Acura Naming Conventions

Acura Naming Conventions

Acura Naming Conventions

It’s all in a name! In the same year that my Legend surpassed the 500,000 mile mark, the Acura brand surpassed a milestone of its own – that of celebrating 25 years as one of the world’s premier automakers. As the company launches into its next 25 years, a new image is about to unfold – and it will begin with a new naming convention that promises to better define the Acura family of cars.

I had the privilege recently of meeting with Vicki Poponi, Assistant Vice President of Product Planning at American Honda Motor Company, Inc. I’d first met Vicki in Detroit at the North American Int’l Auto Show (NAIAS) back in January and was grateful for her to take a few minutes to answer some of my own questions about the exciting momentum at Acura and the new direction that the company is going.

There were three key things that stood out to me during my conversation with Vicki about Acura’s naming conventions and the meaning behind them.

1) If you look at the word “LUXURY,” the X is at the centre. Acura is, first and foremost, a luxury brand of automobile. Even the ILX as an entry level premium vehicle still brings with it the amenities that we’ve come to expect from Acura. In the next generation of Acura vehicles, “X” will be a common thread in the name of each model. Those who tuned into the recent New York Auto Show watched the RLX reveal – the flagship model now bringing with it that symbol of luxury within its name.

2) A recognizable naming pattern will improve model identification and awareness. Acura’s sedans will all share an “LX” suffix, while the truck lineup will have “DX,” and the NSX rounds out the family as the sporty long awaited supercar that we’re all excited for. In this way, Vicki said, each type of vehicle that Acura offers will share a unified naming convention that brings a sense of belonging. In a world full of acronyms, I agree that this consistent direction will help simplify the “alphabet soup” that we’ve become so accustomed to among luxury car manufacturers and their model names.

3) What about the ILX specifically? Was there any reason this name was chosen for the all-new 2013 entry level premium offering from Acura? YES. Selecting the perfect name for a car is a far more involved process than one would think and it can take months or even years to finalize. The meaning behind “I-L-X” starts with the letter “I”. This car truly is designed with the driver in mind, complete with features that buyers in my demographic are asking for: Smart features! A car as intelligent as its driver. Let’s not forget individualistic and independent. Clearly the “I” was the right choice as the prefix for this sedan.

So, even though the ILX is “Incredible Looking” and “Impressively Luxurious,” the truth is that the I means it’s a car for the individual, the L ties it to Acura’s already great lineup of sedans, and the X rounds out the name as the ultimate center of luXury. The ILX truly lives up to its name. Huge thanks to Vicki for sharing her insight into this unsolved mystery!

For more insight on the all-new ILX, follow my blog, the ILX Experience on Acura’s Facebook page.

[Source: Tyson Hugie’s ILX Experience]

13 comments on “Acura Naming Conventions

  1. Dennis

    So the TSX is going to be dropped? The more and more Acura’s talking heads speak on things, the more I lose interest in the brand. Most of the base wants NAMES, not initials. The focus should be on designing fantastic cars that bring back the spirit of the praised Legend and Integra. Granted, the TSX, TL, and MDX deserve to keep their titles because they are proven, now Acura wants to wipe out the TL name, drop the TSX and push a pseudo luxury dealership when they won’t even comit to bringing new platforms to the brand to allow an even greater identity for it. How about a roadster in the spirit of the S2K? A beautiful hatch in the spirit of last gen’s Euro Civic Hatch, but with the handling dynamics of the Civic hatches that were great to drive?

    I am pleased with my TSX, but I’m starting to realize that Acura has no intentions on continuing the sporty spirit from their older cars. They are chasing ghosts, running behind luxury car designers like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, etc., when they don’t even need to. All they had to do was refines what was once was! Stop doing things because the other auto makes are doing it! That’s not the Honda way and that method of action and influence is why the latest TL is a sales diaster compared to last generation’s model and vehicles like the ZDX are not well received! You are cutting off your core base of users in order to get new buyers that do not care about you as a brand in the first place!


