In the corporate world they call it "rightsizing," in the car world they call it "unwinding the bishop" (oh wait, that's not the car world, that's ... never mind). It seems the 2006 Accord Hybrid is getting a bump up in base MSRP to $31,540 — $850 increase over the 2005 model — and a downgrade in miles per gallon of gaselectrohol from 29 city and 37 highway for 2005 to 25/34 for 2006. While the engines are the same year to year, Honda has voluntarily adopted new Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) ratings specs, which also resulted in a horsepower ratings drop from 255hp to 253hp. The SAE says its testing procedures make the numbers more relevant to real-world use, not driving conditions as they are in a vacuum of time and space, such as parts of Interstate 80 between Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Universal Horsepower Testing Busts Japanese Carmakers; NYT Rails Against Powerful Hybrids [internal]