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  1. From the album: Cory's Cobo Craziness 2016

    The wildly angular and diamond-grilled Acura Precision Concept.

    © Cory Wolfe

  2. The end of another year is upon us and I’m in the process of picking my favorite vehicles from the year. But before we get to that, I need to give some vehicles their time in the review spotlight. Trying to crank a review or a two a week is a hard task for some folks, myself included. I tend to spend a week with a vehicle, driving it in my daily routine, taking notes and photos, and hopefully beginning the review before the vehicle leaves. But that last part is the thickest part as it doesn’t always work out because of life. Whether it's a personal or family emergency, vacation, changes in work, or just being distracted, life always finds a way to get in and mess up whatever you are trying to do. Towards the end of every year, I have a small number of vehicles that have fallen between the cracks and are just waiting for me to find them and write something up. This year is no different as seven vehicles have been waiting patiently for their turn and their time has come. We're going to be looking at the first four of the seven. For this piece, I’ll be listing the good and bad of each vehicle, along with some notes that I took on each vehicle. 2016 Acura ILX A-Spec 2.4L 16-Valve, DOHC i-VTEC Four-Cylinder (201 Horsepower, 180 Pound-Feet of Torque) Eight-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Base/As-Tested: $31,830/$32,830 Cheers: Excellent handling in the corners, improved styling, large back seat Jeers: Engine has to be worked hard, a large amount of wind and road noise, bouncy ride, questionable material choice, poor value when compared to competitors. Notes: Acura went back to the drawing board this year with the ILX in an effort to fix the slumping sales of the model. Some of the fixes do make a difference such as a new front clip and headlights that give some much need aggression. Inside, a set of leather and suede seats add a nice touch and provide good comfort. It should be noted the seats come with the A-Spec package. The engine lineup which included a 2.0L, 2.4L, and hybrid has been simplified to just the 2.4 with 201 horsepower. This eliminates one of the big problems for the ILX of being too slow if you opted for the hybrid or 2.0L. One item that Acura didn’t mess with was the handling. The ILX is a sweetheart around corners as it provides minimal body roll and excellent steering. Acura also made sure that the ILX’s suspension was compliant when dealing with bumps on a day-to-day basis, something it does very well. Sadly, that is where the good points of the ILX end. Despite Acura’s attempt on improving the ILX’s interior, it looks and in some parts, feels like the Civic that it is based on. Not something you want to be said since this vehicle competes in the same class as the Audi A3 and Buick Verano, both with impressive interiors. The 2.4L has the power to compete with the vehicles in the class. But to access this power, you’ll need to be working the engine somewhat hard - around 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. This would be ok if the ILX had a six-speed manual. But Acura dropped it for this year, replacing it with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. There isn’t anything wrong with the dual-clutch transmission, it’s quite smooth and doesn’t hesitate when going up or down. But it makes working the engine to its fullest, boring and not joyful. But the biggest problem for the ILX is the price. This particular ILX came with an as-tested price of $32,830 and that doesn’t include one of the huge changes for the model, a load of additional safety equipment. Acura added a number of safety systems such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, and road departure mitigation. To get all of this, you need to either get the ILX Technology Plus ($32,990) or the ILX Technology Plus and A-Spec ($34,890). Around that price, you could get yourself into a well-equipped Buick Verano Turbo with much more amenities and better performance. 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 3.2L 24-Valve VVT V6 (271 Horsepower, 239 Pound-Feet of Torque) Nine-Speed Automatic Base/As-Tested: $30,395/$36,869 Cheers: Sharp Looks, Very Capable Off-Road, V6 Performance Jeers: Ninth-Gear Seems Non-Existent, Price-Tag, Annoying Stop-Start System Notes: In my original review of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, I said that I was very impressed as Jeep made the leap from a boxy, go-anywhere SUV to sharp looking crossover with some Jeep DNA still there. But I wasn’t as impressed with the nine-speed automatic as it shuddered through the first three gears and wouldn’t go into ninth. At the time, I put the Cherokee on the wait and see list. A year has passed and another Cherokee has come in for a review. This particular Cherokee is the top of the line Trailhawk and it features a number of changes to make it a ‘Trail-Rated’ model by Jeep. Outside are a set of tow hooks on the front and rear bumper to pull out the vehicle if it gets stuck. A set seventeen-inch aluminum wheels come wrapped in meaty all-terrain tires to get you through whatever muck you decide to go through. Done up in a sharp red, the Cherokee Trailhawk makes no apologies of what its intended purpose is - going off-road. Under the skin, the Cherokee Trailhawk comes with Jeep Active Drive II. This four-wheel drive system is quite advanced as it offers a low-range setting for rock crawling and a rear lock to improve traction. Other changes for the Trailhawk include an off-road suspension with a one-inch lift, skid plates, and a 56:1 crawl ratio. We did some light off-roading on a dirt trail and found the Trailhawk to very capable as the four-wheel drive kept power flowing to us moving. Also, the suspension provided a very comfortable ride over the trail. Power for the Trailhawk comes from the optional 3.2L V6 with 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet. This engine feels plenty powerful for any situation that it is thrown at it. It also very refined during acceleration and at cruise. One part of the engine we aren’t keen on is the stop-start system. We found it be somewhat annoying as the engine wouldn’t always shut off, despite our foot planted firmly on the brake pedal. We mostly left it off for the majority of the week. As for the nine-speed automatic, it has been cleaned up for the most part. Gone is the shuddering we experienced in our first Cherokee, replaced by smooth and crisp shifts. Still, the transmission was very hesitant to go into ninth gear. We drove about 50 miles on the freeway at a 70 MPH cruise to see if it would go into ninth and no luck. At least, the ride is smooth and refined, even with the off-road tires. The big problem for the Cherokee Trailhawk is the price. The base model will set you back $30,395. Our test Trailhawk with a few options such as the V6, navigation, and a couple of other packages to reach an as-tested price of $36,869. That is a lot of money for a small crossover. But considering the number of changes to make the Trailhawk a very capable model, we think that for some folks who want the capability of something like a Wrangler, but with a bit more comfort should give this model a look. Everyone else should stick with the Latitude or Altitude models. 2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder (184 Horsepower, 185 Pound-Feet of Torque) Six-Speed Automatic Base/As-Tested: $26,465/$28,835 Cheers: Improved Dash Makes Huge Difference, New Infotainment System, Performance and Fuel Economy, Excellent Handling Jeers: Road and Wind Noise are still in abundance Notes: It seems every time we get into the CX-5, Mazda has done some sort of change to it. The last time we drove a CX-5, it came with the new 2.5L version of the Skyactiv-G four-cylinder. The 2016 model fixes two of the biggest complaints we had in previous CX-5’s; the plain dashboard and poor infotainment system. We’ll start with the dash. First seen in the 2016 Mazda6, the dashboard looks more premium thanks to improved materials and new shapes. The new dash also brings in Mazda Connect, the latest infotainment system. This system is a huge improvement over the old system in terms of overall performance and usability. We didn’t have the issue of the navigation system showing you traveling on a different than the one you were on like we did in the 6. The CX-5 is still a joy to drive thanks to the 2.5L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder providing more than enough power for any situation and the chassis that provides superb handling in the corners. One issue we hope Mazda addresses in the future is noise isolation. There is still an abundance of wind and road noise entering the cabin. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 shows the continual improvement that the Japanese automaker has been doing is making it a better vehicle. 2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve Dual VVT-i V6 (268 Horsepower, 248 Pound-Feet of Torque) Six-Speed Automatic Base/As-Tested: $36,080/$37,130 Cheers: Stylish Look, Powerful V6, Upscale Interior, Excellent Fuel Economy Jeers: Sporty ride may turn off some buyers Notes: I came away very impressed when I drove the Avalon Hybrid a couple years ago. The combination of sharp styling, sporty ride, and amazing fuel economy made me pick this as one of my favorite vehicles of that year. But would the regular Avalon receive the same praise? Mostly. The Avalon is still one the sharpest looking full-size sedans with a low-slung front end, narrow grille, and coupe-like roofline. The interior is much the same as the hybrid with loads of space for both front and rear seat passengers, comfortable leather seats, and a impressive design with quality materials used throughout. Unlike the hybrid, our XLE Touring came with the smaller seven-inch Entune infotainment system. It still is easy to use and quick to respond whenever you touch the screen or one of the capacitive touch buttons. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 which is used in a number of other Toyota and Lexus products. Horsepower is rated at 268 and torque is rated at 248 pound-feet. The engine is quite a peach as speed comes on at a very quick rate. But the engine is also quiet during acceleration, making a perfect highway companion. In the corners, the Avalon displays a level of athleticism not seen in other full-size sedans. Body roll is kept in check and the steering provides decent weight. This does mean the Avalon isn’t as comfortable as competitors as some bumps do make their way into the interior. Disclaimer: Acura, Jeep, Mazda, and Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
  3. We knew when Acura was going to launch the NSX, it would come with a hefty price tag. We were not surprised when the announcement came down that the 2017 NSX would have a starting price of $167,500 (includes an $1,800 destination charge). A fully loaded model will set you back $207,500. The NSX packs a twin-turbo V6 paired with a set of electric motors that produce a total output of 573 horsepower. This is paired to a nine-speed automatic and Acura's SH-AWD system. Acura says ordering will begin on February 25th, along with an online configurator to see what you can customize on a NSX. Acura also announced that NSX VIN 001 will go up for auction at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction in January. Proceeds will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 Acura Shares Details of Next-Generation Acura NSX Sales Plan 2017 Acura NSX U.S. MSRP set at $156,000 First 2017 NSX to be auctioned for charity at Barrett-Jackson in January Online configurator and customer order taking to begin Feb. 25 TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2015) – Acura today announced additional launch details for the next-generation 2017 Acura NSX supercar, coming to market next spring, including pricing and the order taking process. Acura also revealed plans to auction off the very first serial production NSX, VIN 001, at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. the last week of January 2016. All proceeds from the auction sale will go to a pair of children's charities: the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground, the passion project of Grammy Award-winning artist Zac Brown. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the 2017 Acura NSX will have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)1 of $156,000 in the U.S. and will top out at $205,700 when equipped with all available factory features and options1. As Acura's first build-to-order vehicle, customers will be able to design their NSX by selecting one of eight rich exterior colors and four interior color schemes available in three different seating surface options. Customers can further customize their NSX through several exterior and interior features including three wheel designs with painted or polished finish, carbon-ceramic brake options, a carbon fiber interior sport package, carbon fiber roof, and more. "The NSX is the pinnacle expression of Acura precision crafted performance and we're thrilled to take the next step toward bringing it to market," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. "We're creating new space within the supercar realm, pushing the envelope beyond the conventional thinking about supercars – just like the original NSX." Customer order taking for the new NSX will begin on Feb. 25, 2016 at authorized NSX retailers, in concert with the launch of a vehicle configurator on Acura.com. The configurator will be the first engagement point for customers interested in exploring the process of ordering a vehicle from an authorized NSX retailer and enthusiasts who want to configure their dream NSX. Once customers have customized their vehicle online, they can schedule an appointment with an authorized NSX retailer to finalize the order. The 2017 NSX will be the first all-new Acura vehicle to be auctioned for the benefit of charitable organizations – certified to be the very first serial production NSX. The winner will be able to customize their NSX to their choosing. "The very first production NSX will be such a special and historic vehicle, so we wanted to make sure we treat the sale of it in an equally special way," said Ikeda. "It will be available for purchase by anyone – anyone that is, who submits the highest bid for VIN number 001 at the world famous Barrett-Jackson auction. And we're pleased to be able to support two incredible children's charities, Camp Southern Ground and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, with the NSX."
