Over the next 18 months, Honda will revamp and reposition its Acura range as well as discard its long quest of top-tier luxury-car status for the brand. For several years, Honda has been trying to boost Acura into the front ranks to compete with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus. But Honda will settle for providing mid-level premium vehicles that favor fuel economy over performance. But there’s one exception. The Acura NSX, which is a rival to the Ferrari, will be displayed at the Detroit auto show next month. Honda will bring back a new version of the mid-engine supercar that ended in 2005 after having been around for 15 years.
The NSX will use a compact, direct-injection V-6 teamed with a lithium ion battery pack rather than a monster engine. To recalibrate the Acura, three new or redesigned sedans will be rolled out in the next 18 months, including a smaller compact and a bigger flagship. Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito said that the company isn’t contented with the present positioning of Acura and would want to display interesting and pleasing technologies and demonstrate an outstanding environmental performance.
Acura is developing the ILX compact sedan, which is built on Honda's global Civic platform. It will debut in the spring. It replaces the ageing TSX that used the structure of the European Accord. Due next fall is a redesigned RL flagship that is bigger than the current version. A redesigned mid-sized TL sedan is expected to follow in the spring of 2013. During a briefing for dealers and the media, Vicki Poponi, American Honda assistant vice president for product planning, said that its sedans “haven't been doing the job for the brand." [source: Autonews]