Even if sales for the new 2013 Acura ILX have not been extraordinary, there are reports that the automaker is planning a significant change to its powertrain that could make the premium compact sedan successful. John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, told Automotive News that Acura wants to drop the 2.0-liter I-4 from the lineup because it’s “underpowered, and consumers don’t see the value.”
This may mean that it will be replaced by the racier 201-hp 2.4-liter in order to distinguish the ILX from the 140-hp Civic.
The more powerful 2.4-liter unit is presently coupled exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. However, Mendel hinted that a 2.4 automatic is being developed. These revisions are likely to boost ILX sales, which are nowhere near the original goal of 30,000 units a year.
Mendel said that the company aims to reach two-thirds of its forecast but it’s posting growth each month and is even accelerating faster.
However, Acura spokesman Chuck Schifsky doesn’t agree. He said that the ILX is gradually achieving its target and that the 2.0-liter is staying. He added that there are still no plans for the 2.4 automatic yet.