I ruffled a lot of feathers when I called the ninth-generation Accord V6 the last real American muscle car. Many of those feathers were attached to a bunch of cuckoo birds whose favorite small-block ’70s midsizers wouldn’t have a prayer in heaven or hell of catching an Accord V6 down a quarter-mile.
My opinion that the Accord V6 qualifies as a muscle car was just that—an opinion—but it’s an unfortunate fact that the new 2018 Accord cannot be had with any more than four cylinders at any price. If you want a six-cylinder 2018 Accord, you have to go to your Acura dealer and buy a TLX, which is kind of just a fancy Accord and is not available with a stick shift.
Honda believes that the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, the only engine available in the new Accord, meets the needs of the premium family-sedan market better than the old J35 V6. That may be—but we didn’t want to just take their word for it. So I took the new Accord Touring 2.0T to my race team’s semi-secret dyno facility near New Lexington, Ohio—and I also took my 2014 Accord V6, factory stock with the exception of O.Z. Racing wheels in the stock 18” diameter. Both cars were run to empty, then given a full tank of the same BP 93 octane fuel from the same pump. The stage was set for a high-noon shootout.
It was just above freezing when we rolled my 2014 into the open garage and onto the rollers of the Dynocom, but with a jet heater running in the garage we were able to get the temp into the low 60s. Getting a dyno reading with the 2014 was simplicity itself. Just turn traction control off, disable Eco mode, and let ‘er rip. There was one small problem, however:
The third run showed a robust peak of 249.4 horsepower at 6350 rpm, with peak torque of 220.7 at 4750. The Dynocom is known to be a little pessimistic compared to the Dynojet that you’ll see used at tuning shops, although it’s not as tough as the “heartbreaker” Mustang dyno. It’s safe to assume that a Dynocom’s rating is between 20 and 25 percent below the actual power at the crank. So this 52,150-mile V6 Accord is making between 300 and 315 horses.