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Motoring: HFP Accord gets a Canadian makeover

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | November 7th, 2011

The current Honda Accord Coupe is a fine vehicle. It is well made, it looks good and, like all other Honda products, it is reliable.

However, it has a problem, and a big one in my book: it just is not special enough.

So, in search for a cure, Honda has come out with a special version for Canadians only to inject a bit more style and performance in an already quite capable coupe. So has it worked, does this new Accord HFP (Honda Factory Performance) drive as well as it looks?

From a styling point of view, all seems to work. This Accord Coupe is already a pretty car, but the HFP version with its ground effects kit and those tasty 19" alloy wheels looks spectacular. Sure, from some angles it looks too chunky and it is rather big in some dimensions, but the overall effect is fantastic. This is easily the best-looking Accord ever made, even if Honda designers did get inspiration from some other car designs. Like the taillights, for instance; they look like they are fashioned after the 2002 Audi A4 lights. The C-pillar is almost an exact copy of the C-pillar of an Aston Martin DB9 and the nose is quite similar to the new Mitsubishi Lancer. But that's okay, a good design is a good design and I like this one a lot.

The same goes for the interior; I love the way it looks. This Accord's interior is very modern and comes equipped with all the latest gadgets, including a navigation system, plus you'll get every other kind of luxury you can think of for this kind of money and maybe some you weren't expecting.

So it is very well appointed and it's a looker, but how does it drive?

Considering the normal Accord Coupe with the V6 engine is quite a nice car to drive, the HFP with its sports kit turns this humble coupe with sporting credentials into a proper sports coupe.

The engine, while technically the same, now produces 271 hp from its 3.5-litre, VTEC, V6 motor, just three horsepower more than the one I last tested a few years ago. The clutch and sixspeed gearbox remains the same, which is not a bad thing, because it does have one of the nicest systems in the business. Trust me, you will enjoy driving this car and will find places to use all its power.

An area this car needed to be improved on was the handling. The Accord is typically just a soft tourer, but the HFP addresses that issue while retaining most of its ride comfort. While the ride, thanks to those lovely 19-inch wheels and lowered sports suspension does suffer a bit, it is not to a point where it should be of concern to anyone.

Honestly, this car is so well resolved, I went on drives just for the sake of driving. This car is not only fun to drive, it sounds good, too. I loved the noise the VTEC motor makes when you push it. The acceleration is also really impressive also (0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds).

This is a car that is good to look at, very practical (not only is the interior very roomy, but the trunk is huge), very comfortable, handles well and goes like a charging bull. What more can you ask for from a car?

The only thing I can think of is a lower price tag. The Accord Coupe HFP will set you back a whopping $41,000. As good as it is, there are much more dedicated sports cars you can buy for that sort of money. As good as it is, at the end of the day, it is still an Accord, and for some people, that might be a drawback.

However, the HFP is currently only available in Canada, and with just 200 units planned for total production (at least for the 'Limited Black Series' version), you can own a very unique car and will certainly make you the hit at any Accord club.
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