Honda Sets Accord Hybrid Pricing
American Honda Motor Company today set the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the new 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid at $29,990, establishing a premium of about $3,000 for technology designed to conserve more fuel and boost performance, compared to a like-equipped non-hybrid Accord. According to Honda spokesperson Andy Boyd, hybrids cross over traditional buying types. "There is a special cache to owning a hybrid that attracts many upscale buyers," said Boyd. "Those who might otherwise have bought a luxury or near-luxury product, and the same should be true for Accord, in which case we should see some people who would normally be shopping BMW, Audi or other luxury marques." According to Boyd, it's hard to figure when a potential Accord buyer will make up the $3,000 difference in price. "It depends on gas prices and amount of driving," said Boyd. "It also doesn't take into account how the customer values other aspects of the vehicles' added performance, high-tech image or convenience (fewer trips to the pump). All this adds value for the customer." When outfitted with an available voice-activated Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, the Accord Hybrid will have an MSRP of $31,990. Powered by an advanced V6 hybrid powertrain, the Accord Hybrid has a 5-speed automatic transmission and earns an EPA city/highway fuel economy rating of 29/37 mpg, similar to a compact class Civic 4-cylinder Sedan. The Accord Hybrid employs the third-generation of Honda’s advanced Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) full hybrid system in combination with new Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology to provide the world’s best V-6 fuel efficiency along with highly responsive and powerful V-6 performance. The Accord Hybrid generates 255 peak horsepower (versus 240hp for the Accord V-6 Sedan) with fuel economy that is reportedly 27 percent better than the current Accord V-6 in city driving and 19 percent in highway driving.
The new Accord Hybrid comes equipped with a leather trimmed interior, dual zone automatic climate control (with industry first hybrid air conditioning system), 8-way power driver’s seat, XM® Satellite Radio and in-dash 6-disc CD changer. An exclusive rear deck lid spoiler and specially designed alloy wheels. All Accord Hybrids come equipped with driver and front passenger side airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), and Traction Control System (TCS). With the introduction of the Insight in December 1999, Honda became the first company to sell a hybrid vehicle in the U.S. With an aluminum body, ultra-efficient IMA powertrain and world-class aerodynamics, the Insight has held the title of America's most fuel-efficient car for each of the past five model years (2000-2004).
In March 2002, Honda applied its second-generation IMA hybrid technology to the Civic. The Civic Hybrid accounted for half of all new hybrid vehicle registrations in calendar year 2003 and took two of the top five spots on the EPA's model year 2004 fuel economy rankings. With the addition of the Accord Hybrid, American Honda expects sales of its hybrid models – Insight, Civic and Accord – to nearly double to a total of 45,000 units in calendar year 2005, 20,000 of which are designated for the new Accord. Honda hybrid sales in 2004 through the end of November are up 12.7 percent to 24,048.
Photo credit: Honda