New Acura Sedan to be Built at Award-winning Plant in Greensburg

Posted by  on December 13th, 2011 No comments

Official release from www.acuranews.com:

Indiana plant to build its first Acura model – also the first ever U.S.-made hybrid model

12/12/2011 – GREENSBURG, Ind.

Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC (HMIN) today announced that it will be the exclusive manufacturer of the Acura ILX, an all-new luxury sedan going into mass production in Indiana in the spring of 2012. The new Acura ILX sedan will be positioned at the gateway to the Acura lineup and will be offered with both gasoline and gas-electric hybrid powertrain options. The new Acura ILX will be Acura’s first-ever hybrid model, as well as the first Acura model to be produced in Indiana.

“Building this all-new Acura vehicle as the exclusive global source is a big responsibility for our associates,” said HMIN President Jun Nishimoto. “I am very proud of what our Indiana team has accomplished in such a short time, and we have great confidence in our ability to produce a world-class luxury vehicle that exceeds the expectations of Acura customers.”

The Acura ILX will join the TL sedan, ZDX crossover vehicle, and the MDX and RDX sport-utility vehicles as the fifth Acura model produced exclusively in North America. Acura finished second among all luxury brands in the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study.

HMIN was recognized earlier this year for its outstanding quality as one of only three automobile plants globally to earn a Platinum Award for outstanding quality based on the results of J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Survey? (IQS). The plant recently added nearly 1,000 associates to support the move to two-shift production, which started on Oct. 24, 2011, doubling the plant’s capacity to 200,000 vehicles per year. The Acura ILX will be the first hybrid vehicle to be made in America at a Honda plant. Gasoline engines for the new Acura ILX will be produced at the Anna, Ohio, engine plant of Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

Acura will unveil a concept version of the new ILX sedan at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit during media preview days, Jan. 9-10, 2012. Acura also will debut a new RDX sport-utility vehicle and a concept version of the next-generation Acura NSX supercar at the show, as it moves to further strengthen its product lineup with new products, new technologies and a sharper brand focus.

About HMIN

Honda Manufacturing Indiana, LLC (HMIN) in Greensburg, Ind., began operations with production of Civic Sedans in October 2008. HMIN added production of Honda’s natural gas-powered Civic Sedan in May 2009, and began producing Civic for export to markets outside North America in September 2009. With employment of approximately 2,000 associates and capital investment exceeding $550 million, HMIN started operations as a zero-waste-to-landfill factory, meaning no waste is sent to landfills, and maintains one of the lowest environmental footprints of any automobile plant in Honda’s global production network.

About Honda in America

Next year, Honda will celebrate 30 years of producing automobiles in America. Based on Honda’s longstanding commitment to build products close to the customer, Honda currently operates 14 manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and automatic transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and Honda power equipment products, such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines. Honda products are made in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Today, the company has four auto plants in the U.S. and seven in North America with a new auto plant under construction in Celaya, Mexico, which will begin producing subcompact cars in 2014. Honda’s total automobile production capacity in the region, currently at 1.63 million vehicles per year, will grow to more than 1.87 million vehicles annually in 2014. In 2010, more than 87 percent of the Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. were built in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

About Acura

Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The 2012 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan and Sport Wagon, the turbocharged RDX crossover SUV, the MDX luxury SUV and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.

[Source: Acura]

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More Details on Acura’s Future Models

Posted by  on December 12th, 2011 1 comment

Today various automotive media outlets are sharing details on what was revealed at an Acura briefing session in Las Vegas earlier this month. Yesterday’s press release announced the unveiling of the next generation NSX, 2013 RDX prototype and the ILX concept but failed to mention anything about Acura’s upcoming new flagship model.

Here is a quick summary of key points I’ve gathered from the articles:

2013 Acura ILX

• The new entry-level small sedan shares the Civic platform but will have unique styling and features. It is NOT just a rebadged Civic like the Canadian CSX.
• The ILX will be offered as a gas-electric hybrid or with a naturally aspirated 2.0L or 2.4L engine.
• Set to go on sale late spring or early summer 2012 at a starting price “well under $30,000.”

2013 RDX

• The next generation RDX will have a more conservative grille and new styling similar to the MDX.
• The four-cylinder turbo will be replaced by a V6 engine that will deliver more hp and better fuel efficiency
• A new lighter all-wheel-drive system will replace the previous SH-AWD.
• Expected to go on sale spring 2012.