  4. Acura has been lost in the woods for a few years. The combination of out-there designs and lagging somewhat behind competitors in terms of powertrains and technologies caused sales to drop precipitously. Only Acura’s crossovers, the MDX and RDX, seemingly kept the company afloat. But when the automaker revealed the NSX concept a few years ago, it seemed like they were beginning to get their priorities straight. From there, Acura began to change and rejuvenate their lineup. One of the interesting decision Acura made was to replace two sedans, the TSX and TL, with one. The result is the 2015 TLX. So can one sedan take the place of two? Acura appears to have to learn its lesson that sometimes going over the top in terms of design does more harm than good. The overall look of the TLX is very similar to the larger RLX sedan. The front end gets a toned-down version of Acura’s shield grille along with a set of jewel-eye headlights. Towards the back is a distinctive trunk lid and taillights that extend to the rear quarter panels. Paired with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, the TLX might be Acura’s best effort in a while to design a handsome vehicle. In terms of interiors, Acura appears to be taking some ideas from the Germans. The TLX boasts a lot more soft-touch materials than either the TL or TSX, along with a combination of metal and wood trim. The seats in our TLX came wrapped in a brown leather which adds a nice touch of class. Front seats come with ten-way power adjustments, allowing you to find a comfortable position. The back offers more than enough head and legroom for even tall passengers. One area that Acura is still falling short on is the infotainment. In our TLX tester, we had the dual-screen AcuraLink infotainment system. The top screen is where the navigation and audio information reside, while the bottom screen is where you control the audio and climate. This system is flawed on many levels. To start, the bottom screen doesn’t provide enough information to what you are listening to. The navigation system is looking very dated compared other competitors, and there is a separate set of controls for that system alone. Also, I noticed a bit of slowness when changing presets on the radio or making adjustments for the climate system. Acura should just throw this current incarnation of AcuraLink and begin anew. In terms of power, the TLX comes with the choice of two engines. The base is a 2.4L with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet. The four-cylinder comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the V6 boasts a nine-speed automatic. The TLX is standard with front-wheel drive no matter which engine you choose. But if you want Acura’s Super Handling-All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, you’ll need to jump up to the V6. Our TLX tester came equipped with the V6 and SH-AWD. Despite the what numbers say about the V6, it doesn’t feel powerful at first. The engine takes a moment to wake up, leaving you with some sluggish performance. But once the engine fully wakes up, power comes on effortlessly. We can’t say if this behavior is due to a lazy throttle, the nine-speed automatic, or both. Aside from this odd behavior, the V6 is very refined and has a nice engine note the higher you climb in the rev range. The nine-speed automatic to put it bluntly is a mess. The transmission is very slow when it comes to gear changes and when it does, there is a noticeable clunk. The SH-AWD system might be the TLX’s trump card. This system boasts torque-vectoring tech to help the vehicle in cornering. This system shows its strength in tight corners when you are powering out and the system is able to send power to the rear wheels, reducing the amount of understeer. As for fuel economy, the TLX V6 SH-AWD is rated at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined by the EPA. My average for the week landed at 24.2 MPG. In terms of the how TLX behaves on the road depends on the drive mode that is engaged. These modes are, Eco: Changes behavior of the transmission to go into the highest get to improve fuel economy Normal: Provides a balance between Eco and Sport Sport: Locks out higher gears to improve engine response Sport+: Sharpens throttle response and gives the steering a bit more weight For most situations, leaving the TLX in Normal or Eco provides a nice balance between performance and driveability. These two modes also highlights one the TLX’s plus points, a smooth ride quality. Bumps and ruts don’t upset passengers sitting in the TLX. Another plus point is how quiet the interior is with barely any wind and road noise. Put the TLX into either Sport or Sport+ and it transforms. The suspension minimizes the amount of body roll and the chassis feels very solid in the corners. Steering has good weight, but some drivers will want a bit more feel. The Acura TLX shows the company is beginning to head in the right direction. Replacing two sedans with one is a mighty tall order, but Acura was able to pull it off with an impressive list of luxury features and balanced driving characteristics. But the V6 version still has some teething issues such as a poor throttle response and an automatic transmission that needs to go back to the engineering department to fix some of the refinement issues. If you don’t need or want the all-wheel drive, then you should really check the four-cylinder version of the TLX as it seems to be the well-rounded of the two powertrains on offer. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the TLX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Acura Model: TLX Trim: V6 SH-AWD with Advance Package Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve, SOHC i-VTEC V6 Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6200 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25 Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs Location of Manufacture: Marysville, Ohio Base Price: $44,800 As Tested Price: $45,720 (Includes $920 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  5. The long wait for the Acura NSX continues. Automobile reports that Acura has pushed back production from this fall to next Spring due to a change in engine layout. The original plan was to use a naturally-aspirated V6 for the vehicle, but it was decided to add turbochargers to the engine. This has caused Acura to build a bespoke twin-turbo V6 and change the engine layout to a longitudinal configuration. This delay puts the transformation from the NSX being a concept car to production car at about four years. One item that is still up in the air is when the Acura NSX will go on sale. Jon Ikeda, Acura VP and general manager tells the magazine that meeting with dealers in October will hold the answer. Source: Automobile
  6. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an urgent warning to owners of certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura model to stop driving them due to these models being equipped with Takata airbags. Lab tests done by NHTSA revealed that the airbag inflator in these vehicles have a 50 percent chance of the bag rupturing, causing metal shards to enter the interior and possibly injuring or even killing a person. "With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately. Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The vehicles involved include, 2001-2002 Honda Accord 2001-2002 Honda Civic 2002 Honda CR-V 2002 Honda Odyssey 2003 Honda Pilot 2002-2003 Acura 3.2 TL 2003 Acura 3.2CL According to NHTSA, there 313,000 vehicles that need to have their airbags replaced. One of the main causes for the rupturing is moisture getting inside the inflator. Vehicles in high humid areas such as Florida are susceptible to this. In a statement, Honda agreed with NHTSA's findings and urged owners to get their vehicles to a dealer as soon as possible. Source: Reuters, NHTSA Press Release is on Page 2 NHTSA: New test data on particular subset of Takata air bag inflators shows substantially higher risk NHTSA calls on news media and public to assist in finding unrepaired high-risk vehicles WASHINGTON – New test data on a particular subset of defective Takata air bag inflators in certain model-year 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air bag deployment, prompting an urgent call from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that unrepaired vehicles in this population are found and fixed before they cause further injuries or fatalities. “With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.” The higher-risk inflators are in certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles: 2001-2002 Honda Civic 2001-2002 Honda Accord 2002-2003 Acura TL 2002 Honda CR-V 2002 Honda Odyssey 2003 Acura CL 2003 Honda Pilot The air bag inflators in these particular vehicles contain a manufacturing defect which greatly increases the potential for dangerous rupture when a crash causes the air bag to deploy. Ruptures are far more likely in inflators in vehicles that have spent significant periods of time in areas of high absolute humidity—particularly Florida, Texas, other parts of the Gulf Coast, and Southern California. Testing of the inflators from these vehicles show rupture rates as high as 50 percent in a laboratory setting. The vehicles in question were recalled between 2008 and 2011. Honda has reported that more than 70 percent of this higher-risk population of vehicles has already been repaired, but approximately 313,000 vehicles with this very dangerous defect remain unrepaired. The risk posed by the airbag inflators in these vehicles is grave, and it is critical they be repaired now to avoid more deaths and serious injuries. NHTSA and Honda are asking for the news media and public’s assistance to find the remaining unrepaired vehicles. Drivers of these vehicles should immediately visit SaferCar.gov to check whether their vehicle has any outstanding safety recalls. Those that do should contact their nearest dealer to schedule a no-cost immediate repair. Replacement parts for these vehicles are available immediately. “The air bag inflators in this particular group of vehicles pose a grave danger to drivers and passengers that must be fixed right away,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. "Drivers should visit SaferCar.gov or contact their local dealer to check whether their vehicle is affected. If it is, they should have the vehicle repaired immediately for free at an authorized dealer. We commend Honda for taking additional actions to get these vehicles repaired.” Though the vehicles are already under recall, NHTSA ordered Takata to perform additional ballistic testing following recent reports of ruptures. Eight of the 10 confirmed U.S. fatalities due to Takata ruptures — including the most recent in Fort Bend County, Texas — were in this population of vehicles. Honda has committed to immediately taking additional actions to enhance their efforts to find and fix recalled vehicles. Honda will provide additional information about their efforts. NHTSA has also directed Honda to report weekly on the progress of vehicle repairs. NHTSA is also expanding its own direct consumer outreach, including a paid media campaign and a series of outreach events in high-risk areas this summer. NHTSA has also engaged the vehicle insurance industry to help locate the unremedied vehicles.
  7. When Acura showed off the Precision Concept back in January, they said the concept's design would "literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products." Well brace yourselves as the first vehicle with this new design language has debuted at New York - the 2017 MDX. Up front is the most prominent change, the “Diamond Pentagon Grille” with an extra-large Acura emblem. It looks very odd. Aside from this, the MDX also gets a sculpted hood, new fenders, and twin tailpipes. The 2017 model also boasts a new Sport Hybrid powertrain. A 3.0L V6 is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with an integrated electric motor to power the front wheels. The back gets two electric motors drives the rear wheels and provides torque vectoring. Total output stands at 325 horsepower, up 35 horsepower from the standard 3.5L V6. Acura says the MDX Sport Hybrid should get 25 mpg in the City/26 Highway/25 Combined. Acura has also improved the MDX's safety credentials with the AcuraWatch suite becoming standard. AcuraWatch includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and more. Acura says the 2017 MDX arrives at dealers this summer, with the Sport Hybrid arriving at a later date. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 Refreshed 2017 Acura MDX Makes World Debut in New York with Bold New Styling, Upgraded Features and Sport Hybrid Powertrain Mar 23, 2016 - NEW YORK 2017 MDX showcases new diamond pentagon grille first seen on the Acura Precision Concept New Sport Hybrid powertrain delivers the ultimate in power and control while gaining 35 horsepower and anticipated to add 7 mpg to city fuel economy rating AcuraWatch™ safety and driver assist technology to be offered as standard equipment on all 2017 MDX models Acura today unveiled the restyled and refreshed 2017 MDX luxury SUV featuring bold new styling, added luxury features and available Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) powertrain technology. The 2017 Acura MDX will be equipped with AcuraWatch™ on all grades, making MDX the first luxury SUV in its class to offer these advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features. The 2017 MDX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide this summer and will be joined by the MDX Sport Hybrid later in the year. Showcasing the new face of Acura, the restyled 2017 MDX is highlighted by the bold and distinctive diamond pentagon grille, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January. The new Acura grille is integrated with a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders coupled with new LED fog lights and restyled Jewel Eye™ headlights, which enhance the MDX's distinctive and sporting demeanor. A new chrome rocker panel design adds an element of contrast to the MDX's profile, while a revised rear bumper, body colored skid garnish and the addition of twin tailpipes further emphasizes the performance character of the 2017 Acura MDX. "Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "These changes will continue to advance MDX's competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time." All 2017 MDX models benefit from increased standard luxury and technology features, including an Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio® 2.0 and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Technology and Advance packages add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Advance models can also be equipped with two second-row captain's chairs and a center console with two additional USB ports, replacing the three-person second-row seating found on lower grades. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package. MDX Sport Hybrid The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is the third model to feature Acura's innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the Acura NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan to deliver the ultimate in power and control. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels. Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power application. Peak powertrain output of 325 horsepower is up 35 horsepower over the non-hybrid model. The MDX Sport Hybrid is anticipated to receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined), an estimated 7-mpg city fuel economy rating increase over the (non-hybrid) MDX with SH-AWD. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will be available with Technology and Advance packages. Both add a new Active Sport Suspension that delivers improved ride quality, handling performance and is integrated with the Integrated Dynamics System featuring the dynamic modes of Comfort, Normal and Sport, and exclusive to Sport Hybrid models, a new Sport+ mode. AcuraWatch Standard All 2017 MDX models receive the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. Moreover, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane. The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time and Acura's best-selling SUV, with sales topping 50,000 units in each of the past three years. The 2017 MDX was designed by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, Calif., developed and engineered at the R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, and will continue to be produced at the company's Lincoln, Ala. auto plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. In early 2017, an additional production source for MDX will be added at the East Liberty, Ohio auto plant.
