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Honda sponsors September Luncheon and presents the New 2013 Honda Accord

By Paul Borden - Photos by Marlen Bedoya

About 45 members and guests got a preview of the 2013 Honda Accord at the September SAMA meeting at the Viceroy Hotel in Brickell.

The Accord includes several new features, including a new CVT that will be the standard transmission in four-cylinder models, as it moves into its ninth generation.

It is packed with lots of technological conveniences and safety systems, many of them standard on EX and EX-L trim. Among them are Honda LaneWatch, the company's new blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing runs from $21,680 for the base LX, an increase of only $200 over the 2012 LX, to $33,430 for V6 Touring models.

The sedan version hit showrooms less than a week after the meeting. Coupe models are due in October.

During the business session, members got a brief overview of how Rides-N-Smiles is shaping up for 2012, which will be the fifth year for the event that gives cancer patients from Baptist Children's Hospital and Miami Children's Hospital and their families rides in luxury performance cars around the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Vice President Bill Adam has worked long and hard on making this such an annual success.

This year will feature participation by Wounded Warrior veterans as well as a parachute jump by the U.S. Army Golden Knights team and a flyover by jets from the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Bill reminded members there will be plenty of opportunities for members to help out at the event, which this year will be on Nov. 10 with rides starting at 9 a.m.

“Without question, it’s going to be the best we’ve had,” Bill said.

In addition to giving an update on Rides-N-Smiles, Vice President Adam also reminded members to give their support for the upcoming Miami Auto Show. Media Day will be Nov. 9 and feature SAMA's annual luncheon and presentation of awards.

Ron Beasley, who is in charge of the judging for awards and also is honchoing the luncheon with Ariel Garcia-Linares, thanked Hyundai for stepping up and sponsoring the press luncheon, which is one of SAMA’s signature events.

John Kiskinis noted the 2012 show also will have many new features, including a display highlighting SAMA's second annual Topless in Miami convertible competition and an “eco-experience” track.

The popular Memory Lane display also has been upgraded.

SAMA members are reminded that giving exposure to such events as the auto show and Rides-N-Smiles helps all of us. Especially with Rides-N-Smiles, the support of manufacturers in providing the vehicles is a must, and coverage is a good way of our giving them a big “thank you.”

We also want to thank Sara Pines and other Honda representatives Adrienne Hall and Chris Naughton for sponsoring our September luncheon. We look forward to working with them at future activities.