Acura wants to be reborn, and it is looking at Subaru as a benchmark on how it should be reinvented. Acura is particularly looking to adopt a formula that Subaru has taken to become and remain successful in the United States – offering and marketing all-wheel-drives. Honda’s premium brand now offers awd on half of its offerings, and is now intending to make the technology a standard on all its vehicles.
"I think that's the way we should go," said Koichi Fukuo, Acura's top global executive. However, transforming its vehicle lineup into an all-awd offering might take more time as the brand has just renewed all its volume nameplates in the past three years.
Actually, the Acura Business Planning Office has been supporting the awd plan as part of the brand’s bid to boost sales. Fukuo admitted that while much of the plan is in limbo, a number of elements are showing up.
For instance, Acura is now planning to offer more powerful engines, just a shy away from V-8 and V-10s. Fukuo added that Acura will scrap rear-wheel-drive layouts.
He noted that that as a premium brand, Acura needs something different from its rivals – although they are also offering awd models.
In fact, the best-selling premium brand in the US, BMW, had 58 percent of its sold vehicles in the first nine months of 2014 fitted with awd. On the other hand, 90 percent of Audi vehicles sold in the US in the same period were awd models. [source: automotive news - sub. required]