  8. As Honda/Acura begin production of the NSX, talk has sprung up about doing a more extreme version. Nick Robinson, Dynamic Development Leader on the NSX told Autocar there are a number of folks who want Honda to do a Type R version as it would continue the revival of the company’s sporting heritage. Robinson was quick to point out that Honda hasn't approved anything at the moment. What would an NSX Type R look like? It would be lighter than your standard NSX to begin with. A key item that could be removed is the NSX's hybrid powertrain. Not only would it remove a fair amount of weight, but it also would make it rear-wheel drive. There could also be the use of lightweight materials. “There are places weight could be cut out. We are Honda so cost [of exotic materials on the regular car] is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?” said Robinson. Robinson also mentioned that a convertible version of the NSX is likely to follow. Source: Autocar
  9. New York was the place Acura chose to introduce the production version of the 2015 TLX and no surprise, it looks the prototype that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. The overall design reminds us more the ILX than the RLX, which in our view isn't a good thing at all. Compared to the TL and TSX which it replaces, the TLX is about 3.8 inches shorter than the TL and 4.6 inches longer than the TSX. Inside, Acura has fitted the TLX with much more premium materials such as a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel cover, alloy and wood-grain trim, and available Milano leather seats. The center stack features Acura's dual screen infotainment. As powertrains, the base is a new 2.4L four-cylinder with direct-injection producing 206 horsepower and paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower paired with a new nine-speed automatic. Both the 2.4 and 3.5 come with front-wheel drive and Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The 3.5 can be optioned with the latest generation of the company's super handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). The 2015 TLX arrives at dealers later this year. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Acura TLX Unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show - Two new, high-performance engines backed by new 8- and 9-speed transmissions - Most advanced dynamic package ever offered by Acura - Sophisticated design, premium refinement and extensive luxury appointments Acura today unveiled the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Developed under the theme of Red Carpet Athlete, the all-new TLX is designed to deliver a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium luxury refinement. "Harnessing the exhilarating power of new engines, new highly-efficient transmissions and next-generation dynamics technology – blended perfectly with impeccable style and luxury – the TLX will deliver a thrill like no other," said Mike Accavitti, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Acura. "Both the considerable performance capabilities of the TLX and the serious energy and resources brought to the brand from the newly dedicated Acura team herald the start of a new era for Acura." To achieve its dual mission of even sharper sports-sedan performance and increased luxury refinement, the TLX employs a host of new advanced powertrain and super-handling technologies. Powering the 2015 TLX are two Acura exclusive, high-output direct-injected i-VTEC® engines, a 2.4-liter 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine producing 206-horsepower1 mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (8DCT) with torque converter; and a 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 delivering 290-horsepower2 mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT). For handling prowess, the TLX features the latest iterations of Acura super-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and Agile Handling Assist (AHA). These new technologies, in combination with its all-new body and chassis design, make the TLX the most dynamically advanced Acura ever produced; quick and responsive in sporty driving, stable and sure-footed in emergency maneuvers, and calm and quiet during long-distance cruising. The TLX's new chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies are wrapped in a lithe new exterior design with taut body surfaces, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its more compact sports-sedan proportions. Luxury exterior features include Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models. The spacious five-passenger interior of the TLX provides a high degree of refinement, luxury and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain design accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and trim. The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI). The TLX was also designed to appeal to a broader cross-section of luxury sports-sedan customers with a wider range of powertrain and drivetrain options. There are three distinct TLX model offerings that carry a long list of standard luxury comfort, convenience and safety features. All TLX models can be upgraded to the Technology Package and the V-6 models are available with the line-topping Advance Package. The 2015 Acura TLX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide later this year. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch. Design and Packaging For sports-sedan dynamic capabilities the 2015 TLX is 3.8-inches shorter in overall length than the 2014 TL while maintaining the same wheelbase and tandem (front-to-rear) passenger-seating distance. The TLX's front and rear overhangs are also shorter by 3.8-inches in total compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX engineers worked diligently to make the TLX lighter, incorporating a wide range of high strength steel and lightweight materials in the design. As an example, the TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 Technology Package model has a curb weight just under 3600 pounds, about 145 pounds lighter than the TL Technology Package model. Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models, lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. It's LED lighting theme carries through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination. The TLX also features a new 60/40-split folding rear seatback for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a new trunk design featuring a wider and deeper opening, a lower lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two new hidden underfloor storage compartments (Advance pkg.). Interior The TLX's spacious five-passenger interior is designed and engineered to underscore the "Red Carpet Athlete" development theme of the new TLX, providing a high degree of refinement, luxury comfort and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and interior trim. An abundance of luxury features and technologies are available on the TLX, including heated and ventilated front seats, HomeLink®, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Smart Entry/Push Button Start keyless access system, Acura Navigation System with 3D view, and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting. A 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touch screen, located in the center console, controls these and other features, and, with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing instrument panel clutter. Also featured on the TLX is the next-generation AcuraLink®, Acura's cloud-based connected car system, offering Acura owners a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and available security features. All TLX models also come equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that, when paired with a compatible iPhone, allows the driver to control functions using familiar voice commands. Additional standard and available luxury features include one-touch turn signals and power windows, power driver and front passenger seats, GPS-linked automatic climate control, Color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio®, Pandora® and Aha™ integration and USB connectivity. In keeping with Acura's commitment to delivering a world-class audio experience, the TLX can be equipped with a 455-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System, engineered specifically for the TLX by legendary recording engineer Elliot Scheiner. TLX models featuring the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine utilize the advanced Electronic Gear Selector, using an intuitive push-button array in place of a traditional gear lever, freeing up center-console space while presenting a premium futuristic appearance. All TLX models incorporate the Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, which retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic or on steep hills. New TLX Powertrains At the heart of the TLX's athletic sports-sedan performance capabilities are two new powertrains, utilizing direct-injection, V-TEC or i-VTEC valvetrains with Variable Timing Control (VTC) or Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and low-friction technologies to deliver higher output, more linear and responsive power delivery and anticipated class-leading fuel-economy ratings. The direct-injected 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC in-line 4 produces a peak 206 horsepower1 and 182 lb.-ft. of torque4. The engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter, the world's first DCT to be paired with a torque converter on a production vehicle. The DCT, with its closely spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic rev-matching downshifts, gives the 2.4-liter TLX an aggressively sporting yet refined feel. The torque converter provides exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a conventional DCT cannot match. The new transmission also features Sequential SportShift. The direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), with the ability to deactivate three of the engine's six cylinders, for improved fuel efficiency. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine produces a peak 290 horsepower2 and 267 lb.-ft. of torque5, gains of 10 horsepower and 13 lb.-ft. versus the 2014 TL 3.5-liter engine. The engine is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift. The new 9-speed unit is substantially lighter than the 6-speed automatic in the outgoing TL, with a wider overall ratio range and more closely spaced individual gear ratios to enhance both performance and fuel efficiency. No competitive vehicle in the segment offers as many transmission ratios. The TLX SH-AWD also incorporates a model-exclusive idle-stop capability for improved fuel efficiency. And a new 28-volt Active Control engine mount significantly reduces engine vibration during restarts. The TLX equipped with the 2.4-liter engine has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 24/35/283 mpg city/hwy/combined. The TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/34/253 mpg (+1 city/+5 highway versus the two-wheel-drive 2014 TL). The TLX SH-AWD has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/31/253 (+3 city/+5 highway versus the 2014 TL SH-AWD). Acura Precision-Handling Technologies Two-wheel-drive TLX models, with either the 2.4-liter or 3.5-liter engine, come equipped with the latest iteration of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). This new P-AWS system was integrated into the fundamental chassis design from the earliest stages of development, allowing engineers to take full advantage of its independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance handling precision, maneuverability and stability. The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically controlled version of Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). This next-generation SH-AWD system is 25 percent lighter and friction is reduced. The new rear-drive unit is constantly overdriven by 2.7-percent (compared to 1.7 percent on the previous system), with a greater torque-vectoring effect across a broader spectrum of driving situations, further enhancing cornering capability at lower speeds and in tighter-radius corners. Near-limit and emergency maneuvering capabilities of both the P-AWS and SH-AWD models are further enhanced by the use of Agile Handling Assist (AHA), which utilizes the TLX's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and premium 6-piston brake modulator to create a yaw moment (a vehicle turning force), helping the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line with smaller steering-wheel inputs. AHA stabilizes the car earlier than conventional VSA, resulting in more agile and engaging dynamic performance in everyday driving conditions. All TLX models also feature the latest development of Acura's Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which allows drivers to customize their driving experience through four selectable modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Depending on the setting, IDS will adjust power-steering effort, throttle response, transmission shift logic, HVAC system operation, active sound control and the control logic for either the P-AWS or SH-AWD systems. The new Sport+ mode, a first for Acura, unlocks the full performance potential of the TLX with the most aggressive settings in all areas. Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies The TLX also advances Acura's reputation for delivering cutting-edge safety and driver-assistive technologies. The TLX incorporates a new cooperative monocular camera and millimeter wave radar system that expands both the fidelity and scope of the vehicle's road-sensing capabilities. This fusion of camera and radar technology underpins the TLX's available Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM, which can now provide enhanced car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian collision mitigation while also enhancing the capabilities of the Adaptive Cruise Control. The TLX is the first Acura vehicle to deploy a new Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system included with the Advance Package. RDM uses the monocular camera to recognize painted lane lines, Botts' Dots and Cat Eye markers to determine lane boundaries. When the vehicle's current travelling direction would cause it to stray from a detected lane, the system warns the driver and assists by applying corrective steering input, and if required, braking force to help the driver maintain their current lane. Additional standard and available driver-assistive features include Blind Spot Information (BSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Expanded View Driver's Side Mirror, Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and new Cross Traffic Monitor. The TLX also employs Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, along with advanced supplemental restraint systems – including front, side, side-curtain and driver's-knee airbags – to provide a high level of occupant protection in a wide spectrum of collision scenarios. The TLX is anticipated to earn a Five-star Overall Vehicle Score in the NHTSA's NCAP safety ratings, and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. All-New TLX Body and Chassis The TLX is built on an all-new platform (body and chassis) that was designed from the ground up to support and enhance the vehicle's outstanding driving dynamics, luxury-sedan refinement, class-leading fuel efficiency and high-level collision safety. The chassis features a newly designed four-wheel independent suspension system – McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear – with revised geometry and new Amplitude Reactive Dampers for improved ride comfort and handling performance. New Motion-Adaptive Electronic Power Steering delivers a high level of steering precision and responsiveness while aiding fuel efficiency. It also works cooperatively with the vehicle's VSA traction-control system to help the driver maintain vehicle control in slippery road conditions. The TLX's unit body utilizes advanced lightweight materials, including ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum (hood, bumper beams and front subframe) and magnesium (steering hangar beam and engine mount), to minimize weight while providing for a high degree of rigidity that benefits both dynamic performance and occupant safety. Also incorporated into the body is the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) frontal body structure, and a new one-piece, hot-stamped-steel door stiffener ring, similar to the design first applied on the 2014 Acura MDX. The new, sleeker body design is also optimized for class-leading aerodynamic efficiency and boasts a 15 percent improvement in Cd.A versus the outgoing TL. In their effort to significantly reduce the intrusion of wind, road and engine noise into the cabin, Acura engineers paid special attention to body sealing, reducing open air paths by 50 percent compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX is also the first Acura to utilize acoustic spray foam, which is applied in 10 critical locations throughout the body. Additional noise-reduction features include triple door seals, the expanded application of body sealing and sound absorptive materials, an acoustic glass windshield, and electronic Active Noise Control (ANC).
