LOS ANGELES - Most 1998 Honda Accords, which go on sale in late September, will meet California's low-emissions-vehicle standard.
About 240,000 Accord LX and EX four-cylinder models sold annually, or about 65 percent of the model mix, will have the advanced LEV technology.
Honda also will sell a 1998 Accord model in California and certain Northeast states certified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, which Honda says will be the cleanest gasoline-powered production vehicle ever sold. Honda expects to sell about 20,000 ULEVs annually.
The California LEV standard is about 70 percent lower for nonmethane organic gases - the main ingredient of smog - than the most stringent federal standard. ULEV engines are an additional 46 percent cleaner than LEV engines.
Models equipped with the 2.3-liter inline-four LEV engine will have variable valve timing and will deliver 150 horsepower, up from the 1997 VTEC engine's 145 hp. The VTEC package was not available with the LX trim level in previous models. The base 2.3-liter four-cylinder and upmarket 3.0-liter V-6 do not meet the LEV standards.
The price range of the new Accord will be maintained, said Thomas Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.