than the previous model and has been designed to portray a sportier image to potential buyers.
It will be shown for the first time at the Geneva motor show in March and go on sale this summer.
The Accord will be the first car to be sold with Honda's new 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, which offers 10bhp more than the engine it replaces, but has lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Buyers will also be able to choose between two petrol engines: a 154bhp 2.0-litre and a 197bhp 2.4-litre unit.
All three engines are sold with six-speed gearboxes, although petrol buyers have the option of a five-speed automatic gearbox. An automatic gearbox will be available for diesel buyers from early 2009.
Honda officials say the Accord's handling has been benchmark tested against the BMW 3 Series.
It has a lower centre of gravity and wider track than its predecessor, as well as uprated suspension, all of which Honda says makes the Accord's handling more responsive than before.
All models will have speed-sensitive steering, which changes the weight of the steering according to your speed, giving the driver a better feel for the road.
Standard safety equipment includes stability control, and a system called Motion Adaptive EPS, which senses instability in slippery conditions and moves the steering wheel to correct any slides.
Trailer Stability Assist is also available, which cuts in to slow the car and trailer if any snaking occurs.
Options also include a system that warns the driver if they are too close to the car ahead via a system of alarms, tugging on the seatbelt and then automatic braking, and a lane-assist system to keep you safe in motorway lanes.