Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd has released some details on the upcoming 2008 Honda Accord. There will be three models available – a 2.0 litre, a 2.4 litre and a 3.5 litre V6, with the V6 model featuring the same Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology found in the American and Japanese version.

The 2.4 litre K24 engine will make additional power in this new guise, putting out 180 PS (177hp).

Read more details on the new Accord after the jump.

The J35Z2 engine in the Honda Accord 3.5 V6 runs in three different modes depending on engine load. You have the six-cylinder mode for power, and four- and three-cylinder modes for efficiency, switching between them seamlessly. I had a chance to experience driving this Accord at Honda’s Tochigi R&D center in Japan last year, and could not feel any difference when the engine switched from mode to mode.

When a car climbs uphill or accelerates, the engine will operate on all six cylinders to deliver the required power. Peak power in this mode is about 268 horsepower at 6,200rpm and 336Nm of torque at 5,000rpm.

During low load conditions such as leisurely cruising on the highway, Variable Cylinder Management will shut off one bank of cylinders. This is done by closing both the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders that are not in use. Pumping losses associated with intake and exhaust are eliminated. The effective displacement is about half the 3.5 litres, which is roughly 1.75 litres.

When cruising speed is gradually increased – as an example, accelerating from 80km/h to 110km/h in a relaxed manner, the engine switches to a 4-cylinder mode. Two cylinders from each bank of 3-cylinders are active, while the other two cylinders have their intake and exhaust valves sealed off. Effective displacement is about 2.3 litres with 4 out of 6 cylinders activated.

Honda has managed to make the switchover between these three modes seamless and jerkless through the use of two technologies – Active Control Engine Mount (ACM) and Active Noise Control (ANC).

ACM anticipates the vibration generated by the switchover by actuating two engine mounts to create out-of-phase vibration to cancel out the force of vibrations resulting from the cylinder mode switching operation.

ANC cancels out any booming noise related to the VCM function by emitting a sound wave with the same amplitude and the opposite polarity to the original sound from the audio sound system. I recall studying this opposite polarity sound waves sometime in secondary school.

Repeated winding road driving will activate the Shift Hold system which prevents upshifts into 4th and 5th gear. In the previous Accord, spirited driving along windy roads warranted the shifting into the D3 position because the occasional shifts into 4th gear upsets the chassis, making the drive less stable. This should not be a problem with the new CP3 Accord.

The new Honda Accord also gets a variable ratio steering system, which Honda calls Variable Gear Ratio (VGR). It is a speed sensitive steering which tightens up during high speed driving to give the driver a better, more stable sense of control over the steering, but increases steering assist during low speed driving to ease maneuvering such as parking.

The top of the range 3.5 litre model will get 6 airbags, which consists of two dual stage front airbags, two side airbags with Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) and two side curtain airbags. VSA traction control is available for the 2.4 litre and 3.5 V6 models, but sadly not the 2.0 litre model.

The interior uses reduced Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) contents, so you may experience less of the hazardous “new car” smell that some people like.

The new 2008 Honda Accord will hit our streets in April 2008, and dealers are already taking bookings.

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