  10. At one time, Acura was a shining star in the automotive world. Thanks to impressive quality and a fun to drive quotient that many luxury automakers couldn't match at the time, Acura seemed it was going places. But in recent years, Acura has been a bit of a rut. Odd designs, complicated interior layouts, and trying to convince buyers that they're on the same level as Mercedes-Benz and BMW hasn't played in their favor. But Honda hopes to change that. This week, the company announced that Acura and Honda would be separated into their own divisions. Taking charge at the Acura division will be Michael Accavitti, who is currently Senior Vice President for Auto Operations at American Honda. Jeff Conrad, head of Acura sales becomes the head for Honda. The two will report to John Mendel, executive vice president of what is now called the Automobile Sales Division. "Our goal is to accelerate the already strong sales growth of the Honda and Acura brands through a more cohesive strategy, with a heightened focus on the unique needs of luxury and mainstream customers. These moves will more completely align the major activities for the Honda and Acura brands under dedicated brand leaders to take advantage of new opportunities in the marketplace with greater speed and efficiency," said John Mendel. Source: Honda William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 American Honda Strengthens Auto Sales Division to Accelerate Sales Growth of Honda and Acura Brands 03/10/2014 - TORRANCE, CA American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will strategically realign its automobile sales and marketing operations into separate divisions organized by brand, as the Honda Division and Acura Division. The moves, effective April 1, are intended to create greater clarity and more cohesive sales and marketing plans that are right for the products and customers of each brand. In conjunction with the strategy, the following executive changes were announced: Michael Accavitti will become senior vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. In his new role, Accavitti will be responsible for all sales, marketing and parts and service business for the Acura brand. Accavitti joined Honda in 2011, and is currently the senior vice president of Auto Operations, which includes responsibility for national marketing for the Honda and Acura brands. Jeff Conrad will become senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. Conrad will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities for the Honda brand. Conrad joined American Honda in 1982, and is currently the vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. American Honda automotive operations have long been separated by function rather than by brand. These moves will result in exclusive divisions, with dedicated sales and marketing teams for Honda and for Acura. Both brands will be housed under a single "American Honda Auto Division" to be headed by John Mendel, executive vice president of what is now called the Automobile Sales Division. "Our goal is to accelerate the already strong sales growth of the Honda and Acura brands through a more cohesive strategy, with a heightened focus on the unique needs of luxury and mainstream customers," said Mendel. "These moves will more completely align the major activities for the Honda and Acura brands under dedicated brand leaders to take advantage of new opportunities in the marketplace with greater speed and efficiency." Further, the strategy behind the creation of the Acura Division coincides with the recently announced establishment of a new Acura Business Planning Office, also effective April 1. This new entity will focus on strengthening the business and product strategies for the Acura brand. Erik Berkman, currently president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., will become an executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc., and will lead the Acura Business Planning Office. "The realignment strategy that has created a new Acura Division reflects our growing commitment and the increased level of resources and leadership we are focusing on the Acura brand on a global basis," said Mendel. In addition to steady sales growth for the Honda and Acura brands in each of the past two years, both brands will continue to introduce new models in 2014. This spring, Honda will launch the all-new 2015 Honda Fit, to be followed later this year by an all-new compact Honda SUV. The Acura brand will introduce the all-new 2015 Acura TLX luxury performance sedan by mid-year. "The best time to make a change is when you're in a position of strength and we are not only coming off a great sales year, we are continuing to create new opportunities with a series of new and exciting Honda and Acura models," said Mendel. American Honda enjoyed near record automobile sales of 1,525,312 vehicles in 2013, the second best sales total in company history. Sales of Honda brand cars and trucks totaled 1,359,876 vehicles, an increase of 7.4 percent. Honda was led by the success of core models, with the Honda CR-V posting all-time record sales in 2013 to rank as the top-selling SUV in America, the Civic ranking as the top-selling compact car, the Odyssey ranking as the top-selling minivan, and Accord ranking as the best-selling car in America with individual car-buyers. Sales of Acura brand cars and trucks totaled 165,436 vehicles, an increase of 5.9 percent, and its best sales total since 2007. Further, sales of the Acura MDX and RDX in 2013 combined to achieve Acura's best sales year ever for light trucks.
  11. American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura told reporters at Tokyo Motor Show in November that his biggest challenge is Acura. Sadly, it's easy to see why Iwamura says this. Most of Acura's lineup are either half-baked ideas or showing their age. Even with those issues, sales for the brand were up 5.9 percent at the end of 2013. Thats thanks to Acura's refreshed SUV lineup which includes the MDX and RDX. These two models made up 59 percent of Acura's total sales for 2013. This begs the question of what is the automaker doing right with their SUVs. To find out, I spent a week with the 2014 Acura MDX. There are two ways to describe the 2014 MDX's design. Its either a last-generation MDX that has been smoothed over or the RDX hit with an enlarging ray. Either way, the MDX's design is not as polarizing as the last-generation model which in my eyes is a very good thing. The front end still has the bread-slicer/bucktooth grille, although a bit toned down. There is also a set of jewel-eye headlights sitting on either side of the grille. There is some RDX influence in the back as the two models have a similarly styled tailgate. Moving inside, Acura has made massive improvements to the MDX. The most noticeable one is the center stack. With the previous-generation MDX and a few other Acura models, the center stack was filled to brim with buttons to control the climate control and infotainment system. Trying to find the button for the certain function you wanted was a nightmare. To solve the button overload, Acura is using a dual screen setup. There is a seven-inch touchscreen on the bottom that features haptic-feedback and an eight-inch screen that is controlled by a knob at the bottom of the stack. This setup is very easy to use since Acura made the interface very understandable and has kept certain buttons and knobs. But Acura's setup isn't all flying colors. For example; if you want to enter an address into the navigation system, you have to use the knob and top screen to enter it. There is no option to punch in the address on the lower touchscreen which would be much easier. Also, do I really need to see my presets on both screens when changing a station?! This new setup shows Acura going in the right direction, but it needs some more work. Aside from the center stack improvements, the 2014 MDX really shows a step up in design and materials. The interior is appointed with leather and wood trim throughout making it feel very special. Comfort is up as well with supportive seats and loads of head and legroom. There is a third row, but its best reserve for small kids or folded into the floor. See the next page for impressions on the powertrain and handling. A peek under the MDX's hood reveals a brand new 3.5L Earth Dreams V6 with variable cylinder management. The engine is rated 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of either front-wheel or Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). While the 2014 MDX is down 10 horsepower and 3 pound-feet when compared to the 2013 model, the engine is more than powerful to handle it. This comes down to two things. One is that the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the outgoing model thanks to new platform which is comprised of high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium. The other reason comes down to the six-speed automatic which is lightning fast on up and downshifts to keep you right in the power. One other item of note: I had a front-wheel drive MDX and was worried that torque steer would be a problem. I can say that there were no signs of it at all with the MDX during the week. Well done Acura. The EPA rates the 2014 Acura MDX FWD at 20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. During my weeklong test, I hit the combined number. This is partly thanks to the variable cylinder management system which can cut the 3.5 V6 from running on six-cylinders to three. The Acura MDX was known for being a fun to drive crossover and the 2014 model continues that. Acura has fitted the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) which alters the electric power steering, throttle response, suspension, and even the engine note. There are three different settings to choose from; Comfort, Normal, and Sport. Put the MDX into Sport and it becomes a joy to drive. The steering and suspension firm up and make the MDX feel like a sports sedan and not a crossover. We Come In Peace.. Click to enlarge. Even more impressive was the balancing act Acura was able to do MDX's suspenion. Put IDS into Normal or Comfort and the MDX becomes a very relaxing crossover. The suspension softens up to provide a comfortable ride that is very capable of smoothing over bumps and imperfections. The MDX is also very quiet. Acura worked hard on improving the NVH levels on the MDX with such items as Active Noise Cancellation and special engine mounts. The 2014 Acura MDX is marked improvement over the previous model. Acura kept the items that worked on the MDX and focused on the areas that needed to be improved. With that mindset, the 2014 Acura MDX stands out as being one of the best luxury crossovers. That's my big takeaway with the 2014 Acura MDX. They focused on the parts which needed to be changed and kept what worked pretty much the same. If they can apply this to their other models, then maybe Acura can enjoy the sweet success all around. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Acura Model: MDX Trim: Tech Entertainment Engine: Earth Dreams 3.5L SOHC V-6 W/Direct-Injection Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/28/23 Curb Weight: 4,063 lbs Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama Base Price: $48,465.00 As Tested Price: $49,550.00 (Includes $985.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. Here is the model that will take the place of the Acura TL and TSX later this year. Meet the Acura TLX Prototype which debut at the Detroit Auto Show today. The TLX will slot in between the compact ILX and range-topping RLX, giving Acura three distinct sedans. Billed as a concept, the TLX Prototype is pretty much what we'll sell in production. The overall shape reminds us of the ILX and features the company's Jewel Eye headlights. Sizewise, the TLX is about 3.8 inches shorter than the TL. However the two models have the same wheelbase length of 109.3 inches. Powertrains will include a new direct-injected 2.4L four-cylinder and a direct-injected 3.5L V6 with cylinder deactivation. The 2.4L will come with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the 3.5L comes with a nine-speed automatic. The TLX will come with front-wheel drive as standard with Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system to improve agility and stability. On the V6, that will have the option of Acura's Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system. The 2015 Acura TLX will go on sale sometime later this year. Source: Acura William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 TLX Prototype – Acura's "Red Carpet Athlete" – Unveiled at 2014 North American International Auto Show Acura TLX Prototype Sets Design Direction for all-new Acura TLX launching mid-year; 2015 Acura TLX will deliver sports-sedan performance and agility in a more refined, sophisticated and technologically-enhanced package DETROIT, MI, Jan. 14, 2014 – Acura today unveiled the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype showcasing the design and performance direction for the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan launching mid-year at Acura dealerships nationwide. The TLX was developed around the theme"Red Carpet Athlete" to deliver a compelling blend of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism with exhilarating performance enhanced by next-generation Acura powertrain and dynamic handling technologies. The TLX will join the ILX compact luxury sedan and the RLX luxury performance sedan as the third vehicle in Acura's sedan lineup. "The Acura TLX Prototype is a precursor of some amazing things we have in store for our Acura sedan customers," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "As you would expect from an Acura, this completely new model will offer innovative technologies that break down the barriers between the driver and the machine to deliver a more intuitive, connected and personal driving experience." The TLX Prototype, bathed in Acura Athletic Red Pearl, presents a lithe exterior form, taut body surfaces and sports-sedan proportions. