Posts Tagged ‘Acura rlx’

Acura Offers a Peek at Refreshed 2018 RLX

A "transformational" redesign.

by on Aug.10, 2017

The new "diamond pentagon grille" highlights the changes to the 2018 Acura RLX.

After years of struggle trying to define itself in a crowded luxury market, Acura has finally begun to gain some traction, though most of that has been on the SUV side of its line-up. So, there’s a lot riding on the updated 2018 RLX the Japanese maker will roll out during the week-long extravaganza anchored by the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next week.

Like the recently restyled Acura TLX, the bigger RLX will draw heavily on the design cues first revealed in the form of the Acura Precision Concept first seen at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. That includes the new “diamond pentagon grille,” sculpted hood and LED strips framing the updated headlamps of the 2018 update.

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“This redesign…is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager – and its former design chief.

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First Drive: 2015 Acura TLX

Finally, a sedan that lives up to Acura's reputation.

by on Aug.06, 2014

Acura debuted its new TLX. The midsize sedan is expected help the brand reassert its position in the luxury segment.

Few automakers have had more riding on a single model than Acura does with the launch of the new 2015 TLX. Replacing two less-than-stellar offerings, the old TL and TSX, the new mid-range sedan is the Japanese maker’s stake in the ground, intended to prove that it really can take on the best in a field of tough competitors.

To get there, the Honda subsidiary has not only come up with a more visually compelling design than we’ve seen in recent years, but also some promising technology – including the latest version of its torque vectoring system, the awkwardly named Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD.

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Acura is hoping the new TLX will do what several other recent sedans, namely the ILX and RLX, couldn’t: put it back on the luxury map. It’s not so much that Acura has done anything terrible to alienate potential customers. If anything, it has scored a solid hit with the latest version of its big MDX crossover, sales up more than 55% for the first seven months of 2014. But that success on the SUV side hasn’t translated over to the Acura passenger car line-up. (more…)

Acura MDX Sales Set Record – But Passenger Cars Remain a Problem

Japanese luxury brand bills MDX as best-selling 3-row ute ever.

by on Jul.11, 2014

The 2014 Acura MDX has readily outsold all its competitors in the three-row luxury SUV category.

With sales up more than 68% so far this year, Acura is billing its MDX as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV ever. The redesign has clearly clicked with consumers, but the MDX has been a hot-seller ever since its introduction 15 years ago, topping all other three-row competitors every year since 2002.

That’s the good news for Acura, but there’s also plenty of bad. Despite introducing several new passenger cars in recent years, including its entry-level ILX and flagship RDX, Acura’s passenger cars simply aren’t cutting it with consumers.

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So, despite the surge in sales of the brand’s big SUV, Acura’s overall volume slumped 18.6% in June, making it one of the few brands to report a decline as the U.S. car market continues its recovery.

“MDX is the clear benchmark in its class,” crowed the Acura Division’s General Manager Mike Accavitti, proclaiming that “Luxury car buyers have spoken.”

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Japanese Automakers Go All Out in Beijing

by on Apr.21, 2014

Lexus brings the production version of its NX crossover to the Beijing Auto Show.

Japanese carmakers came to the big auto show in Beijing this year determined to show they are prepared to fight for the hearts and minds of Chinese customers.

Struggling to regain momentum lost due to an ongoing debate between China and Japan over a chain of uninhabited, but strategically located, islands, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other Japanese makers rolled out an assortment of new models they hope will help them close the gap with more established players in the huge Chinese car market, notably including Volkswagen AG and General Motors.

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One of the most significant introductions came from Lexus, which unveiled the new Lexus NX utility vehicle, the long-anticipated production version of a controversial concept vehicle, then called the LF-NX first unveiled during the Frankfurt Auto Show last autumn.

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Acura Introduces New Sport-Hybrid Performance System for RLX Flagship

Hybrid mileage, V-8 performance, sports car handling, Acura claims.

by on Nov.20, 2013

The 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

Acura’s flagship RLX sedan is about to gain a new level of sophistication – as well as improved performance and fuel economy – with the debut of the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD drive system at the LA Auto Show.

The 2014 Acura RLX becomes the first Honda product line to use the new three-motor hybrid system, an even more advanced version of which will be used to power the next-generation Acura NSX supercar. While the gas-electric system is expected to improve fuel economy compared to a conventional gasoline engine, Acura’s new SH-AWD technology also promises to boost both performance and handling by being able to direct power to both the front and rear axles of the 2014 RLX.

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The new version of the RLX will debut the latest of three new hybrid drivetrains developed by Honda to replace its original Integrated Motor Assist, or IMA system.  Each is targeted at a particular segment of the market, from the low-cost single-motor system in the Honda Civic to the new twin-motor drive of the 2014 Honda Accord to the new 3-motor hybrid that will be focused on the Acura brand.

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Acura Debuting RLX Sport Hybrid with SH-AWD in LA

Version of 3-motor hybrid system to also power new NSX.

by on Nov.01, 2013

Acura's RLX adopts a new, 3-motor hybrid drive.

