The definition of performance has changed right along with the car. Using the technology available at the time, engineers and designers pushed the boundaries of vehicular physics year after year. It might not seem as if much has changed in the last 30 years, but a new video pitting the 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid against the Pontiac Trans Am Comp T/A says otherwise.

The two faced off against each other in a series of challenges to test and compare their performance capabilities. The Honda Accord has a hybrid powertrain with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine at the heart of it. The system makes just 204 horsepower, which the Honda routes through the front wheels.

Gallery: 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid: First Drive

The Pontiac Trans Am makes a lot more power from its much larger engine. The 5.7-liter LT1 V8 produces 305 hp and 330 pound-feet of torque. However, it’s almost three decades older than the Honda, which arrives to the competition with some electric assist.

The two first competed in a drag race. The Honda got the better start of the two and maintained that lead across the finish line, completing the quarter-mile race in 16.15 seconds at 85 miles per hour. However, the Pontiac wasn’t far behind, finishing the run in 16.19 seconds at 92 mph, foreshadowing the Trans Am’s easy win in the following rolling race.

The Honda performed much better than the Pontiac in the brake test, stopping at 104 feet. It took the Trans Am 130 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph. The final race tested the cars’ handling capabilities, putting them through a slalom course with two 180-degree turns. The Honda completed the short course in just 28.04 seconds. The Pontiac did it in 30.75 seconds.

The Honda Accord Hybrid might not be today’s pinnacle of modern performance, but it is an example of how far it has come. The Accord kept up with the Trans Am in the more technical tests, but the Pontiac would likely dominate with more track available.

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