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its low and wide stance, shortened front and rear overhangs, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights imbue the TLX Prototype with an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. The prototype's custom-designed five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels and 265/35ZR20 low-profile tires accentuate its athletic stance, while the sculpted hood with its sharply creased bilateral ridgelines hints at the performance capabilities of the advanced new Acura powertrain that lies beneath. Another prototype-exclusive feature is the tailor-made side mirrors. Keying off of the Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, each mirror has a row of LED lights fused into its base. Click on the turn indictor, and the LEDs come to life, spreading a moving glow around the bottom of the mirror for a high-tech, 3D appearance. Dimensionally, the TLX Prototype presages the production 2015 TLX sedan and is 3.8 inches shorter in overall length (190.2 inches) than the current TL, yet rides on the same 109.3 inch wheelbase as the TL. The prototype's right-sized dimensions place the new TLX neatly in between the smaller ILX and larger RLX sedans. Despite its more compact exterior footprint, the TLX design targets the most spacious interior in the midsize luxury sedan class – roughly on par with the current TL – with an open and airy greenhouse, commanding sight lines, ample cargo capacity and comfortable seating for five adults. And like any truly world-class athlete, the TLX will pair power and efficiency with deft agility. With its low and wide stance, rigid yet lightweight body, and nimble and responsive chassis, the TLX is designed to deliver confident, precise and refined ride and handling performance in almost any driving situation. From low-stress urban commutes to relaxed long-distance cruising, or adrenaline-inducing runs down twisting country roads, the TLX is designed to be an intuitive and confidence-inspiring driving partner, a vehicle that epitomizes Acura's dynamic concept of "performance at the will of the driver." The 2015 TLX Prototype also communicates the diverse range of advanced technologies and performance options that will be available to Acura TLX customers – including two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations ; two high-performance, highly fuel-efficient new engines; two new advanced transmissions; and the next generation Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) dynamic performance and handling technologies. In keeping with the "Red Carpet Athlete" design and development concept, the 2015 TLX's advanced new powertrains will deliver highly responsive, refined and efficient power delivery. An all-new 2.4-liter 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine employs direct-injection and Acura's VTEC™ valvetrain, and is significantly lighter than previous Acura engines of similar configuration and displacement. The new engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter. This new 8-speed DCT takes full advantage of the 2.4-liter engine's broad power band, delivering incredibly quick and smooth gear changes, expertly matching engine revs on down shifts, and putting the power down in a responsive and intuitive way. For even greater power and performance, there is a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 that also employs direct injection and VTEC variable valve control and cam timing along with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) cylinder deactivation technology. The 3.5-liter V-6 is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission with closely spaced gear ratios and a wide overall ratio range to further extend engine performance and fuel efficiency. Both the 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter TLX models will target EPA fuel economy ratings at the top of the midsize luxury sedan class. Two-wheel-drive models with either the 2.4- or 3.5-liter powerplant will utilize the next generation of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™) technology with independent left and right rear wheel toe control. As four-wheel steering becomes an increasingly popular technology on high-performance automobiles, Acura continues to evolve and improve the capabilities of its cutting-edge P-AWS system, first launched on the RLX sedan in 2013, to deliver even more responsive handling, precise steering control and high-speed stability. The TLX SH-AWD™, available exclusively with the 3.5-liter V6 engine and 9-speed transmission, employs a new generation of Acura's signature Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ technology that is 25 percent lighter and incorporates new torque-vectoring control logic. Understanding that customization is a key component of luxury, the TLX will feature an Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) to allow for further personalization and a sportier driving experience. The four driving modes – ECON (Economy), Normal, Sport, and a new Sport+ mode – take full advantage of the TLX's high-performance capabilities. Depending on which mode the driver selects, the Integrated Dynamics System will adjust Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle response, SH-AWD and P-AWS control logic, transmission shift mapping, Active Noise Control settings and HVAC control in accordance with the preferences of the driver. Also in keeping with its luxury sedan status, the TLX was designed to deliver vault-like quietness in all driving conditions, with major improvements in noise reduction through enhancements to body stiffness, body sealing and sound insulation, and the application of electronic Active Noise Control. The TLX utilizes Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and is expected to achieve the highest available safety ratings – a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI). The TLX was designed and developed in the United States by Acura engineers working in the company's Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio new-vehicle development center. The new TLX will be produced using domestic and globally sourced parts at the company's award-winning Marysville, Ohio auto plant, which presently manufactures the 2014 Acura TL performance-luxury sedan.
  13. Honda is the latest automaker to announce their showings for next month's Detroit Auto Show. The company will be showing off the next Fit while Acura will be revealing a prototype of the new TLX, a model that will take the place of the TL and TSX. First up is the 2015 Honda Fit. Honda says the new model will retain the same innovative floorplan that allows for a huge cargo area while featuring a new set of technologies. Under the skin will be the brand's EarthDreams powertrain technologies and Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. Honda also revealed that the 2015 Fit will be made at a brand-new factory in Celaya, Mexico for the North American market. Meanwhile at Acura, they'll show off a prototype of the upcoming TLX sedan. The TLX is the next step in the automaker's plan to create a three-level sedan lineup, with the ILX as the base and the RLX as the flagship. The TLX will take the place of two Acura sedans, the TSX and TL. "This all-new Acura TLX is the perfect blend of style and muscle with its elegant, well-proportioned exterior that cloaks the true sport sedan chassis and powertrain beneath. The sporty characteristics that customers found appealing in the TSX are even more pronounced in this aggressive new TLX," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. The TLX will have two different engines and drivetrain choices. Production of the TLX will begin in the second half of the year. Source: Honda, Acura William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases are on Page 2 Honda to Debut All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show Big news in the New Year for the subcompact-car segment with the introduction of a from-the ground-up more advanced, refined and fun-to-drive Honda Fit TORRANCE, Calif. – Dec. 19, 2013 – Honda will take the wraps off the all-new 2015 Fit at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13. Honda will showcase significant advancements designed to further extend Fit's status as the benchmark vehicle in the subcompact-car class. The 2015 Fit builds on the current model's innovative packaging, flexible cargo capability and fun-to-drive character with spirited new styling, an even more spacious and refined interior packed with leading-edge connected car technologies. The third generation Fit is set to offer enhanced fuel-efficiency and performance courtesy of its all-new platform and Earth Dreams Technology powertrain. Equipped with the Honda-exclusive next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the new Fit is also anticipated to earn class-leading safety ratings. John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will introduce the 2015 Fit at the company's press conference, which also will be broadcast live via webcast at http://hondanews.com/live/2014naias-honda (link will be live Jan. 13). Named a Car and Driver '10-Best' vehicle every model year since its introduction to the U.S. market for 2007, the Fit remains one of the best-selling Honda vehicles globally, with cumulative worldwide sales of 4.87 million units1. The Fit is manufactured at ten locations around the world and sold in 123 countries. The new U.S.-market Fit will be produced for the first time in North America at an all-new plant in in Celaya, Mexico. 2015 Acura TLX Prototype to Debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show - Newly-named TLX will feature more dynamic and sporty proportions, two new advanced powertrains and a host of signature Acura technologies - TSX to be discontinued as Acura creates clear hierarchy for luxury sedan lineup TORRANCE, CA., Dec. 19, 2013 – Acura today announced that the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype performance luxury sedan will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The TLX will mark the debut of a new name for Acura's mid-size modern luxury sedan entry, replacing the outgoing TL model. The all-new model will feature more emotional styling with tidier, sports sedan proportions wrapped around two all-new advanced powertrains that provide even more athletic performance, along with a host of signature Acura technologies. The 2015 TLX Prototype is designed to appeal to current and next-generation luxury sports sedan buyers including existing TL and TSX customers. In conjunction with the launch of the production TLX in the second half of next year, Acura will discontinue sales of the TSX model in 2014, as it moves to clarify its sedan lineup with a clear hierarchy of three distinct models – the entry luxury ILX, mid-size TLX sports sedan, and flagship RLX performance sedan. "This all-new Acura TLX is the perfect blend of style and muscle with its elegant, well-proportioned exterior that cloaks the true sport sedan chassis and powertrain beneath," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "The sporty characteristics that customers found appealing in the TSX are even more pronounced in this aggressive new TLX." The all-new Acura TLX will offer luxury buyers a wider range of choices with two all-new, high-performance and highly fuel-efficient direct-injected engines, each mated to an all-new advanced transmission, along with available two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. The TLX will also feature dynamic and emotional exterior styling wrapped around a mid-size luxury sports-sedan package that maintains the roomy cabin space of the current TL. The TLX Prototype was designed in Acura's Los Angeles Design Studio and the production model is being developed by Acura engineers at the company's Ohio R&D center. It will be produced at the Marysville, Ohio auto plant1, home to the current Acura TL. Speaking at the Acura press conference at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 14, 2014 will be Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2013 Speaking with reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show a couple weeks ago, American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura said for him, "The big challenge is Acura. Acura has seen it sales increase six percent so far this year to 135,126 vehicles. However, the brand still trails in sales when compared to brands such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus. So what does Iwamura have in mind for Acura? To start, Iwamura wants to strengthen and grow Acura's presence in the U.S. and China, the two markets where the brand sells vehicles. To pull this off in the U.S., Acura needs to work on its sedans. Iwamura admits that sales of the ILX haven't been forming as well as the company expected and the RLX needs to do better. The hope is that upcoming RLX Sport Hybrid will bring in more customers. The big hope for Acura is the introduction of the new TLX sedan which will take the place of the TSX and TL sedans. The new model will be introduced sometime next year and will help Acura have three distinct sedans; a compact, mid-size, and full-size. One area that Acura doesn't need to focus on for the time being is their SUV lineup. The RDX and MDX currently make up 60 percent of total sales for the brand. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Motor Trend 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.
