Introducing the Accord / 1976

The Car That Continues to Evolve by Maintaining Harmony with the Times, People, and Society

Introducing the Accord / 1976

Creating a Car that "Feels Good to Drive"

The team's first project requirement was to achieve "comfortable cruising at 130 km/h." This was a task requiring a thorough review of the suspension, transmission, and other drive components employed in the Civic, to which improvements would be made based on use of the Civic's CVCC powerplant. With regard to the car's suspension, an exhaustive review of the Civic led to various enhancements and the adoption of a four-wheel independent system with Macpherson struts. As for the wheels, the team decided to adopt radial tires, which were characterized by a high degree of dynamic performance.

Photo

A perspective view of the first-generation, 3-door Accord. Based on the MM philosophy, the layout pursued greater interior space with minimized mechanical space.

However, at the time it was commonly assumed that ordinary cars were fitted with bias tires. Despite their superior performance radial tires were found only on a handful of sports cars. Moreover, they were relatively expensive and associated with reduced ride comfort. To eliminate these drawbacks, the team improved the radial design and created a new suspension mechanism featuring technical advancements obtained through Honda's previous model developments, including the upscale 653 project. It was through these efforts that they secured the levels of comfort and fuel economy commensurate with their design goals.

For the transmission, the team went against the mainstream four-speed, opting for a five-speed with four forward gears and overdrive. The overdrive system, which lowered the engine's r.p.m., helped reduce noise and increase fuel economy. They knew this type of transmission was essential in order for the car to succeed in the U.S., where consumers were at the time placing greater emphasis on fuel economy than speed or power.

The engine displacement was set at 1600 cc, which was the usual specification for upscale compact Japanese cars. However, the team faced enormous difficulties in the process of modifying the Civic CVCC's 1500 cc EM engine. Originally, the EM engine was developed as a 1000 cc unit but was subsequently brought up to the 1500 cc level. To further enhance it to a 1600 cc engine, while ensuring the company's ability to manufacture it using the Civic's production facilities, the piston stroke had to be increased to 93 mm. With its super-long stroke the engine could not maintain quiet operation at high rev ranges, because the engine itself caused significantly more vibration than had been anticipated.

Accordingly, Kizawa asked the management to allow the team to develop a new engine. To his surprise, though, the management team beseeched him to come up with a specification based on the EM engine in order to reduce the amount of investment. Left with no alternative, the team did its utmost to enhance the engine while carrying out thorough reviews on the engine mounts and rigidity of the frame. Finally, the team was able to say it would be feasible for Honda to mass-produce the new car.

"Everyone was concentrating on creating a car that felt good to drive in every respect," Kizawa recalled.

To ensure the car's adaptability to various destination environments, a broad scope of local adaptability tests were carried out. While the Civic also was subjected to similar local tests - performed on-site using test cars shipped from Japan - with the 671, a dedicated test team was organized in order to carry out full-scale testing over an extended period of time. In the arctic regions of Alaska, the team experienced an unexpected incident when the engine belt broke due to the extreme cold of minus 48 degrees centigrade. In Arizona, the team camped out for three months while it carried out extensive durability tests. In Death Valley, California, they thoroughly tested heat resistance, air-conditioning performance, and other functions under heat reaching 50 degrees centigrade extremes.

"By going to these locations and conducting tests there," said Keiichi Mitobe, who was in charge of suspension design as PL, "we experienced many things we wouldn't have otherwise. That meant that we were able to prepare sufficient countermeasures (to the problems identified during the tests)."

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

A System that Fosters Expertise
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  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
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  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
  1. Marketing Globally, Producing LocallyMarketing Globally, Producing Locally
  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
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Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
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  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
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  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
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  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
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  2. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
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  2. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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