Accord Coupe – 2008 Spy Photo: Shown lightly disguised behind a flurry of white tape is the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe। Due to debut in the fall, our clearest view yet of the production version confirms that it closely resembles the Accord Coupe Concept shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. Minor changes in front include a grille opening with more chrome and a shorter lower horizontal, while the lower grille loses its production-silly strakes in favor of a more traditional opening. The fog light recesses are covered, but may retain the show car's deep light treatment, and the headlight cluster is slightly different as well. The wheels on this test car and its single exhaust outlet (not shown) tell us that this is a four-cylinder version.
This is our clearest view yet, at all really, of the new Accord’s interior। The Honda-typical black-over-tan theme remains, and from what we can see there is nothing unconventional about the gauge layout – no two-tiered Civic stuff here. We can see chrome rings around the speedo and tachometer, which are now the same size and side by side, and the new upside-down-“A” Honda steering wheel is included. We’re curious about the big secondary hood in the middle of the dash. We can’t see what’s under it, but seeing as how it’s in the traditional navigation screen spot, we wonder if Honda’s cooking up a surprise there. A bigger screen perhaps?
From the rear, changes from the concept appear even less dramatic। The lower bumper loses its exhaust ports, and the rear brake light moves from the trunk lid to inside the rear glass, but that’s pretty much it. From the side we can see that the concept is essentially unchanged, as the swelled fenders, accent line under the door handle and rising lower sill line are all in place. It looks to us that the aggressive roofline, along with the sharp forward kick of the concept’s rear glass, also make it to production. From what we see, Honda will have a solid competitor for the sexy new Nissan Altima Coupe.
The next Accord will have some mighty big shoes to fill। It is a perennial bestseller for Honda, and is the company’s best selling single nameplate. It is also debuting into the hottest market there is. Sure, crossovers and SUVs get the attention, but the midsize family sedan (and by extension, the coupe versions) is still one of the biggest segments in the market. As some competitors move away from the coupe, Honda hopes to get a bigger share of that pie. Considering that many think that the 2007 Accord is still the best in its class, five years after its introduction, expectations are high for the replacement.
When we first saw the Accord Coupe concept at the Detroit auto show in January, we thought there was a lot of Hyundai Tiburon in its design। As the car moves toward production, we’re seeing less Hyundai, but a little more Scion tC. Either way, it’s an improvement over the inoffensive but dull styling of the current Accord coupe. At the concept’s introduction, John Mendel, Honda’s senior vice president of auto operations, said that “with a powerful stance, long hood, deeply sculpted lower body, and a fast roofline, we think what you see here today represents a bold new styling direction for the entire Accord lineup.” With our clearest look yet at the production coupe, we think he may be right.