As certain as death and taxes, the all-new 2018 Honda Accord soldiers on as a rock-solid choice for a family sedan. But there's always room for improvement, and the folks at Hondata have figured out how to unlock a lot more power from that detuned Civic Type R engine under the hood with a simple plug-and-play device.
Purists gnashed their teeth when Honda announced it would be eliminating naturally-aspirated V6 engines in the new Accord, but at least the company saw fit to offer up a punchy turbo-four in its stead. Slightly softened from the version found in its bonkers hot hatch, the 2.0-liter engine is rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque in the midsize sedan. Not bad—but not good enough for Hondata.
Using some of the same ECU magic they performed last year on the Civic Si, Hondata has developed a pair of preset software tunes that help the Accord find its inner Type R. They started by strapping a stock 2.0T model to the dyno to get a baseline reading, and the Accord delivered 266 hp and 292 lb-ft on California's excuse for premium gas (that's 91 octane). The Stage 1 tune bumps those numbers up by 10 and 40 respectively, to 276 hp and 332 lb-ft, which is already a marked improvement.
But Stage 2 takes things even further, pushing the Accord's engine to 288 hp and an impressive 377 lb-ft—in layman's terms, that's a crapton of torque. And while the horsepower gain is more modest, keep in mind that these are the peak output numbers. In the middle RPMs, where a lot more everyday driving takes place, owners should see an increase of 50 hp from the stock power curve.
Honda sells the FlashPro device for $695, which plugs into the Accord's OBDII port, or you can take it to a Hondata-certified dealer and have them install one of the stage tunes for about half the price. Either way, it's much cheaper than a Civic Type R.