Next Generation NSX

• The NSX concept shares styling of the Avengers Roadster but will have a hard-top and more developed exterior details.
• Like the first NSX it will be a mid-engined v6, but will most likely use the new hybrid SH-AWD system.
• A prototype will be revealed in Detroit to show only the exterior styling with no interior.
• Expected go on sale within three years and won’t go for “less than $100,000,”

New Flagship Sedan(RL Replacement)

• Acura’s new yet-to-be-named flagship sedan will get larger and aim to offer “7-Series cabin space, with the agility of a 5-Series,”
• It will be the first Acura model to utilize Honda’s new V6 with electric SH-AWD and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
• Set to be unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April and should go into production by the end of 2012.

Also mentioned was Acura’s plan for a more distinct 3 model lineup for its sedans. The new entry-level ILX will fit in as the smallest model, and the upcoming RL successor will fill the top spot. It’s rumored that either the TSX or TL might be discontinued, with the remaining survivor left to adjust and fit into the middle-ground slot.

[Source: Temple of VTEC, Automobile Magazine, Car and Driver, Inside Line]

1 CommentFiled under: Acura News, Acura Rumors, ILX, NSX, RDX, RL
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Next Generation Acura NSX Rendered Speculation

Posted by  on December 12th, 2011 No comments

Next Generation NSX Rendering by Walt Merchant

Acura will unveil the next generation NSX Concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show next month, but if you’re looking for a sneak peak you’ll be hard-pressed to find any official photos.

Fortunately Automobile Magazine brings us Walt Merchant’s rendition of the future vehicle shown above. Again, this is NOT an official rendering but it does preview much of the same front end characteristics seen in the Avengers Roadster which is rumored be similar to the concept car.

Automotive News also shows their artist’s rendering of the NSX  in a post shown here, though I’ve heard it’s a poor representation of the actual concept we will see in Detroit.

[Source Automobile Magazine, Automotive News]

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Acura to Debut Three New Vehicles at the 2012 North American International Auto Show

Posted by  on December 11th, 2011 1 comment

Official release from www.acuranews.com:

12/11/2011 – TORRANCE, Calif.

Acura announced today that it will unveil three all-new vehicles at the 2012 North American International Auto Show including an all-new compact sports sedan, a redesigned RDX crossover sport utility vehicle, and a concept version of the next generation Acura NSX super car.

The Acura ILX Concept is a styling study of an all-new luxury compact sedan scheduled for launch in spring 2012. To be positioned at the gateway to the Acura lineup, the ILX will feature three powertrains including Acura’s first-ever gas-electric hybrid. Acura also will unveil a prototype of the 2013 RDX, the second generation of Acura’s five-passenger SUV. Finally, Acura will debut the NSX Concept, which represents the styling direction for the next generation of Acura’s super sports car.

“Acura has a steady cadence of exciting new models coming to market and it will all begin in Detroit,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura sales and service. “From the all-new Acura ILX at the gateway of the lineup to the pinnacle of performance with the Acura NSX Concept, Acura vehicles are being created for luxury customers who aspire to the highest levels of quality and value, with beautiful styling and the right balance of technology, performance and environmental responsibility.”

All three vehicles will be introduced at the North America International Auto Show on January 9, 2012. The press conference will be webcast live on www.acuranews.com.

About Acura

Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The 2012 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan and Sport Wagon, the turbocharged RDX crossover SUV, the MDX luxury SUV and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.

For media information and high-resolution photos of Acura vehicles, please visit www.acuranews.com. For consumer information, please visit www.acura.com.

[Source: Acura]

1 CommentFiled under: Acura News, Acura Official Releases, Concepts, ILX, NSX, RDX
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2012 Acura RL: A Car That Can Run for Over 200k Miles

Posted by  on December 11th, 2011 No comments

2012 Acura RL

The RL wouldn’t be Acura’s flagship sedan if it didn’t provide both luxury and a long-standing track record of reliability. Previously called the Acura “Legend”, the 4-door sedan has been in the lineup since the beginning of Acura’s 25 year history. A recent article by Forbes named the 2012 Acura RL one of 14 models likely to run for over 200,000 miles.

“For those with an eye on owning a car or truck for the long run, we’ve identified a list of 14 model-year 2012 vehicles that are statistically among the least likely to encounter major mechanical problems in at least the first several years of ownership. Our list consists of 14 cars and trucks that received top scores in both the most-recent Consumer Reports Car Reliability survey, based on problems reported by 1.3 million owners of model-year 2005-2010 vehicles, and the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Vehicles Dependability Study based on responses from more than 43,700 original owners of 2008 model-year vehicles.” – Jim Gorzelany, Forbes.com

I have no doubt a well maintained RL will run beyond 200,000 miles. Need more proof? Check out Tyson Hugie’s 500,000 mile Acura Legend.

See the rest of the article and the full list at forbes.com.

