Practically Cool – 2018+ Honda Accord 1.5T/2.0T Performance Intercooler R&D, Part 4 – Performance Testing

The 2018+ Honda Accord is more than just a family-friendly grocery-getter. We’ve been hammering this point home since we first laid eyes on Honda’s tenth-generation mid-sized sedan. No matter if you’re being propelled by the 1.5T or 2.0T, these new-fangled turbocharged Honda motors add the much-needed dash of spice into the daily commute. This platform rolls off the factory floor with loads of potential too. Just how much potential, you ask? Well, to find out, we ran a series of tests on our loaner 2.0T Accord Sport to collect baseline readings along with torture tests for our intercooler design. 

Upgrading your intercooling system is all about keeping your intake air temperatures down. Like we’ve mentioned before, heat-soaking the intercooler is not very practical for your sporty sedan. Hotter air doesn’t compress as well as cool, charged air so that heat-soaked OEM intercooler will be a power bottleneck. 

To demonstrate the benefits of our updated intercooler design, we ran a series of tests with the Accord 2.0T Sport strapped to the DynaPacks. Essentially, we’re looking for a direct comparison in the heat dissipation properties between the two designs. To do so, we measured the air outlet temperatures during both a single power pull along with a heat soak test, consisting of five back-to-back pulls. This allowed us to closely examine our intercooler’s effectiveness in a single run and simulate the worst driving conditions. 

A 21°F drop in intake air temperatures along with a flatlined heat soak test on stock tuning is already on the right track, but the real purpose of the intercooler is to enhance your tuned Accord further. Cranking up the boost pressure in your K20C4 or L15B7 means more air and more heat running through your intercooler, so we wanted to ensure that our new design could keep up with these conditions. Luckily, our donor Accord was already equipped with a 93-octane performance ECU map along with other modifications, including our Accord 2.0T Performance Intake Kit so that we could run tuned testing for our intercooler. 

Cooler intake air temperatures are the primary directive of the intercooler, with additional power being the overarching goal. The beneficial side-effect of these cooler charged air temperatures though is more power. In addition, cooler air compresses more efficiently than hot air, giving your Accord a better air to fuel mixture, resulting in a few extra ponies. In the case of our intercooler, we were able to squeeze another 13WHP and 14WTQ out of the K20C4 on the stock tune and a whopping 22WHP and 29WTQ with the 93-octane ECU map installed. 

No matter which flavor of tenth-generation Accord you’re piloting, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing and loaded up with tons of potential. Whether you’re headed to pick up the kids from school or navigating twisty backroads, upgrading your Accord’s intercooler is the key for the gobs of power potential locked under the hood. So, make sure that you get yours today: 

Performance Intercooler, fits Honda Accord 1.5T/2.0T, 2018+ 

Thanks for Reading!

-Nick

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