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 19, 2013 It has been quite the wait for the Sport Hybrid version of the RLX since we first saw the concept at 2012 New York Auto Show. But Acura has spilled the beans on the 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid which will be debuting at the LA Auto Show tomorrow. The Sport Hybrid is comprised of a direct-injected 3.5L V6 engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a built-in 35 kW electric motor, two 27 kW electric motors in the back that take the place of drive shaft and rear differential, and a 260 Volt lithium-ion battery pack. The Sport Hybrid system will work like this: The V6 drives the front wheels, while the two electric motors drive the rear wheels. The electric motor in the transmission charges the battery pack. The electric motors will also handle braking and provide torque vectoring to improve cornering. Acura says this system gives the RLX Sport Hybrid comparable 0-60 MPH times to V8 rivals and fuel economy numbers of 28 City/32 Highway/30 Combined. The RLX Sport Hybrid's tech doesn't end there. Inside, there is a new push-button selector for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a advance heads-up display. Source: Acura William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD: The Most Powerful and Technologically Advanced Vehicle in Acura History to be Showcased at LA Auto Show 11/18/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif. The 377-horsepower Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD luxury-performance sedan will be on public display for the first time this week at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, showcasing Acura's dynamic new three-motor hybrid system. The 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which launches next spring, is the first vehicle to deploy Acura's new three-motor hybrid powertrain technology. The system combines a highly efficient, direct-injected V-6 engine with an all-new, Acura-designed, 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor and an electrically powered variant of Acura's highly regarded torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). This advanced new hybrid powertrain delivers exhilarating driving performance with incredibly responsive power delivery and precise, sure-footed handling performance like no other vehicle in its class. Supported by the instantaneous torque delivered by its high-output electric motors, the RLX Sport Hybrid runs a 0-60 mph time comparable with competitor's V8-powered machines. This performance, however, is coupled with a 28/32/30mpg (city/highway/combined) EPA fuel economy rating1, which is in the range of 4-cylinder-powered luxury sedans. Powertrain and Drivetrain The RLX Sport Hybrid's 3.5-liter, 310-horsepower, i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) includes an idle-stop feature to help maximize fuel efficiency. The engine is mated to an all-new, 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor. In automatic mode, the transmission provides highly responsive and intuitive gear selection, including matching engine revs during downshifts, in manual mode, the Sequential SportShift paddle shifters give the driver gear selection control to make virtually seamless ratio changes. The electric SH-AWD system on the RLX Sport Hybrid eliminates the conventional drive shaft and rear differential, replacing them with two high-output 27-kilowatt electric motors. The rear motors dynamically distribute both positive (drive) and negative (regenerative braking) electric-motor torque, depending on driving conditions, and which torque vectoring assists in cornering. The system is further aided by a 35-kilowatt front electric motor that supplements engine torque to the front wheels and provides regenerative brake torque to charge the vehicle's 260-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Body and Chassis With a longer wheelbase and wider greenhouse than competing mid-luxury sedans, the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, mid-size luxury sedan package. The RLX boasts the longest rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), and best front (59.6 inches) and rear (57.0 inches) shoulder room in the mid-luxury class. The RLX advanced body design makes extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum, further aiding its outstanding fuel efficiency, straight-line performance and superior handling agility. In front, the RLX's double-wishbone, lower double-joint front suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers significantly improves handling agility, driver confidence and security, and ride sophistication. In back, the RLX's multi-link rear suspension is optimized for a flat ride during cornering, confident turning capability, and a smooth ride in a variety of urban, highway and open road scenarios. Technology Acura technology firsts on the 2014 Sport Hybrid also include the Acura electronic gear selector and Acura Head-Up Display System. The Acura electronic gear selector replaces the conventional, center console-mounted shift lever with an efficiently packaged push-button array that allows the driver to easily select the desired drive mode-Park, Drive and Reverse, as well as Sport and Normal driving modes. The Acura Head-Up Display System provides the driver with at-a-glance access to key driving information projected on the windshield. Display modes include Sport Hybrid system operation, turn-by-turn navigation, speedometer and compass, as well as alerts from various driver-assistive systems. The RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD features Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, which offer outstanding light distribution and excellent down-the-road illumination performance and light characteristics. The RLX taillights utilize periphery LED illumination that is both effective and highly distinctive. With the expanded range of standard and available technology features built into the RLX, substantial engineering effort was put into making each feature intuitive and easy-to-use. The focal point of the new instrument panel is a large, 8-inch color screen that combines audio/information and navigation functions and provides access to an array of customizable features. An additional 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen is positioned within easy reach and controls the audio system and many other features. Audio and Connectivity Exceptional audio performance has long been an Acura hallmark, and in the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, two audio systems are offered. The Technology package includes the Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System with an advanced 14-speaker array. In the Advance package, the 14-speaker Krell system - with speakers and amplifiers engineered by Krell, one of the most respected audio companies in world - sets a new benchmark in automotive audio performance. The RLX is equipped with the next-generation AcuraLink® cloud-based connected car system, delivering a comprehensive array of media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices. AcuraLink® leverages Pandora® interface for streaming audio and the Aha™ by Harman cloud-based interface to provide users with thousands of customizable cloud-based news, information and media feeds. The next-generation AcuraLink® also delivers an array of available, subscription-based, security and convenience features, such as AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and, for the first time, surface street traffic information. Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies The new RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD offers an extensive array of advanced safety, visibility and driver-assistive technologies that put the RLX on the leading edge of collision avoidance and assisted driving capability. Standard and features include a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system. Utilizing Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, along with seven airbags (including a driver's knee airbag), the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is anticipated to earn top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS "TOP SAFETY PICK+" rating, plus a GOOD rating in the IIHS small overlap front collision test.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 1, 2013 Acura announced today that the second member of the RLX family, the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will debut this month at the L.A. Auto Show. The Sport Hybrid will utilize a 3.5Ldirect-injected i-VTEC V6 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a trio of electric motors to generate 377 horsepower, and get up to 30 MPG Highway. We'll have more info when the RLX Sport Hybrid is revealed on November 20th. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD On Display at LA Auto Show RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is the most powerful and technologically advanced Acura sedan ever made, with 377 total system horsepower; delivering V-8 power and 4-cylinder fuel efficiency The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, the flagship of the Acura luxury-performance sedan lineup, will be on display at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on November 20, 2013. Acura's first luxury sedan to use hybrid powertrain technology and electric-powered all-wheel-drive, the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD delivers V8-like performance with 4-cylinder fuel efficiency, along with the outstanding handling and all-weather performance capabilities of Acura's torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is the most powerful and technologically advanced Acura sedan ever made, and combines a 3.5-liter SOHC direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and three high-output electric motors. As a result, the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD has total system power of 377 horsepower and an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 30 miles per gallon combined. The RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will join the 310-horsepower RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) in the Acura model line in 2014. The RLX P-AWS model made its world debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in 2012 and went on sale earlier this year.
  17. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 13, 2013 The Acura ILX hasn't set the sales charts on fire since it was launched. Since going on sale last May, total sales of the ILX stand at 19,759 vehicles. In that same time, Buick has moved 47,859 Veranos. Acura has announced some changes for the 2014 ILX that will help improve sales. All ILX models will now come equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, an eight-way power driver's seat, rearview camera, a enhanced sound system with a new subwoofer, and a noise cancellation system. Those who were hoping for some mechanical changes will be disappointed as it appears the ILX lineup will stay pretty much the same. Acura isn't saying if any changes will appear on the ILX Hybrid, only stating in a press release that details of that model will appear at a later time. Source: Acura William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 ACURA ILX LUXURY SPORTS SEDAN ARRIVES WITH HOST OF NEW STANDARD FEATURES, PROVIDING MORE CONTENT AND VALUE 05/13/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif The 2014 Acura ILX luxury sports sedan goes on sale tomorrow with a host of new standard features, further strengthening the gateway vehicle to the Acura brand. Introduced as an all-new model for the 2013 model year, the 2014 Acura ILX offers increased value on a luxury scale with eight new standard features to enhance its curb appeal, interior comfort and overall driving enjoyment. The ILX is the only luxury model on the top ten list of Generation Y car shoppers according to J.D. Power and Associates, and the 2014 ILX gets upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, while the interior receives new leather seating surfaces and leatherette door liners, an eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats and a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera. The ride experience is further enhanced by a new audio-system subwoofer and an Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) system that are standard features on the 2014 ILX, which starts at a manufacturer's suggested retail price* (MSRP) of $26,900, an increase of just $1,000. Two advanced powertrain choices are available for 2014 ILX, with a standard 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower. Paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA ** city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 24/35/28 mpg. For a more dynamic driving experience, the ILX can be equipped with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission matched to a 2.4-liter engine generating 201 horsepower, and earning an EPA ** city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 22/31/25 mpg. Information on the 2014 Acura ILX Hybrid will be announced at a later date. The ILX uses 59 percent high strength steel (HSS) in its body structure for enhanced protection and chassis rigidity. The chassis utilizes an advanced, fully independent MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension system and Acura signature Amplitude Reactive Dampers, which offer superior ride comfort and precise handling. In addition, Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) is used for excellent steering feel and improved fuel efficiency. The high-quality, well-appointed interior is smart, spacious and sporty. It offers a number of convenient features including a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, along with Pandora® interface and SMS text message function for easy connectivity. As before, a Premium Package and Technology Package are both available. Acura's belief in "Safety Through Innovation" is the foundation for the brand's commitment to leadership in safety, and accordingly the ILX has a wide range of standard active and passive safety features, including Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. It received a 2013 TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), attaining a score of GOOD in all four Institute tests, including the rigorous roof-strength test. The Acura ILX is manufactured exclusively at the company's state-of-the-art Greensburg, Indiana plant using U.S. and globally sourced parts. TRIM MSRP* EPA** MPG (city/highway/combined) 2014 ILX 5-Speed Automatic $26,900 24/35/28 2014 ILX 5-Speed Automatic w/ Premium Package $29,200 24/35/28 2014 ILX 5-Speed Automatic w/Technology Package $31,600 24/35/28 2014 ILX 6-Speed Manual with Premium Package $29,200 22/31/25
