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    Acura Looks Towards All-Wheel Drive As A Differing Factor


    • All-Wheel Drive only lineup for Acura?

    Its no secret that Acura has been struggling in the auto marketplace. Aside from the bright spots of the MDX and RDX, the brand has been seeing year-over-year sales drop. But the brand could have a idea that might reverse that.

    Automotive News recently spoke with Koichi Fukuo, Honda's senior managing director for Acura says the brand is looking into whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of Subaru and equip all of their vehicles with all-wheel drive.

    "The key is awd," said Fukuo, "As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition."

    Currently, Acura offers all-wheel drive in half of its lineup and the company is in the process of introducing a new all-wheel drive system that debuted in the new TLX sedan this year. But this change to an all-wheel drive exclusive lineup could take awhile. Also, Automotive News points out that this change might not help Acura at all. 90 percent of Audi's lineup came with all-wheel drive, while nearly 60 percent of BMW's lineup was equipped with all-wheel drive.

    Now this plan is currently only being talked about at this time. Fukuo presented this plan to the board last week.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Why not have AWD as standard along with more standard and opt power then competitors using Direct Injection and Turbocharging? If done correctly Acura could be the Powerships of affordable Luxury cars! Where BMW has 240HP and Cadillac has 272HP with their Turbo I4's Acura could have 300+HP and up from there! Their 3.5L V6 could do 400HP easly with Turbocharging! Then they could rename the RLX the Legend and have the power to back up the name!!;)

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    FAILURE from the Start. Everyone else has been there already, they need to come up with something new and exciting in style, features and packaging.

     

    Acura, Your HYBRID One Stop Shop.

     

    All auto's are Hybrid, Electric AWD Driven with Petrol Generator for long distance driving. This would put them ahead of everyone with a GREEN Footprint to boot!

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    AWD V6 is a poor combo for fuel economy, that hurts Acura compared to some competitors.  Probably why they want some FWD and 4 cylinder models to advertise the higher fuel economy.  Acura doesn't have a diesel or a turbo 4 in a sedan, they basically are an Accord V6 with AWD to give it a 1-2 mpg penalty.

     

    Making every Acura a hybrid of some kind would make them unique, but then you also risk adding cost and trying to sell a $45,000 TLX, and I don't think anyone wants a $45,000 Accord hybrid.  Acura has the same problem Lincoln has, you can only do so much with a Ford or Honda, and can't really put a price tag much over $40k on them.

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    AWD V6 is a poor combo for fuel economy, that hurts Acura compared to some competitors.  Probably why they want some FWD and 4 cylinder models to advertise the higher fuel economy.  Acura doesn't have a diesel or a turbo 4 in a sedan, they basically are an Accord V6 with AWD to give it a 1-2 mpg penalty.

     

    Making every Acura a hybrid of some kind would make them unique, but then you also risk adding cost and trying to sell a $45,000 TLX, and I don't think anyone wants a $45,000 Accord hybrid.  Acura has the same problem Lincoln has, you can only do so much with a Ford or Honda, and can't really put a price tag much over $40k on them.

     

    Yet you miss the point, take these basic cars and CUV's give them a decent mid luxury interior and the performance of the Tesla with Electronic AWD system and the Generator that VOLT has proven works so well and you have a Fast, Mid Luxury line with distance and selling at high 30's to low 50's and you have a special product line of Hybrid that no one else has.

     

    Why not do a mid luxury line that can beat Tesla at their own game and have the Green credentials and performance to boost at half the price.

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    How is AWD a differing factor?

    4 out of 5 (soon to be 5 out of 6) Buicks have AWD available.

    All of the (relevant) Audis have AWD available or standard.*

    All of the relevant BMWs have AWD available.*

    All of the relevant Mercedes have AWD available.*

    All Cadillacs have AWD available.

    All Lincolns have AWD/4WD available.

    All Infinitis have AWD available.

    All relevant Jaguars have AWD available.*

     

    *I'm ignoring cars in the lineup like the Z4 and SLK since Acura doesn't make anything close to that.

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    How about stop making ugly, bloated vehicles?

     

    The problem is that Hondas have gone upmarket and are plenty nice, and there's little reason to get an Acura,especially when they are aesthetically challenged.  Most Californians won't care about AWD and don't need the extra traction, and it just adds weight, cost, complexity, and hurts fuel economy.

     

    The TLX is a step in the right direction over the TL, but I don't think it will have much staying power.

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    How about stop making ugly, bloated vehicles?

     

    The problem is that Hondas have gone upmarket and are plenty nice, and there's little reason to get an Acura,especially when they are aesthetically challenged.  Most Californians won't care about AWD and don't need the extra traction, and it just adds weight, cost, complexity, and hurts fuel economy.

     

    The TLX is a step in the right direction over the TL, but I don't think it will have much staying power.

     

     

    Agreed....

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    Honda really shouldnt pretend that Acura is cutting edge. Look at Lincoln , they just make tarted up puff cruisers now and don't try to ever pretend to be all about performance. Seems to work well for them. Just make really posh good looking Hondas.

