Acura, Honda’s luxury brand, is out to refine its image and start attracting buyers. The brand wants to become known for luxury that is fuel efficient and economic, so the company is making a supercar.
Nothing says economy like mid-engined racer
Acura has had flagging sales this year, partially due to decreased production. According to Bloomberg, the brand sold 110,170 units from November 2010 to November 2011 which, according to the Sacramento Bee, represented a 7.1 percent decline from November 2009 through November 2010.
The brand is looking to punch up its sales, according to USA Today, by trying to attract Generation Y buyers who are coming of age and ready for their first luxury car. Acura wants to entice them with luxury that is also “green friendly” and economical, so Acura is making a supercar with a mid-size engine, the new NSX.
The return of the NSX
The original Acura NSX, introduced in 1990, was quite the showpiece. According to Car and Driver, the mid-mounted V-6 produced 270 horsepower, very powerful at that time. The tiny coupe was renowned for being incredibly agile and was far less costly than some of its competitors like the Ferrari 348. The new NSX will have a mid-mounted V-6, but it will also use Honda’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive and a hybrid drive system, which powers two of the wheels with electric motors. Power output and other specs aren’t available yet, but it should offer comparable power to competitors with better fuel economy. The new Acura NSX will compete with entry-level supercars like the Corvette ZR1, Audi R8, Nissan GTR and Mercedes SL.
A concept car isn’t being shown yet, according to AutoBlog, but it should look a lot like the Acura concept car that will be seen in the upcoming Avengers film, driven by Robert Downey, Jr. It should price, according to Car and Driver, between $90,000 and $130,000. A concept model will be at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and production will reportedly begin next year. The first models will be available by early 2013 at the latest.
Acuras people can afford
Aside from a car that only the moderately rich can afford, there are some other Acura models with more modest prices. The hybrid drive system in the NSX is also going into the redesigned Acura RL, which Acura hopes will be able to knock the BMW 5 series down a peg or two when it gets released in fall of 2012, according to AutoWeek.
Acura is also launching a compact sedan, the ILX, this spring to replace the TSX, followed by the RL, with a redesigned TL, Acura’s mid-size sedan, to follow in spring of 2013. The production models of the RL and ILX are likely to get their debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.