Track Tested: 2011 Honda Accord HFP V6 Coupe


2012 Honda Accord Coupe

With all of the talk lately about the 2012 Civic and the 2012 Toyota Camry, it's easy to overlook the Honda Accord.

Honda, as you can imagine, doesn't like that one bit. And what better way to stand apart from the bland crowd than by offering factory performance parts (HFP = Honda Factory Performance). And showing them off on a bright red coupe. Cue, then, the 2011 Honda Accord HFP V6 Coupe.

It all starts with the 271-horsepower 2011 Honda Accord EX-L V6. Honda then heaps on a set of 19-inch wheels with Yokohama rubber, a suspension package that lowers the car by 15mm, side underbody spoilers, front bumper underbody spoiler, rear bumper underbody spoiler and, of course, an HFP badge on the trunk. The total cost for the upgrade is $4,999, plus installation.

So is it worth it? We took it to the track to find out...

Vehicle: 2012 Honda Accord HFP V6 Coupe
Odometer: 2,395
Date: 8-16-2011
Driver: Chris Walton

Price as tested: $37,479 ($32,480 + $4,999 HFP Pack)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V6
Redline (rpm): 6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 271 @ 6,000-6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 254 @ 5,000
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch vented discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.1-inch discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Double wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 245/40R19 (94W)
Tire Size (rear): 245/40R19 (94W)
Tire Brand: Yokohama
Tire Model: Avid ENVigor
Tire Type: All-season
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,405

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.5 (2.7 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.0 (4.4 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.0 (6.6 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.7 (6.3 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 8.4 (8.8 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.1 @ 100.0 (14.4 @ 99.8)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 32
60-0 (ft): 126

Handling
Slalom (mph): 63.3 (62.5 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.84 (0.82 w/TC on)

Db @ Idle: 44.3
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.1
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 68.0

Acceleration:It's pretty easy to light the front tires up from a relatively low-rpm (2,500) launch. Any lower and it produces wild wheel hop, any more and they just spin. Best run with "just-right" spin almost throughout 1st gear. Shifter has long throws but is light and precise. This engine feels stronger/brighter than I was expecting...perhaps due to manual trans without torque converter?

Braking: Long travel squishy pedal doesn't match the look or intent of HFP Accord. Distances were longish but remained tightly grouped without measurable fade. Some brake odor, but no smoke or diminishing feedback.

Handling:

Skid pad: Plenty of grip, so-so feedback through the steering wheel but reasonably good balance on the edge of understeer — could "steer" with the throttle alone.

Slalom: The is the first Honda that has arrived for testing that was over-tired and under-damped. Usually the tires are incapable of taking advantage of an otherwise good chassis, but not this time: Tires are better. Felt as if I was on the bump-stops by the second cone, taking any compliance out of suspension. Results are frustratingly mediocre for these tires. All tires, no suspension.

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