Honda Turns Heads With Hopped-Up Accord Coupe INDYCAR Pace Car

The Honda Accord Coupe returns to duty as the INDYCAR Series safety and pace vehicle this Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama.

The sleek white two-door will lead the field to the green flag for the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and continue a tradition for Honda pace vehicles that extends back to 2006.

The car is a stock Accord that has been modified by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. to carry out its duties on the track with a major boost in horsepower, torque and top speed.

“The 2015 Honda Accord Coupe is an ideal match for IndyCar Safety Car duties,” said Jim Lee, marketing guru for American Honda Motor Company at the car’s introduction today.

The Honda Accord Coupe safety car features a bull-strong 3.5-liter V6 engine, to which has been added high-flow fuel injectors and a single Borg-Warner turbocharger, a hand-crafted intake, intercooler and custom exhaust. The power plant produces 400 horsepower, an approximate 40 per cent boost over the stock motor.

A crankshaft from the Acura RLX, coupled with Honda Performance Development (HPD) competition pistons and connecting rods, adds further reinforcements to the turbo engine’s powerful punch.

The standard Honda six-speed automatic transmission is bolstered by high-intensity shot peening, with a limited slip differential to efficiently transfer the car’s impressive power to the road.

Chief among the goodies HPD has packed into the Accord is a highly modified brake system, including competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines.

Stiffened chassis components have been put in place to increase chassis rigidity, while Firestone high-performance tires are mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, with an innovative camber angle kit to enhance cornering and vehicle stability at speed.

Must have electric seats? No problem, as power Sparco seats, including four-point racing harnesses, are waiting when you open the door.

The car also boasts an aerodynamic body kit, including front, side and trunk lip spoilers that (given this car’s performance capabilities) will actually come into play as something other than eye candy.

Finally, a red, black and silver Honda “Power of Dreams” graphics package runs from amidships to the rear deck to notify garage-mates that they are in the presence of greatness.

“Our team really appreciated the opportunity to work with our HPD colleagues and deliver this highly capable Accord to the Series,” said Rick Nolan, manager of Honda R&D Americas’ skunk works.

Honda R&D Americas conducts automotive research and development in no less than nine tech centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Involved in design, development and engineering of Honda and Acura vehicles, Honda motorcycles and small power equipment products, HR&DA also has a hand in the new Honda jet.

American Honda began importing cars into the US in 1959 and has grown to a $23 billion dollar operation in North America.

The company operates 17 major manufacturing facilities in North America, including the Ohio factory that turns out the Honda Accord sedan and coupe at a 30,000 vehicle per month clip when going full-tilt.

A new auto plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center, is under construction in Marysville, Ohio, and in 2015 will become the exclusive global producer of the next generation Acura NSX supercar.

HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda’s entry into Indy car racing. Since that introduction, Honda has notched 212 race victories, 15 drivers’ championships, six competitive manufacturers’ championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 victories, including the 2014 event won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.

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