Acura has had a hard time trying to win customers from Lexus and BMW due to the fact that the Acura lineup lacks a V8 or a rear-wheel-drive platform. Acura’s SH-AWD system has helped on the RL sedan, but the fact that it still lacks a V8 engine has turned off potential customers. It is being rumored that Honda is indeed working on a V8 for its flagship models and now according to Honda the automaker has set its sights higher than BMW or Lexus.
“We want to rival Bentley and Maybach in performance and design,” said Dave Marek, chief designer for Honda R&D Americas, in an interview with Automotive News.
Here is a breakdown of the future of Acura’s lineup:
-Acura TSX: The smallest Acura sedan will get a redesign next year for the 2009 model year. The main complaint about the current TSX is that it lacks power, so Honda is going to give it the same turbocharged four-cyl as the RDX crossover. I’ve also heard that the car could get a V6.
-Acura TL: The TL sedan is set for a redesign for the 2009 model year. The next TL sedan will get all-wheel-drive and a new 3.5L V6 that will put out about 300 horsepower. A V6 diesel may also be in the works.
-Acura RL: The flagship Acura sedan has been a disappointment since the current generation debuted. It’s lack of a V8 has deterred buyers. The RL will be completely redesigned for the 2011 model year. It is expected to get a V8 and maybe even a V10.
-Acura NSX: The next-generation NSX supercar keeps getting delayed due to design issues. The next NSX will probably not appear until 2011.
-Acura RDX and MDX: Both of these crossovers were new for the 2007 model year, so no immediate changes are planned. Although the MDX could get a V6 diesel by 2010 or 2011.
Will these changes work? Acura is constantly ranked as a second-tier luxury brand. After being on the market for over 20 years you would think that Honda would finally be able to get it right. They were the first Japanese automaker to launch a luxury brand, but have since been surpassed by Lexus and Infiniti. I don’t understand how Honda constantly ranks at the top of the charts with its Accords and Civics but then can’t seem to figure out how to make its luxury brand work. Let’s hope someone figures it out!
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