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      Year-to-Date
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      January 2016
      DSR** % Change
      MoM % Change
      January 2017
      January 2016
      DSR** % Change
      YoY % Change
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      100,497
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      5.9%
      106,380
      100,497
      5.9%
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      48,567
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      0
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    • By William Maley
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    • By William Maley
      Dodge is doing something that can be considered as sacrilegious in the muscle car class. They are adding an all-wheel drive version of the Challenger to their lineup.
      The 2017 Challenger GT will go on sale early next year with a base price of $34,990 (includes $1,095 destination charge). The all-wheel drive system that the Challenger will use is the same one found in the Charger AWD - power is sent to the rear wheels until slip is detected, at which point the front axle will hook up to the transfer case and get power. The bad news is that you can only get the GT with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 286 pound-feet of torque, and eight-speed automatic. On the plus side, the GT will come with the Super Track Pak that brings launch control, performance pages, and other items.
      Not much sets the Challenger GT apart from other models in terms of the exterior. The GT comes with a new hood, LED head and taillights, decklid spoiler, and a set of 19-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires.
      Source: Dodge
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New 2017 Dodge Challenger GT Is World’s First and Only All-wheel-drive American Muscle Coupe
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      From winding through twisty stretches of mountain roads, escaping away to a snow-covered ski resort, to daily commutes through the slush and snow of Northeastern and Midwestern winters, the Challenger GT AWD is built to handle it all.
       
      “Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further.
      Available this winter
      The new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD model has a starting U.S Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,395 (excluding $1,095 destination charge).
       
      With production beginning in January, the all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger GT is scheduled to arrive at Dodge dealerships nationwide in the first quarter of 2017.
      Power, precision and prowess
      The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD features Dodge’s award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.
       
      A tuned induction system and dual exhaust from the manifolds back to the tips help deliver more than 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque from 1,800 to 6,400 rpm – all for outstanding drivability and responsiveness. With the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, Challenger GT offers up to an EPA-estimated 18 city/27 hwy miles per gallon (mpg).
      The Dodge Challenger GT features Dodge’s high-performance all-wheel-drive system. Also found in the Charger AWD, this technologically advanced system includes an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for excellent all-season performance and fuel economy. The Challenger GT seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with no driver intervention. Under normal driving conditions, the front axle is disengaged and 100 percent of the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels. This preserves the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling characteristics inherent to rear-wheel-drive vehicles. When sensors indicate the need for additional traction, the system automatically engages the front axle, instantly transitioning Challenger GT into all-wheel-drive mode.
       
      Enhanced with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), the Challenger GT AWD has impressive handling on all surfaces, especially snow and ice. VDC provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces and also helps the driver maintain the desired vehicle path. Enhancing the on-road dynamic performance using precise front-to-rear torque control integrated with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, VDC maintains Challenger’s fun-to-drive character, regardless of road conditions.
       
      In addition, the new Dodge Challenger GT AWD features paddle shifters and Sport mode. With Sport mode active, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use the die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and view gear election through the full-color Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) centered in the instrument cluster.
       
      The Challenger GT Super Track Pak button activates Dodge Performance Pages and launch control features embedded in the 8.4-inch touchscreen radio. Visible performance information, such as reaction times, 0-60 times, G-force indicator and lap times, can be monitored, and even mirrored, in the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable cluster display. The new Challenger GT model also features three-mode ESC with “full-off” mode, a fun feature for drifting through snowy scenes.
      All-weather traction all year long, rain, sleet, snow or shine
      For muscle car enthusiasts who want more all-weather traction, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT delivers premium amenities inside and out, including 19-inch aluminum wheels with Hyper Black finish and P235/55R19 BSW all-season performance tires, projector fog lamps, a deck-lid rear spoiler, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear backup camera.
       
      Challenger GT is equally well equipped on the inside with standard features, such as premium Nappa leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats with four-way power driver lumbar adjustment, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping column, Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six Alpine speakers with 276-watt amplifier, bright pedals, universal garage door opener and Hectic Mesh aluminum bezels.
       