    To Acura: PERFECT! Kill your best sellers, rename your screw-up redesigns, expect higher sells from the wrong market, and abandon your roots! SO SMART ACURA!

    Anyway, You took the words from my mouth. I’m so depressed over Acura and Honda. Committing suicide when the TSX is confirmed dead is a must for me. Literally, SUICIDE OVER A AUTO MANUFACTURE! How can Acura be so stupid and kill its best selling names and screw over their designs? Was we not clear back in 2009 when they fired their 2000-2008-designers for the new 20 sum year olds who don’t know what they are doing to a very important brand? And then these CEO’s and sells managers and product line planners. Only 3 sedans, a stupid CUV thing, 2 way to similar sized SUV’s and no coupes, but a hope full super car and a flop of a flag ship model and a screwy looking entry level! Oh, and while we are at it, lets droop everything the previous designers gave to this Manufacture in hopes to fully run it into the ground! We can take Honda down next!

    All their doing is re-naming a product they already ruined with out actually changing the platform/feel/or improving it while expecting high-end snobby buyers who prefer BMW in the first place, to just come up on their lots. As you can see, this saddens me SO much to see Honda fail in something they are meant to own at. Even worse, Acura is deciding to do the same. Even Toyota’s Lux devision, Lexus knows how not to copy-past everything. Sad. I’m 16 ATM and I hope to be CEO or who ever the fuck it is who is in charge of product plans, but before I go there, i want to be in design department, bring back some old Honda touch while implementing my own technologies to get back the old Honda feels while keeping on pare with power and safety. @Dennis

  3. Ex Fan

    Vicki must be clueless b/c no one associates Acura with luxury. They have went on a downward spiral where they compete with Buick and even outgunned and outmatched by Hyundai and Kia. They lost the plot ages ago and are so behind the curve compared to real luxury brands. The ILX is a ridiculous dumb name, another dumb name and adds to more confusion. Now they are going to dump names people kind of know after a decade only to change them again??? SLX, MDX, ILX, NSX, RDX, CL, TL, Legend, Vigor, A-spec, Type-S what a mess of names.

    How about do us all a favor and change Acura to Honda, call them legends and integras and accords and be done with this disaster of a brand.

    It is sad that Acura is not aware that Acura is a complete joke


    I knew right when the 2012 Acura TSX ‘Special Edition’ came out, it was a away of Acura secretly sending her off on her last voyage with a slight ‘party’ of a SE badge. :'( Oh Lawd this is depressing.

  5. NBP04

    It makes sense to me, at least it’s going to be consistent. Face it guys, they’re not going to bring back names. almost all luxury brands use letters/numbers. Can’t really explain why, probably has something to do with perception and branding


    Yes, but what about all the TRUSTED and loved names that grew on us. A avg car fan will recognize ‘TL’ cause of the Rep it has and how everyone just knows it already. The TL has built Acura up and then the TSX too. No one will recognize the TLX name. It sounds like Texas to me and it even sound bitterly cheapo @NBP04

  7. aLex

    @ Ex Fan. Hi 1sicklex, or whatever name you come up with 😉 I see you are still spreading hate. Grow up.


    HOLD UP, HOLD UP. I see light at the end of the Tunnel.

    I’ll be the first to buy it if later:
    had a K23Turbo in it (from old RDX).
    had SH-AWD (or cheaper AWD from the RDX/CR-V) with 6sp auto or 6sp manual.
    was lowered1.5-2.2inches.
    had some nice 18’s.
    had on the concept bumpers/skirts with the Hybrids Deck Lid Spoiler and 2 VISIBLE DUAL EXHAUST.
    With competitive prices at 30-34K for all mentioned above plus Advanced/Tech PKG’s combined and you have deal if it hits 60 in under 5.8 seconds. Considering it could be 260lbsT and 240HP, SH-AWD in a 2900lbs PKG.

