Chicago Auto Show: Acura reveals production version of 2013 ILX compact sedan

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 8, 2012

Acura has unveiled the production variant of the 2013 ILX compact sedan, which will be formally introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. The company said that this vehicle will be an entry point into the luxury brand of Honda. The sedan, which seats five people, will come in three engine selections, one of which is Acura's first gasoline-electric hybrid. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will power the base ILX. This engine produces 150 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque.

A five-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. Fuel economy rating for that model is at 32 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in the city. As for the upgraded models, they will have a 2.4-liter engine with 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. A six-speed manual will be offered as an option for these models. Fuel economy drops to 29 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city.

The first hybrid model of Acura will utilize Honda's 1.5-liter engine with its Integrated Motor Assist electric motor. This will be matched with a continuously variable transmission, returning an approximated 38 mpg on the highway. The gasoline and electric motors can produce a combined power of 111 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. The ILX hybrid showcases stop/start technology and regenerative braking in order to conserve fuel and recharge the battery. 

The ILX utilizes MacPherson struts in front with a multilink setup at the back. The vehicle includes Amplitude Reactive Dampers, which operate in two modes to provide comfort when cruising and to provide precision handling when needed.

The ILX will utilize an adaptive electric power-steering system. The ILX, just like all Acura models, will come well-equipped from the plant. Both Premium and Technology packages will be offered with a long list of safety features. The ILX is manufactured at the company's facility in Greensburg, Ind. It will be launched for sale in the spring. Pricing has not yet been disclosed, but Acura stated that the ILX will begin at less than $30,000.

Press Release

2013 Acura ILX

The 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan is an all-new model that is positioned as the gateway into the Acura brand. The primary target customers for the new ILX are Generation Y— successful 20 and 30-somethings moving into the luxury car ranks but looking for high-value propositions in their purchases.

"First-time luxury buyers tend to place a high value on exterior styling, affordability and environmental issues, and that's what we have created with the new Acura ILX," said Jon Ikeda, head of the Acura Design Studio. "The strategy behind this new model is to position ILX as the first opportunity for many young buyers to enter the luxury market."

Sleek and sporty, the ILX combines luxury, performance and efficiency. While maintaining a strong emphasis on stylish and aerodynamically efficient exterior design, the ILX features a large and airy greenhouse that provides excellent outward visibility. As a five-passenger luxury sedan, the ILX combines compact proportions with a spacious passenger interior and ample cargo space— perfect attributes for young professionals on the go.

The ILX will feature three advanced, sporty and efficient powertrain choices, including Acura's first-ever gas-electric hybrid. The entry-level ILX will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 140 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. Paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, the ILX 2.0L has an EPA estimated* city/highway/combined fuel economy of 24/35/28 mpg.

For those who seek a more dynamic driving experience, the ILX can be equipped with a 2.4-liter engine with an output of 201 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft torque at 4,300 rpm. Mated to a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the ILX 2.4L has an EPA estimated* city/highway/combined fuel economy of 22/31/25 mpg.

Marking the debut of Acura's first ever hybrid model, the ILX Hybrid makes use of a 1.5-liter inline engine and an Integrated Motor Assist® electric motor. Paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the ILX 1.5L Hybrid has an EPA estimated* city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 39/38/38 mpg.

The hybrid drivetrain uses the gasoline engine as the primary power source, while an electric motor provides additional power when needed. A lithium-ion battery pack is used to capture and store electricity for the 20 horsepower electric motor. Together, the gasoline engine and electric motor produce 111 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque between 1,000-3,000 rpm. During braking, the gasoline engine deactivates and the electric motor acts as a generator to recharge the battery pack. At a stop, the 1.5-liter engine can enter idle-stop mode to save fuel and reduce emissions. The engine remains off until the brake pedal is released.

The ILX chassis utilizes advanced MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems, along with new Amplitude Reactive Dampers. The dampers operate in two distinct performance parameters to simultaneously provide superior ride comfort and precision handling. In addition, Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering is used for excellent steering feel and improved fuel efficiency. The result is a chassis with a high level of refinement, confident handling and a nimble and sporty driving experience.

The ILX will feature a high-quality, well-appointed interior that is smart, spacious and sporty. It will offer a number of new, high-value features including a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, along with Pandora® internet radio interface and SMS text message function for smart connectivity with the world.

As with all Acura models, the ILX will have a long list of standard features, multiple trim levels (a Premium Package and Technology Package), and excellent standard safety features— including Acura's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, front, side and side-curtain airbags, 4-channel anti-lock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®). Although yet to be tested, Acura anticipates that the ILX will achieve top crash safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS.

The available Premium Package features leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, an upgraded 360 watt stereo system, a rear view camera and an Active Sound Cancellation system to make for a quieter cabin.

Building on the Premium Package, the available Technology Package adds Acura's award winning ELS Surround® audio system and a full complement of relevant technologies, including AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps. The navigation system makes use of a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity— including 15 gigabytes that can be specifically allocated for music storage. With the available Premium or Technology Package, a new multi-view rear camera is used.

The Acura ILX will be manufactured (using U.S. and globally sourced parts), exclusively at the company's state-of-the-art Greensburg, Indiana plant, one of only three plants worldwide to receive J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 Platinum Award for outstanding product quality, and the top award for any factory in North America.

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