During our first drive experience with the 2013 Accord V6 Coupe last August in Santa Barbara, we suspected that the new car was a bit more potent than the outgoing model. On paper, Honda claims a 7 horsepower gain, but in a 3400lb car that should go virtually unnoticed. As you can see in the dyno charts on the following page, it seems likely that our backsides weren't lying, and perhaps the horsepower delta between the new J35W2 and the J35Z2 is in fact a bit more than 7 horsepower.
Reading through the 2013 Accord press kit, Honda doesn't do a whole lot of bragging on this (non-VCM) version of the Earth Dreams 3.5L V6. They do mention an increase in torque from idle to 4900 rpms vs the older V6 engine, and indeed, there's a considerable improvement in torque delivery almost everywhere in the rpm range. We're not sure what's been done to gain this improvement, as all the basic specs remain the same as before, including the (somewhat conservative by today's standards) 10:1 compression ratio. We will try to find out what sort of things contributed to this improvement, but it's worth noting that these dyno figures surpass our previous Honda dyno champ - the 2007 Acura TL Type-S (which was rated at 286hp by the factory).
As you can imagine, on the street this engine delivers a healthy dose of visceral satisfaction. With the 6MT V6 coupe, Honda permits a bit more intake and exhaust note to enter the cabin, and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Torque delivery is exceptionally smooth and torque itself is bountiful. At times I tend to wish for shorter gear ratios in our Hondas, but this engine is so potent, I can't help but wonder if performance might improve a little bit with slightly taller gearing. As it is, it spins up through 1st and 2nd gears so quickly, your right arm and left leg have to work furiously just to keep the car off the rev limiter.
Continue on to the next page to see the dyno plots and video from our session.