For quite some time now, Acura has taken a back seat in the luxury game. In particular, Infiniti has surged strongly with new rear-wheel drive products and V-8 engines in upmarket models. Lexus, which has held the title of top-selling luxury brand in the United States, is making a fresh push starting with the GS 350 debuting later this month at Pebble Beach.
Where does that leave Acura? The RL flagship is very dated and most of the positioning of the rest of the lineup is clearly second-tier. Sales have also been negatively impact by its extremely polarizing design language.
The update to the 2012 TL shows that Acura realizes this. Expect the next-generation of products to be a lot more conservative in design. According to Automotive News, a major push in the entry level market is coming.
2012 looks to be pretty quiet though, with no major introductions. The entry-level segment is growing and is more competitive than ever before. To compete against cars like the Lexus CT 200h and Buick Verano, Acura is set to field a new RSX. A strong upmarket push doesn’t appear to be in the works for Acura.
This time around the RSX will be a four-door sedan at first. The Honda Civic will provide the basis, but the Acura model will be larger and have different sheet metal. AN reports that the standard car will be powered by the Civic Si’s 210 horsepower four-cylinder.
The NSX is a car that enthusiasts miss, and an on again/off again program if there ever was one. This time though, Honda Motor President Takanobu says a new NSX is in the works. Don’t expect it any time soon though – try around 2014. We can’t think of a much better way to kick off a new, relaunched Acura. To succeed, Honda must have a well-defined direction for where it wants to take the brand though….at the moment its apparent Acura has lost its way.