      GT Interior Package
      The all-new GT Interior package, which is unique to this Challenger AWD model, includes performance Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seats – available on a V-6 for the first time – nine Alpine speakers, including a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier, and the Dodge performance steering wheel. U.S MSRP for the GT Interior package is $995.
      Performance-inspired design, all year round
      1971-inspired design, both inside and out, the Dodge Challenger GT features refined exterior styling and heritage muscle-car appearance with split grille, pronounced and functional power bulge hood, LED halo headlamps and LED tail lamps.
    • By William Maley
      Car Sales Quicken and Trucks Continue Momentum as American Honda Sets New Sales Records in November
      Dec 1, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      Powered by both cars and trucks, American Honda and the Honda Division set new November sales records American Honda and Honda Division trucks also set new November sales marks Compacts lead, with Fit gaining 43 percent and HR-V soaring 132 percent above year ago levels MDX sets November pace for Acura while RDX gets new November record Acura NSX reaches another milestone American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported total November sales of 122,924 Honda and Acura vehicles, an increase of 6.5 percent versus November of last year to set a new November record. American Honda trucks gained 9.9 percent for a new November record on sales of 62,737 units. Honda Division overall vehicle sales also set a new November mark of 111,308 units, rising 7.9 percent. Acura Division sales held fairly steady in November, totaling 11,616 units for a decrease of 5.1 percent.
      Honda
      Continuing to buck the industry trend, Honda car sales helped push the brand to a new November record. Fit and Accord led the way for Honda cars, with strong support from Civic.  Honda truck sales maintained strong momentum with a new November record as HR-V jumped in triple digits and both CR-V and the new Ridgeline had strong sales performances.
      Honda Division sales rose 7.9 percent on sales of 111,308 for a new November record. Honda cars gained 5.6 percent on sales of 56,943 units, while trucks increased 10.3 percent on sales of 54,365 units for a new November record. Accord, recently named one of Car & Driver magazine's 10 Best cars for a record 31st time, enjoyed a robust gain of 6.3 percent on sales of 27,182 units. HR-V sales totaled 8,141 in November, a remarkable 132 percent increase. Civic sales topped 25,000 for the month, gaining 1 percent and keeping Civic on track to set an all-time annual sales mark in December. "Considering the continued consumer appetite for trucks and SUVs, we're excited to see Honda cars resonate so well with our customers," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "This is especially gratifying considering the strength of our light truck lineup, as we continue to hit on all cylinders with individual retail buyers."
      Acura
      Acura light trucks continued to show sales muscle, with MDX leading the month of November for the brand and RDX recording best-ever November sales. On the car side, RLX showed an uptick while NSX reached a new milestone.
      Acura trucks continued on pace to top 2015, gaining 7.6 percent with sales of 8,372 units in November. Sales of the redesigned MDX rose 13 percent on sales of 4,622 for the month. RDX had its best November sales to date, rising 1.6 percent on sales of 3,750 vehicles. RLX sales moved up slightly in November, gaining 16.7 percent on sales of 140 units. Reaching another milestone, the custom-crafted NSX supercar has topped 200 customer deliveries since sales commenced in May. "Strong sales of the new Acura MDX demonstrate that our design direction and focus on performance is the right path for the Acura brand," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "With the NSX and the MDX leading the way, we will take our entire lineup toward Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA."

    • By William Maley
      Car and Truck Balance Continues to Power American Honda Sales in October
      Nov 1, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif.
      American Honda trucks set new October sales record with both Honda and Acura trucks setting new October benchmarks Honda CR-V has best-ever October sales Honda Civic remains on pace for best annual sales in model history Powering Acura's October truck record, RDX also set a new October mark and MDX jumped 14.7 percent American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported October sales of 126,161 Honda and Acura vehicles, a decrease of just 4.2 percent versus October 2015 reflecting two less selling days than a year ago. American Honda trucks set a new October record, gaining 2.1 percent while overall sales at the Honda Division dipped slightly, by 2 percent. Both Honda and Acura trucks enjoyed a brisk October pace, setting new records for the month with gains of 1.1 and 8.4 percent respectively.
      Honda
      Honda light trucks enjoyed the largest gains for the month, setting a new October record with CR-V also reaching a record high and HR-V posting a substantial gain. The new Ridgeline also continued to gather strength as inventory continues to grow. Civic remained on pace to post a new annual record while Fit sales jumped in triple digits, and Accord had a strong month with over 25,000 sales in the challenging mid-size segment.
      Honda trucks gained 1.1 percent on sales of 56,573 for a new October record. CR-V also set a new October record with an increase of 4.4 percent on sales of 30,306 units. HR-V sales climbed 46.5 percent on sales of 6,596 units. The best-selling Civic sales crested 26,000 in October to stay on pace for a record year, buoyed by the new Civic Hatchback. Fit sales leaped 240.5 percent on sales of 4,641 vehicles, while Accord posted another competitive month with sales of more than 25,000 units. "The strength of the CR-V in its final days is building great momentum for the upcoming debut of the all-new 2017 model," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "But unique to the industry, the Honda story continues to be one of balanced strength between passenger cars and light trucks."
      Acura
      Acura light trucks set a new October sales record, led by the redesigned MDX with a double digit gain, even with two fewer selling days in the month. RDX returned to its record ways, surpassing its previous best October (2015) for another new record. The new NSX supercar posted its best month to date as the Performance Manufacturing Center, the exclusive global home for the only supercar made in America, continues to work to meet demand for this customized model.
      Acura trucks climbed 8.4 percent with sales of 8,996 to set a new October record. The new MDX posted a gain of 14.7 percent on sales of 5,052 in October. RDX had it best October in history, rising 1.4 percent on sales of 3,944 vehicles. "With sales of the redesigned MDX continuing to gather strength and the all-new NSX earning the Road & Track 2017 Performance Car of the Year award, we are excited about the continued momentum of the Acura brand," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "We will continue to point Acura in a strong performance direction."

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