[Source: Forbes]

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Autoblog Samples the New Electric SH-AWD

Posted by  on December 7th, 2011 No comments
Honda’s Electric SH-AWD Mule

Autoblog’s Chris Paukert gives his first impressions of Honda’s new electric SH-AWD system from last week’s media event at the Twin-Ring Motegi track. Limited to just one lap with the new direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 powered test mule, it’s safe to assume the team is looking forward to spending more time testing a production model.

“Our time behind the wheel was extremely brief, consisting of little more than one lap of a handling course. Thus, we’ll have to withhold judgment, but we will say that the system shows genuine promise. Whirring away from the pits under electric power and having the V6 seamlessly come to life was an encouraging start, but we didn’t really get a feel for the SH-AWD until we started negotiating the corners and slalom. While carving through the orange pylons, the sedan felt significantly – and predictably – nimbler than a standard front-drive Accord, displaying genuine eagerness to change direction.” – Chris Paukert, Autoblog

Head over to autoblog.com to read the full post.

[Source: Autoblog]

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Motor Trend Reviews Potential Future Acura Drivetrains

Posted by  on December 5th, 2011 No comments

Honda's 2.4L Direct Injection "Earth Dreams Technology"

With the announcement of their next generation Earth Dreams Technology engines last week in Tokyo, Honda also presented working prototypes for the media to sample the new tech. At Honda’s Twin-Ring Motegi track, Motor Trend got the chance to test three potential Acura drivetrains: the 3.5-liter V6 with Hybrid SH-AWD, the direct injected 2.4-liter I4, and the 1.6-liter turbodiesel.

Here is what they had to say about the new 3.5-liter Hybrid SH-AWD:

“Relative to today’s mechanical SH-AWD, which relies upon planetary gears to multiply torque to one rear wheel or the other when accelerative force is being applied, the rear-mounted electric motors can accelerate or slow either wheel independent of throttle position, so they can apply torque-vectoring under steady-state cruising and deceleration as well as acceleration. Engineers claim it can also apply power regenerated from an inside wheel to accelerate the outside wheel, though we suspect those electrons get routed through the battery. We only got one brief lap, but it was enough to suggest the V-8-performance claims have merit and that the electrified rear axle does indeed enhance handling over a much wider set of driving circumstances. It also feels really green to be able to arrive at and depart a stoplight (or a Hollywood red carpet) silently in EV mode.”  - Frank Markus, Motor Trend

The new SH-AWD system sounds a bit complex but very promising if it can deliver the proposed performance. I haven’t heard any news of diesel engines coming to Acura, but the new 2.4L engine is the likely candidate for the future TSX or sub-TSX models.

Read Frank’s complete preview of the three vehicles at motortrend.com.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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Honda President Takanobu Ito Talks Acura

Posted by  on December 2nd, 2011 3 comments

Honda AC-X Concept

Honda/Acura Supercar Confirmed?

It has certainly been an interesting and exciting past few days for Honda and Acura fans as we got a glimpse of what the future has in store.

Earlier this week at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda previewed their outline for next generation engine models and technology through a plan called “Earth Dreams Technology”. The phrase is used to describe Honda’s pursuit to advance and utilize environment friendly technology while still satisfying the passion of driving. Some key features include the implementation of direct injection, CVT, and an electric SH-AWD hybrid system.

Making a big presence at the show was Honda CEO and President Takanobu Ito who made time to answer questions and interact with the North American media. Motor Trend’s Frank Markus put together a solid post about the session with Ito, revealing a bit more about what’s coming up for Acura:

“Ito-san is not satisfied with the current performance of the brand in the U.S., though sales are strong in China and the Middle-East. He intends to make new products more unique and sporting. Look for the hybrid-electric Super-Handling AWD to figure in this renaissance, along with the supercar.

A new RDX and small sedan are on the immediate horizon next spring. Acura’s mission is to provide smart luxury that meets social needs, not just personal needs. The small sedan will share some platform architecture with the Civic but feature unique powertrains. The forthcoming supercar is a core element of Honda/Acura’s history and DNA, and will be sold as an Acura in North America. We will also hear news about the RL flagship sedan quite soon too.”Frank Markus, Motor Trend

The post is full of great questions and answers regarding Honda, so head over to motortrend.com for the rest.

We all knew the next generation RDX was coming as well as a “sub-TSX” model which looks to be a hybrid. However rumors of the Honda/Acura Supercar seems to have grown to the point where we should just consider it confirmed.

On the design front, Jeff from TOV mentioned the Honda AC-X Concept(pictured above) may influence Acura’s future styling and corporate theme. I think it would be a welcomed direction as it looks to me like a futuristic evolution or expansion of the “shield” grille.

2012 looks to be a busy year for Acura, hopefully we will get to learn a little more about the upcoming supercar in the next few weeks.

[Source: MotorTrend, Temple of VTEC]

3 CommentsFiled under: Acura News, Acura Rumors
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