    Sounds crazy for a entry level but I think I finally want some small and sporty with an Acura badge. After it all the RDX is on a Civic plat form like the ILX so why can’t AWD be added? Sure less room but ya know..

    What I don’t understand is why Acura is going to a stupid design, and boring drivetrains Hence the following:

    1.) 1 tiny, un-appealing exhaust outlet tucked beneath the rear bumper.

    2.) The Grills have gotten better, still Acura cannot make a complementary lower front end fascia. (TL, RLX, 2012 TSX)

    3.) Acura is still uses small rims.

    4.) Their concept/ show-off colors. Silver? Looks way to plain and futuristic, which we all know you guys are very good at, but we arnt ready just yet.

    5.) The flat line then a sudden HUMP above the wheels? Thats not exactly the sexy’ist thing. Not when you’ved used it on the ZDX, ILX and now the RLX. Styling repetitiveness is a no no.

    6.) 111/127lbsT hybrd when the CR-Z gets 121/138lbsT (If I can remember)

    7.) 150/140 numbers no not cut it. And a 5speed auto lets us know right away.

    8.) 201/170 and 6 auto is right where the base should be.

    9.) Why didn’t you guys just wait till the Direct injected engines are here? As far as I know they are being out into full swing mid way next year. Could have been a great opportunity to keep the TSX in for 2013 ending with a Type-S model.

    10.) Acura, your Honda. ACT LIKE IT! On second thought.. Act like OLD Honda.

  9. AngeliaMichele

    Whatever folks! I’ve loved my Honda’s (Civic, Accord, Prelude, DelSol) since I was a teenager and adore my current ZDX Advance, it’s AMAZING. Life is not static, things change and evolve all the time. It was just time for a change!

  10. acura fan

    @Ex Fan

    ES Fan, im not sure where the confusion you speak of is? You are a lexus fanboy. RX350, RX400H, RX330, ES300, ES330, ES350, GS300/400/430/460h, CT200h, IS250,IS300,IS350, IS-F, LF-A, SC300, SC400, SC430, F-Sport…OMG OMG OMG my head is going to explode. How confusing. What a mess of names……..You see how stupid you sound now? OMG OMG OMG..what a mess of names, the TL is going to be called TLX….the end of the world is coming…..or more like…new name…kind of like the 325i becames the 328i, then 330i, now 335i. But lets not forget the huge mess bmw is creating by adding other letters to the mix….oh noes..more confusion…335iX, 335iS, 335iC…and then there is the 328i, iX, iC, and iS. How confusing.

    There is no confusion. The ILX is a new model…kind of like there was no confusion when new models such as the Ct200h & 128i were released. Everyopne will know what the RLX & TLX are….RL & TL. its really that simple. the old name is within the new name…so you pretty much have to be a simpleton to nto figure out….perhaps you were droped on your head?

  11. ShadowOfYourFormerSelf

    Anymore, Acura seems to keep following these hollow marketing theories about how to develop impressive cars. Its not in the naming. Its not in trying to build a rival to some other brand. Its about producing a great and polished driving experience (and yes, that means better performance than what you’ve been making). And as an Acura owner, I dont think the current Acura execs get that – because their products just dont seem to live up to the brands wonderful past. In the 90’s, when you told someone you had an Acura, they were impressed. Now, its like saying you bought a Kia. So, shame on you, Vicki and others… you’re not fooling your customers with such nonsense (including this fake ‘real guy’ blogger, Tyson Hugie on the payroll). I’m not a youngster, but that doesn’t mean I want a car designed for pretender geriatrics.

  12. Atom

    You can say what you’d like about the “I” in ILX, but let’s be honest it’s an “Integra”. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The RSX was fitting in a Honda market. The ILX is fitting in an Acura market. I’m glad the RSX had zero “I” lettering here(Not sure other countries). The RSX woulda been a better run as an update to the old CRX. Thus once Honda/Acura updated the line TSX was entry, & CRX was back, but a dog. ILX saved this entry LX sporty line with a pretty good lineage.


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