  18. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 27, 2013 Back at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Acura unveiled the MDX concept and announced they would be showing the production model later this year. Today at the New York Auto Show, Acura introduced the new 2014 MDX. The production model is pretty much the same vehicle we saw as a concept back at Detroit in January. Think of an Acura RDX that has been stretched in all directions and you have the look of the MDX. Inside, the MDX's dash mimics RLX by having a dual-screen display (eight-inch display on top, seven-inch haptic touch screen on the bottom). Other interior features include AcuraLink, a premium ELS audio system, and a optional a rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen complete with HDMI compatibility. Under the hood is a brand-new 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine making 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Power is funnel through a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or Acura's SH-AWD system. Acura will offer a new Integrated Dynamic System that allows the driver to choose between normal, sport and comfort settings for the new MDX, and will have the choice of either eighteen or nineteen-inch alloy wheels. The new 2014 MDX arrives this summer. Source: Acura William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2014 Acura MDX Debuts at the New York International Auto Show Third-generation MDX raises the bar with more performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, innovative interior features and signature Acura technologies NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – Acura today unveiled the all-new 2014 MDX luxury SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger MDX offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency and enhanced dynamic performance. The MDX will also be offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration. "Building on the award-winning dynamic performance of the previous model, the third-generation MDX adds new levels of luxury comfort, family functionality and fuel efficiency to once again set the luxury SUV benchmark," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "From Nürburgring-tuned dynamics and thoughtful interior appointments, to the addition of a new two-wheel-drive model, the all-new MDX continues Acura's direction of creating vehicles that advance the synergy between man and machine." Powertrain The 2014 Acura MDX is powered by an all-new direct-injected 24-valve 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™), producing 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The MDX's engine architecture is shared with two racecars that recently finished First and Second in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Employing a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters, the new MDX will be offered in both Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and two-wheel-drive drivetrain variants, both featuring Acura's new Agile Handling Assist technology. Matched to the highly efficient Earth Dreams Technology engine and the \ SH-AWD drivetrain, the 2014 MDX has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27/21 mpg1 (city/highway/combined), while the new front-wheel-drive model is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg1 (city/highway/combined). While achieving even higher fuel economy ratings, the MDX remains a true driver's SUV with enhanced dynamic performance, including quicker acceleration, more responsive braking and even more precise steering feel. Tuned and tested on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, the lighter and more dynamic new 2014 MDX with SH-AWD bests the previous model's lap time by eight seconds. To satisfy the preferences of multiple drivers in any family, the 2014 MDX features an all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. IDS adjusts steering effort, throttle response, SH-AWD and active sound to suit the tastes of the driver. The MDX's new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, MacPherson strut front suspension and new multi-link rear suspension enable its more nimble and responsive handling and improved ride quality. 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/60-18 tires come standard on the MDX. Technology and Advance grades are equipped with 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/55-19 tires. Body and Styling The 2014 MDX body applies more than 55 percent advanced lightweight materials – including high strength steel, aluminum and magnesium – resulting in a vehicle that is both more rigid and lightweight, with total vehicle weight reduced 275 pounds from the previous model. Measuring 193.6 inches in overall length, 77.2 inches in overall width (excluding door mirrors), 67.6 inches in overall height, and riding on a 111-inch wheelbase (up 2.75 inches from the previous model), the new MDX boasts an "Executive Aero Sculpture" exterior design that lends it a sleek, tailored and sophisticated appearance. The aerodynamic body design – refined by engineers in a new wind tunnel at the company's Ohio R&D center – helps the MDX achieve a more than 17 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, making it one of the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient luxury SUVs on the road. The 2014 MDX also takes a big step up in luxury comfort and quiet. The MDX's dynamically tuned platform, more airtight body and triple path isolated dampers, along with the use of new sound-deadening materials, such as acoustic glass and expanding body sealers, and Active Noise Control technology, make this the quietest and most composed MDX yet. Interior Equally adept at carrying clients and kids, the new MDX boasts a luxurious and versatile interior. The revised body dimensions and new, more compact multi-link rear suspension, combined with innovative new technologies on the second-row seats, significantly improve third-row access and all-around passenger comfort. Third-row ingress and egress is significantly improved by a two-inch lower step-in height and three-inch wider entryway, and by the introduction of a new One-Touch Walk-In feature. With a single press of the illuminated One-Touch Walk-In button, the second-row seats automatically fold and slide to their forward-most position. The second-row seats now feature a four-position recline and a new Extended Slide capability that provides six inches of total fore-aft seat adjustment for optimal balance between second- and third-row legroom. Rear cargo capacity is also improved and includes a new underfloor storage area. Up front, there is a 10-way power adjustable and heated driver's seat and an 8-way power and heated passenger seat. The MDX also addresses a major shortcoming of many luxury SUVs – available front-seat storage space – with a spacious new center console that can accommodate a purse, laptop case, or a pair of iPads®. The MDX's luxury quotient is further boosted by its upgraded interior appointments, including premium leather-trimmed interior, silver plated accents, LED overhead and cabin accent lighting, along with new optional luxury features, such as Smart Entry, second-row sunshades, remote engine start, and auto-linked air conditioning and climate-controlled seats. Acura Signature Technology In addition, the 2014 Acura MDX harnesses a range of Acura signature technologies, including Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, more powerful Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, and the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™, featuring freeway traffic and surface street conditions (free for the first three years). In addition to the traffic services, the AcuraLink™ cloud-based connected car system offers an assortment of media, convenience, information and security features via an embedded cellular system and compatible web-enabled smartphones. Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio system take advantage of a 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen with haptic feedback and an 8-inch Color Information Display. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to just nine. The available Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment system with a 9-inch full VGA screen for the rear seats, while the Advance package replaces the 9-inch monitor with an ultra-wide, 16.2-inch full VGA screen with HDMI compatibility for devices such as a game console. The 2014 MDX offers a host of innovative driver assistive and visibility technologies, including a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information (BSI), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). Safety The third-generation MDX is expected to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest possible rating of GOOD in the Institute's new small-offset frontal collision test. The new MDX is equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and airbags (front, front side, driver's knee and side curtain with rollover sensor), as well as the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. The 2014 Acura MDX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide this summer and will be available in four grades – the well-equipped MDX, the robust MDX with Technology package, the rear-passenger-friendly MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages. The 2014 MDX was designed and developed in the U.S. and will be built at the Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 24, 2013 The compact luxury market is heating up once again with crossovers taking the spotlight. Automakers such as BMW, Buick, and Mercedes-Benz are either readying or selling new subcompact models. One automaker you will not be seeing compete in this arena is Acura. “We’re pretty confident with our current offerings. We think the MDX and RDX cover the whole spectrum of those kinds of buyers,” said Acura Canada VP Ryan Kelly. Kelly went onto say that Acura's current lineup of crossovers is versatile enough to deliver a luxury experience for those who want five or seven seats. Whether this is course Acura goes or not remains to be seen. Source: AutoGuide 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.
  20. Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today. The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior. Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks, RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers. RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model. The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package. The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space. "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment." The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance. The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs. Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation. While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway. In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama.
  21. Acura is in the midsts of giving their lineup a bit of excitement once again. With such models as the new TLX and refreshed ILX, it seems Acura is figuring out how to make cars that appear to be fun. There could be more excitement on the way. Honda is currently readying a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will go into a number of their own vehicles. This has caused talk of whether or not Acura will use it as well. Car and Driver decided to ask Acura product planner Gary Robinson if the 2.0L turbo engine could go into the ILX. “Acura is always going to get the best engines Honda makes,” he said. And the cars in which they will be found “will always be more powerful” than their Honda counterparts. “Obviously, a 2.0-liter turbo is more of a must-have in the luxury world than it is in the mainstream world, so . . ." said Robinson. Now before you start dreaming of a turbocharged ILX, Robinson explained that the current ILX would require a lot of re-engineering to allow for the turbocharged engine to fit. Most likely it will come when the ILX is redesigned, expected in 2018 or 2019. Source: Car and Driver
  22. Just after a week of the madness that is the Detroit Auto Show, automakers are gearing for the next show on the schedule: Chicago. Honda is the first automaker to announce what they have in store for the show next month and it happens to deal with crossovers. First up is the 2016 Pilot. Honda has released a teaser shot showing off the greenhouse of the redesigned crossover. From this shot, we can see Honda has retired the boxy shape that has been part of the Pilot since the first-generation model and going for shape that is more in common with the CR-V and HR-V. Honda goes onto say the Pilot will showcase 'new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment.' Second is Honda's luxury counterpart, Acura announcing the 2016 RDX. The compact luxury crossover was redesigned in 2013, but apparently is up for a refresh. The updated model is expected to feature "a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features" along with "important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH." We'll have more information and live shots when both vehicles debut at Chicago on February 12th. Source: Honda, Acura Press Releases are on Page 2 All-New 2016 Honda Pilot SUV to Make Global Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Honda to fortify light-truck leadership on Feb. 12 by debuting all-new Pilot three-row SUV, and revealing the styling direction for future Ridgeline pickup Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: A completely reengineered and redesigned Honda Pilot SUV will make its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on February 12 at 9:30 a.m. The all-new, eight-passenger Pilot SUV – completely designed, developed and manufactured in America -- will raise the stakes in the mainstream three-row SUV segment with new technology, advanced safety, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced family utility and versatility. The new Pilot represents a dramatic shift in design, while showcasing new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment. Further, the Pilot remains as family-friendly as ever, proving once again that driving the family truckster can be a joy. The redesigned Pilot SUV, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer, will further augment a Honda light truck lineup that includes the recently redesigned Honda CR-V – 2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and the best-selling SUV in America – and the all-new Honda HR-V crossover, launching this spring. In addition to showcasing the completely redesigned Honda Pilot SUV, the company also will reveal details and styling direction for its forthcoming Ridgeline truck at the Chicago Auto Show. "Honda continues to fortify its light-truck lineup in 2015, this time turning our eye to the fast-growing family SUV segment," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "The new Pilot will raise the bar in a segment it helped to create, with more innovation, style, premium features and family utility than ever before." The original Honda Pilot was introduced in 2002 as the first mainstream eight-passenger SUV to feature car-like unitized body construction, delivering more refined driving dynamics, better fuel economy and superior cabin space in a family-oriented sport-utility vehicle. The second-generation Pilot was launched in 2008. All three generations of the Pilot have been designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Los Angeles and Ohio. The Pilot and its engine are now produced at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant. The Honda brand's U.S. light-truck sales were up 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 154,480 SUVs, pickups and minivans, including an 8.6% gain for Pilot, to 28,610 units, in the fourth quarter. Hot Winter Wind: 2016 Acura RDX to Bow at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Quick, luxurious, fun and practical new RDX to bring even stronger package to red-hot segment Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: Coming off a record sales year as one of the best-selling SUVs in its segment, Acura's RDX is set to move its already lofty bar even higher when the new 2016 model bows at the Chicago Auto Show on February 12. The new RDX sports a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features designed to further solidify its leadership in the compact luxury SUV segment. The 2016 RDX artfully blends numerous fresh exterior and interior design elements to further enrich its sport and luxury qualities, all with a cohesiveness that speaks to its new capabilities. Already one of the quickest and most fuel-efficient V6-powered entry-luxury SUVs, the 2016 RDX takes the position a step further, adding important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH. Don't miss the debut of the newest Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. CST in the Acura booth.
