Honda Accord Hybrid returns to pace IndyCar Series
The Honda Accord Hybrid will return as Official Pace Car for the IndyCar Series in 2007. It marks the second consecutive season that Honda - an industry leader in promoting alternative and regenerative power sources for passenger cars - has provided vehicles utilizing hybrid technology to pace IndyCar Series events.
The Delphi Safety Team also will continue to use Honda trucks in 2007, operating a fleet of Honda Ridgelines as well as a Honda Pilot, all fully equipped for the various safety and medical needs of the team.
Now in its third year of production, the Accord Hybrid features Honda's third generation of the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) that operates in combination with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology to deliver high levels of fuel efficiency from the 3.0-liter Honda V-6 engine, along with highly responsive and powerful performance. The result is an SAE-rated 253 horsepower and 232-foot pounds of torque.
"I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the Accord Hybrid," said Johnny Rutherford, three-time Indianapolis 500 race winner and current pace car driver for the IndyCar Series. "From the first time I drove one, the available power and torque were both greater than I expected. The Hybrid is capable of performing everything that I ask of it on race weekends, and more."
The Accord Hybrid's list of technical features includes more than just hybrid engine technology. Electric Power Steering enhances steering response, Drive-by-Wire throttle control enhances acceleration, and a four-wheel independent suspension provides the handling required for an IndyCar Series pace car. The air conditioning system also features hybrid technology that switches to an electric compressor to keep occupants comfortable when the vehicle is not in motion.
The Accord Hybrid is just one of many examples of the Honda philosophy of creating products with the highest environmental performance, manufactured with the lowest environmental impact. Honda also is recognized as an industry leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which emit only water, and in the use of alternative fuels.
Modifications to the Accord Hybrids required for IndyCar Series Pace Car duty include a safety roll cage and high-performance wheels and tires for racetrack use. The Accord Hybrids again will be utilized at all domestic IndyCar Series races in 2007, except the Indianapolis 500.
Honda Performance Development (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., is the single provider of engines for the IndyCar Series. HPD will be responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Honda Indy V-8 engines used by all teams for competition in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. IRL PR