• The 2013 Accord will reach 36 mpg.
  • The Plug-In Hybrid recharges in an hour.
  • The Accord goes on sale in September.

Honda recently confirmed several new details about its fully redesigned 9th-generation 2013 Accord, including charge times for an upcoming plug-in hybrid variant and estimated fuel economy for the popular model's entire lineup. According to the automaker, the 2013 Honda Accord offers up to 36 mpg with its standard 4-cylinder engine, while drivers can recharge the Accord Plug-In Hybrid in less than an hour using a standard level two charger.

For many shoppers, the most important Accord-related news--in addition to several new photos of both sedan and coupe body styles--is fuel economy ratings for the model's gasoline engines. According to Honda, base-level 2013 Accord models feature a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers up to 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg in highway driving with an available continuously-variable automatic transmission. Buyers who stick with the standard 6-speed manual will see up to 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg in highway driving.

For drivers interested in more power, Honda is also offering a 3.5-liter V6 that produces a muscular 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. The automaker says Accord models equipped with that powerplant will return up to 21 mpg in the city--an increase of one mile per gallon over last year's V6--and 34 mpg on the highway, which is a jump of four mpg compared to the 2012 Accord V6. Those figures are quoted with a new 6-speed automatic, since Honda has not yet confirmed if it will offer a manual transmission in V6-powered Accord models.

Environmentally friendly drivers will also be interested in the upcoming Accord, since the midsize sedan will offer a plug-in hybrid variant for the first time in its history. While Honda offered an Accord Hybrid from 2005 through 2007, the latest model uses a fully electric motor that can power the sedan for up to 15 miles without any help from its range-extending gasoline engine.

Although that range is lower than competitors like the Chevrolet Volt and upcoming Ford Fusion Energi, which can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid offers a major benefit: charge time. While the Volt and Fusion Energi both take several hours to fully recharge, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid can be charged in less than an hour using a traditional level two charger, or in under three hours with a 120-volt outlet. The automaker says it expects around 100 mpg "equivalent"--the EPA's rating system for plug-in hybrid vehicles--when the government agency announces official figures later this year.

Honda also revealed several other details about the 2013 Accord, including newly standard features like automatic climate control and a rearview camera. The automaker is also adding a new Sport trim level, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear spoiler and a dual exhaust system to the standard Accord LX.

The 2013 Honda Accord sedan will arrive in showrooms in mid-September, with the coupe following closely behind on October 15. The Accord Plug-In Hybrid, which will officially debut as a 2014 model, is scheduled to go on sale early next year.

What it means to you: With the 2013 Accord, it looks like Honda has delivered a competitive product in the cutthroat midsize sedan segment.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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