Introduced with the seventh-generation V6 Accords (debuted September 2002), these engines utilize the same 3.0L block (sixty-degree V6, designated J30), but this time with new heads. Whereas the J30A1 made 200HP and 195 foot-pounds of torque, the J30A4 makes 240HP and 212 foot-pounds. Here are some of the improvements:

  • Exhaust system is now 30% less restrictive
  • VTEC camshafts now utilize a three-rocker system, rather than the old two-rocker system
  • Compression ratio increased from 9.4:1 to 10.0:1
  • The old intake manifold has been replaced with a newer, better design that is said to actually have a mild supercharging effect (a so-called "high-inertia" manifold)
  • Wider cylinder intake ports
  • Wider throttle body
  • Better engine control code in the ECU
  • SOHC valve actuation, four valves per cylinder (same as before)

It was rumored that i-VTEC heads would be used, but that technology is (for the moment anyway) only present in the I4 Accords. No matter - the new V6 Accords are still a lot faster than the previous-generation V6es.

According to the engineers, the engine is actually rated 250HP and 222 foot-pounds if you run it on premium gasoline. However, it is being marketed as being a 240HP engine, since the target population segment isn't into fast cars.

The throttle body, rather than being driven directly by a cable from the accelerator pedal, is computer-controlled. When the driver steps on the gas, the ECU opens up the throttle body as wide as it'll go (i.e. wide open throttle). However, when the transmission shifts, it cuts the throttle partially. This is very good on automatic transmission-equipped cars, since "power shifting" is hard on the clutch packs in the transmission. (As any manual driver will tell you, the best way to shift gears involves letting off the gas.)

The V6 Accord Coupe will have an available six-speed manual transmission, whereas the Sedan probably won't. (The manual coupe will also feature a louder air intake for that "sporty" sound.) However, the number of gears in the automatic transmissions has gone from four to five - excellent for keeping the engine within its best power range under varied driving conditions.

It is interesting to note that the cylinder heads have integrated exhaust manifolds. While this may not bode well for enthusiasts who want to get upgraded headers, it does allow closer coupling with the catalytic converters.

More info here:

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