Acura will introduce its new high-performance hybrid system at the L.A. Auto Show this month.  The through-the-road all-wheel-drive system will make its first appearance on the Acura RLX luxury sedan but will follow, in slightly modified form, on the reborn Acura NSX set to reach market by 2015.

The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will become the new flagship of the Honda luxury brand’s line-up and, the maker claims, will deliver a blend of “V-8-like performance with 4-cylinder fuel economy,” in this case up to 30 miles per gallon in the combined city/highway cycle. It also promises more sure-footed handling, with the ability to direct torque, as needed, to improve cornering.

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The new version of the RLX will debut the latest of three new hybrid drivetrains developed by Honda to replace its original Integrated Motor Assist, or IMA system.  Each is targeted at a particular segment of the market, from the low-cost single-motor system in the Honda Civic to the new twin-motor drive of the 2014 Accord to the new 3-motor hybrid that will be focused on the Acura brand.

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Acura Places Bet on China – But Remains Focused on U.S.

Maker to open plant in China by 2016.

by on Jul.22, 2013

Honda will revive the Acura NSX for 2015.

Honda’s long-struggling luxury brand Acura reportedly plans to start building cars in China in 2016, targeting what is soon expected to become the world’s largest market for highline vehicles.

But Acura officials insist that even as they look for other opportunities abroad, they are increasing their focus on what has traditionally been their largest market, the United States.  They’re backing that up with an assortment of new products that will soon include an all-new version of the once ground-breaking supercar, the Acura NSX.

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Honda plans to invest about $70 million on its flagship plant in Marysville, Ohio to get ready for the re-launch, late next year, of the revived NSX. The sleek, 2-seat sports car was once a showpiece of Asian automotive prowess and lent a halo to Honda’s Acura division, the first Japanese brand to target the demanding luxury market.  But after a 15-year-run, the NSX was pulled from production in 2005 a move that coincided with Acura’s sharp downturn, leading some to wonder whether it could survive, especially as the automotive market plunged into recession.

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First Drive: 2014 Acura RLX

A worthy flagship.

by on Mar.01, 2013

With the 2014 RLX launch Acura finally gets a real flagship sedan.

When it was launched, more than a quarter-century ago, Acura transformed the way Americans thought about Japanese cars, proving that the Asians could challenge the well-established European and domestic luxury brands. But the initial success of the Honda Motor Co. subsidiary proved far too fleeting and in recent years, Acura has lagged in the back of the premium pack.

One can come up with any number of reasons to explain Acura’s malaise: the switch from well-respected model names like Legend to forgettable alphanumeric alternatives; some strange styling decisions, such as the awkward chrome grille critics deride as the “beak”; increased competition, especially from newer Japanese brands – but perhaps the start of the decline was the model that replaced the once-formidable Legend, the Acura RL.

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It wasn’t a bad car.  Well, not all that bad. It just wasn’t the sort of product to provide a halo around your brand – even if you could remember its name. Now, to be honest, there was more than a bit of disappointment when Acura announced it would introduce an all-new flagship model but not bring back the Legend nameplate. The question is whether the all-new 2014 Acura RLX delivers what the Honda luxury brand needs, whatever you call it?

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Acura Aims to Redefine Itself with RLX Flagship

Luxury maker counting on new design and advanced technology to lure in new buyers.

by on Nov.30, 2012

Acura loses the peak but gains a new LED lighting system with the 2014 RLX flagship.

It was the brand that proved Japanese automakers could compete in the luxury segment but in recent years Acura has been little more than an after-thought, lost behind mainstream high-line marques like Lexus and German giants Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

But Acura is hoping to redefine itself with the launch of its all-new flagship model, the RLX.  Larger and more lavish than the existing Acura line-up, the maker gave a hint of what it had in mind with a concept version at last April’s New York Auto Show. The production version of the Acura RLX is now on display at the LA Auto Show.

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A casual viewer might first notice what executive Jeff Conrad demurely described as a “redesigned Acura grille.” That addresses what may have been the single most controversial aspect of recent Acura design, the massive chromed “beak,” as critics derisively called it.

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Acura Went “Overboard” Says New Design Chief

That said, the “beak” won’t vanish.

by on Jun.21, 2012

Acura went "a little overboard" with its beak-like grille, admits the brand's new design chief.

It may be the single most consistently derided design feature for any brand on the market in recent years, but while the new head of Acura design admits the maker went “overboard,” the Japanese luxury brand won’t entirely abandon “the beak.”

That’s the derisive term that critics routinely used to describe the chrome, V-shaped shield that dominates the face of most recent Acura models, such as the TL sedan and MDX crossover.  The distinctive feature has been toned down slightly on the maker’s latest additions, including the all-new ILX, however.

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“We concede that we went a little overboard at some points,” conceded Toshinobu Minami, the new design director for Honda’s luxury brand, in an interview with Automotive News.  He blamed this styling mis-cue on some “pretty bad back” the maker got after introducing what Acura then described as its “keen edge” styling theme in 2008.

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