  23. After three years and about 17 different concept variations (at least that what it feels like), Acura has finally revealed the 2016 NSX. The NSX is slightly larger than the original concept shown - about 3 inches longer and 0.6 inches higher, but retains the shape with sharp lines, a mean front snout, and sharp looking wheels. The body is comprised by a number of materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, Inside is a minimalistic approach with a small number of controls for the infotainment and climate control. Power comes from a hybrid layout which is made up of a new twin-turbo V6 and three electric motors. Power output is estimated to be 550-plus. A new nine-speed dual-clutch automatic and SH-AWD system gets the power to the road. There's also a Integrated Dynamic System which adjusts the behavior of the engine, transmission, and drivetrain to produce an almost quiet car to one which will get your heart pumping. "Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX—a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver. The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division. Acura says ordering for the NSX will open up this summer, with deliveries late in the year. We'll likely have pricing around that time as well. Source: Acura Pic Credit - Michael Haldavnekar Press Release is on Page 2 Jan 12, 2015 - DETROIT: Twenty-five years after the debut of the original, paradigm-shifting NSX supercar, Acura revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor—the next-generation Acura NSX, developed and produced in the U.S.—to the world's auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show today. The production model, in a scintillating NSX Red finish, took the stage with a growl from its twin-turbocharged engine. The next generation NSX showcases the production styling, design and specifications of Acura's mid-engine sports hybrid supercar, and Acura announced key details of the all-new vehicle's design and performance. The company will begin accepting custom orders for the new NSX starting in the summer, with customer deliveries expected later in the year. Specifically created to bring a "new sports experience" to the supercar segment, the NSX challenges conventional beliefs about supercars — much as the first generation did a quarter century ago. The approach is realized through an all-new power unit—a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system—integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world's-first material applications and manufacturing processes. Developed under the concept of a "human-centered supercar,” a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs. "Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX—a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate." As the pinnacle representation of Acura performance and prestige, the NSX was introduced at the auto show under the theme of "Precision Crafted Performance." The theme was the original tagline for the Acura brand, a guiding force behind the development of the original NSX and a critical component of its launch. The development of next-generation NSX, driven by precision crafted performance, has resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of intensive development effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company's development center in Raymond, Ohio. "The NSX reflects Acura's American roots and makes a powerful statement about the strong role being played by our North American operations in envisioning and building the future of Acura," said Erik Berkman, executive vice president of the Acura Business Planning Office. "Our global team embraced the challenge to create a new sports car experience, leveraging new technology to deliver incredibly vivid performance in a vehicle that responds intuitively and immediately to the will of the driver," said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX. "The NSX delivers pinnacle supercar performance, with zero-delay acceleration and exhilarating, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics." Interwoven Dynamic Exterior Design "The new NSX is a product of what we term 'Interwoven Dynamic' design," said Michelle Christensen, NSX exterior design project leader. "It represents the ideal blending of exotic sports car form and supercar function." The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and tail lights that pays homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce. To accommodate the new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 and 9-speed DCT, the production vehicle was lengthened (+3 inches) and widened (+1 inch) with a slightly more cab-forward package, compared with the proportions of the NSX Concept shown in 2012. Every element of the exterior body design has been carefully fashioned for total airflow management for both stability-enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company's state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of significant changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler. Human Support Cockpit "Consistent with the 'human-centered supercar' development concept, the NSX was designed from the inside out with an uncompromising focus on the driver," said Johnathan Norman, NSX interior design project leader. "Like the original NSX, we created a 'Human Support Cockpit' that provides exceptional driver control, visibility and packaging, but further advanced to meet the extreme performance expectations of a modern supercar." The NSX interior boasts exceptional forward visibility, simple and intuitive controls, and class-leading ergonomics—most notably the seat, which features top-class holding performance with outstanding comfort and easy ingress/egress. The NSX's instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The center console holds the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nested in the center of the new Integrated Dynamics System dial control. Interwoven under the handcrafted leather dash panel is the exposed midframe—a functioning chassis structural member that reflects the design aesthetic of a naked sport bike. An ultra-thin, yet super strong A-pillar design and low-mounted instrument panel minimize obstructions to the driver's view of the road. Sport Hybrid Power Unit In keeping with the foundational philosophy of the original NSX, the next-generation NSX is designed to provide a new sports car experience that maximizes the capabilities of the driver, delivering exceptionally intuitive and confidence-inspiring response "at the will of the driver." Acura engineers leveraged the company's expertise both with high-performance engine and hybrid electric-drive technologies, as well as its two decades of experience with industry-leading dynamic torque-vectoring technologies, including Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), to create the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain in the supercar universe. At the heart of the NSX's performance capabilities is an all-new mid-mounted, 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to an Acura-developed 9-speed DCT. The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The all-new 9-speed DCT delivers synapse-quick gear changes and rev-matching downshifts. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX's front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution. The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is an instantaneous "zero delay" launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver's desire. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at some of the world's most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nurburgring. Advanced Multi-Material Body Also in keeping with the legacy of NSX—the world’s first all-aluminum supercar—the new NSX features an innovative new multi-material body design with world's-first material applications and construction processes. The NSX body utilizes a space frame design—an internal frame constructed of aluminum, ultra-high strength steel and other advanced materials. Anchored by a carbon fiber floor, torsional and bending forces are taken up entirely by this ultra-rigid structure which also utilizes advanced joining technologies. The NSX features world's-first casting technology that combines the design and manufacturing flexibility of a casting process with the strength and elongation properties of a forged material, enabling significant weight reduction. The body panels are composed of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite (SMC). Advanced Sport Package The NSX features an "Advanced Sports Package" with placement of key powertrain components –the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit – optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center of the vehicle, to further enhance dynamic response. The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class. The NSX utilizes a fully independent, all-aluminum front and rear suspension and puts its considerable power down through ContiSportContact™ high-performance tires—245/35Z R19 front and 295/30Z R20 rear—mounted on 19x8.5 inch front and 20x11 inch rear aluminum alloy wheels. Powerful, natural and confident braking performance is provided by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear monoblock calipers squeezing ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic brake discs. Handling is greatly enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling lightning-quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability. The NSX's dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities. The NSX also features a "launch" function to achieve the ultimate in "zero delay" launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors. New Production Facility The NSX will be manufactured exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, where approximately 100 highly-skilled associates will conduct full body construction, paint, and final assembly using domestic and globally-sourced parts. The PMC and its processes have been developed to perfectly blend associate craftsmanship and technology in a new approach to manufacturing. By in-housing the body construction, Acura maintains complete control over total body quality, including critical strength, suspension accuracy, and fit and finish—from initial construction all the way to final assembly. Associates will utilize innovative techniques to deliver next-generation craftsmanship and world-class quality in the realm of specialized, supercar vehicle production.
  24. After a number of years and countless concepts, Acura has finally announced that the production NSX will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month. The automaker released four shadowy teaser shots of the NSX, wearing a bright red color. Exact details of the powertrain are still being kept under wraps, but we expect it to feature a VTEC V6 engine paired with SH-AWD Source: Acura http://youtu.be/w0RJsqrS0NY Press Release is on Page 2 Acura NSX Production Model to Make World Debut at 2015 North American International Auto Show TORRANCE, Calif., December 17, 2014 – The production version of the highly anticipated Acura NSX supercar, successor to the legendary original NSX, will make its world debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show on January 12, 2015. The model will reflect the production design and specifications of the mid-engine Acura supercar that is slated to launch in 2015. To celebrate the impending debut of NSX, Acura released a 30-second teaser video that gives an early glimpse of the production car and the sound of its three-motor, twin-turbocharged Sport Hybrid power unit. View the video at YouTube.com/Acura. "The next-generation NSX will deliver a 'new sports experience' true to its heritage and to the supercar concept that originally gave rise to the name NSX," said Mike Accavitti, Acura division senior vice president and general manager. "The NSX will serve as the ultimate expression of Acura performance that is fueling a reenergized brand." An Acura NSX concept model made its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, where Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President & CEO Takanobu Ito announced that development of a next-generation NSX would launch in three years, led by an American R&D team and produced at a state-of-the-art new plant in Ohio. "After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar-the Acura NSX-to the world," said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global project leader over NSX development. "We've developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage." The next milestone in the launch of the NSX will be the reveal of the production version at the Acura press conference at the North American International Auto Show on January 12 at 11:50 a.m. ET. Watch the press conference live at youtube.com/Acura. The NSX is being developed by a global team of engineers led by the company's North American R&D operations in Raymond, Ohio, with design led by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, CA. The Acura NSX will be produced exclusively at the new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
  25. Being a two person outfit is somewhat difficult when covering an auto show. With one on press release and story writing duty, and other trying to get pictures at the show, that means we can't cover all of the reveals. But that doesn't mean we're not going to give their due. We picked some of the vehicles that are important and/or interesting that debuted at LA. 2016 Acura ILX Acura is trying to right the ship of the compact ILX. Since its introduction only a couple of years ago, the ILX has dropped both the base 2.0L four and Hybrid model, leaving just the 2.4 model. Now for the 2016 model year, Acura hopes to address many of the shortcomings with ILX. First up is a new front end treatment with a new grille and jewel eye headlights. The back end gets a new bumper and taillights. Under the hood lies the 2.4L four-cylinder from the TLX producing 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired up to a eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, again from the TLX. The six-speed manual that was available previously has been dropped.Also new for the ILX is the addition of a A-Spec package which add a number of design tweaks such as 18-inch wheels, "Euro-style" stitching to the steering wheel, and suede on the seats. The revitalized 2016 ILX will be hitting dealers early next year. Audi Prologue Concept Audi's design language tends to follow the one design for any size car. Just look at their passenger car lineup and you're left wondering if they used the enlarge function on the copy machine to create their vehicles. Audi is planning to change this up in the future. To give us a preview, the company revealed the Prologue Concept. The front end gets a trapezoidal grille that sits wider and lower than on current models. A set of wedge-shaped laser headlights sit above air intakes with blade elements. Around back, the trunk lid is angled forward to suggest moment. Slimmed down taillights and trapezoidal exhaust tips finish off the rear. Overall, the Prologue Concept is proportioned in such a way to accentuate the all-wheel drive DNA that is part of Audi. Audi's design chief Marc Lichte says elements of the Prologue's design will be on future Audi models. But the concept itself could go into production. Rumors have been flying at LA that Prologue Concept is hinting at a flagship coupe that will sit above the A8. 2015 Fiat 500X We known for awhile that Fiat was working on its version of the Jeep Renegade. At LA, Fiat let the 500X out into the wild. The 500X trades in the Renegade's boxy looks for something more 500-ish. To our eyes, it looks like a standard 500 with some added length and some added body cladding. Inside is the same story, with elements of the standard 500L making an appearance here.Powertrains include a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184-pound-feet or the 2.4L TigerShark four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet. The 1.4 will be available with a six-speed manual, while the 2.4L comes paired to a nine-speed automatic only. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive with disconnecting rear axle will be optional. The 2015 500X will hit Fiat dealers in the first half of next year. 2016 Jaguar F-Type We've already talked one of the big changes for the F-Type which is the availability of all-wheel drive. But there was one other item up Jaguar's sleeve; a manual transmission. You'll be able to equip a F-Type with a six-speed manual if its a six-cylinder and rear-drive model. The manual transmission drops 22 pounds off the F-Type's weight. As for the all-wheel drive, we have a bit more info on that as well. The F-Type R with its 550 horsepower V8 will have all-wheel drive as standard, while the F-Type S with its 380 horsepower V6 will have it as an option. 2016 Kia Sorento I know what you are thinking: Didn't Kia just release a refresh Sorento not that long ago? Yes they did. But in a marketplace where fresh meat is coming in quick, Kia decided to give the Sorento a redesign. The Sorento grows 0.2-inches in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.1-inches longer. The front is similar to the new Sedona with a flat front end, new headlights, and quad fog-lights. The rest of the vehicle is similar to current Sorento, aside from a tweaked tailgate. Inside, more of Sedona's influence is here with more soft-touch materials, improved control layout, and new screen for the infotainment system.Powertrains mostly carryover from the current Sorento with the 2.4L four-cylinder taking the base, and 3.3L V6 being the top dog. In the middle is a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower. Front-wheel is standard, while all-wheel drive is on the options list. Kia says the 2016 Sorento will be out at dealers in the first quarter of 2016.

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