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.
The 2013 ILX compact is a brand-new model positioned as the doorway for Acura’s branding. The main customers being targeted for the new Acura ILX are Gen Y - 20- to 30-year-old achievers who are entering the luxury car market but wanting high-value for their purchases.
Refined and athletic, the ILX blends luxury, economy, and performance. While keeping a major emphasis on elegant and efficiently aerodynamic exteriors, the ILX has a broad and airy greenhouse providing outstanding visibility outward. As a luxury sedan that seats five passengers, the ILX integrates compact dimensions with a roomy passenger interior and abundant cargo space – the perfect traits for active young professionals.
ILX chassis uses innovative MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems, as well as new Amplitude Reactive Dampers. The dampers perform in two separate parameters to concurrently give an extremely comfortable ride and precise handling. Also, Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering provides a superb steering experience and better fuel economy. The resulting chassis has a superior level of elegant, handling confidence, and a lithe and sporting drive experience.
Acura ILX will highlight a first-class, well-equipped interior that is intelligent, roomy, and athletic. It will come in a number of new, valuable features such as a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, as well as a Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text message functionality for smart connectivity.