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Acura - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Acura cars

Acura (Japanese: アキュラ, Akyura) is a brand of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company. It primarily competes with Lexus, Infiniti and Cadillac among others as a luxury vehicle. It has been used in the US, Canada and Hong Kong since March 1986 to market Honda's performance automobiles and near-performance vehicles. The brand was introduced to Mexico in 2004 and to the Chinese market in 2006. It is also planned to extend Acura to the Japanese domestic market two years from 2008 or so. With the Acura brand, Honda is credited with being the first to tap into a market for luxury Japanese cars outside Japan. Before Acura, automobiles exported from Japan were primarily economical in design and largely targeted at low-cost consumers.

The Acura brand

In 1986, following a decade of research, Honda opened 18 all-new dealerships in North America to support its Acura automobile division. Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand to appear, and its initial offerings consisted of four models: the Legend, a V6-powered coupe and sedan, and the Integra, available as a five-door and three-door hatchback, as well as a sedan. The success of these models led to competing Japanese luxury brand ventures (Toyota's Lexus and Nissan's Infiniti).

Vehicle history

In 1990, four years after the debut of the Legend and Integra, Acura introduced the NSX, a midship V6 powered, rear-wheel-drive sports car. The NSX, an acronym for "New Sports eXperimental", was billed as the first Japanese car capable of competing with Ferrari and Porsche. This vehicle served as a halo car for the Acura brand. The NSX was the world's first all-aluminum production car.

Despite a strong start for the Acura brand (in terms of market acceptance), sales suffered in the mid- to late 1990s. Some critics attributed this decline in part to less inspiring designs. Additionally, during this time Acura switched to an alphanumeric nomenclature formula, dropping the Legend and Integra titles. The 1996 3.5 RL, which replaced the popular Legend, was seen by many as the epitome of this problem, namely because the RL designation was more anonymous than the former Legend title. Also, the RL's 210-horsepower V6 (later increased to 225 hp) and front-wheel drive, together with a high price and styling that cautiously copied the larger and more powerful Lexus LS 400, did little against BMW, Audi, Lexus, and other competitors. During this time, the NSX also lost sales as Acura made few changes from its original 1989 trim. A year later, the Integra sedan was withdrawn, replaced by the Acura 1.6EL, which was only sold in Canada as a rebadged Honda Civic. The Integra sedan continued to be sold in the United States until 2001.

Despite these letdowns, Acura gained prominence in the 1990s with a young group of customers: tuner enthusiasts. Parent company Honda's reputation with this demographic as a maker of "easy-to-tune" and "rev-happy" engines rubbed off onto Acura, and the Integra became a popular tuner car.

Beginning around the year 2000, Acura experienced a rebirth which was catalyzed by the introduction of several redesigned models. The first of these models was the 1999 Acura 3.2 TL, an upscale sedan competing with the likes of the Lexus ES, Infiniti I30, and BMW 3-series. Critics suggested that although 3.2 TL did not outdo its competition in any one area, it offered a well-rounded blend of sportiness and luxury. These characteristics, combined with the TL's competitive price, proved very popular with consumers. Subsequent Acura models have followed a similar philosophy of offering lots of standard equipment and very few options.

Another refreshed Acura introduced in the early 2000s was the MDX, a popular three-row crossover SUV based on the Honda Odyssey minivan. The MDX replaced the slow-selling SLX, which was little more than a rebadged Isuzu Trooper. The MDX was a car-like crossover SUV with little off-road capability that catered to the demands of the luxury SUV market. It was given top honors by Car and Driver in its first comparison test against seven other SUVs. Other cars in Acura's line-up during this time included the 3.2 TL, 3.2 CL, RSX (formerly the Integra hatchback), and the NSX. By the late 2000s, Acura had dropped the inclusion of engine displacement numbers in its vehicle designations, retaining a simpler, two- or three-letter designation instead (e.g. 3.5 RL became RL).

Take Back and Trust Your Love, Kumi Koda's singles promoted in the US, were featured in the 2002 commercials for the 3.5 RL and 3.2 TL.

A new TL debuted for the 2004 model year, featuring sharp, Italianate styling and a 270-hp V6 (measured by then-current SAE, standards) — and was offered with a 6-speed manual transmission. The new TL increased sales dramatically to 70,943 American units in 2005, trumping competitors such as the C-Class, G35, CTS, ES 300, and A4. That same year, Acura introduced the TSX, a European-market Honda Accord loaded with features, as a cheaper alternative to the BMW 3-series. This model became the only 4-cylinder sedan in Acura's line-up. A new RL debuted in 2005, this time with a 300-hp V6, improved styling, and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), a system capable of sending almost all of the RL's power to just one wheel in a turn.

Acura's new models—particularly the TL and TSX—have been well received by the motoring press. For example, the TSX has been on Car and Driver's Ten Best list in all three years of production (2004 – 2006). The TL, TSX, and MDX have become Acura's top selling vehicles. The US Big Three recently re-introduced sport sedans with rear wheel drive and V8 engines, making Acura, along with SAAB the only luxury manufacturers not to offer V8s. Aditionally, Acura, SAAB, and Volvo are the only luxury manufacturers to use front wheel drive only.

In 2006 Acura introduced a small SUV called the RDX with models becoming available to U.S. consumers in August 2006. It is powered by a turbocharged 240-hp 4-cylinder engine and, like the RL, uses Acura's SH-AWD system. The RDX was supported initially by a 4-ad television campaign, one which featured the RDX driving across the ceiling of an ovaloid room, highlighting the RDX's SH-AWD (Super-handling, All-Wheel-Drive) transmission. The model is available in two versions: Premium (the standard offering), and Technology Package (being the upgraded offering which includes a GPS navigation system, Bluetooth phone integration and other high tech features). No factory options are offered for either version, but several dealer-installed options are available including body-side moldings, front and rear trim packages, all-weather floor-mats, iPod-integration cable, and automatic-dimming rear-view mirror.

A completely redesigned MDX became available in the fall of 2006 with a 300-hp V6 engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Acura also re-introduced the TL Type-S for the 2007 model year. Although the slow-selling NSX was discontinued in December 2005, Acura has promised a successor with a V10 engine for the 2010 model year.

Motorsports

Almost since its inception, Acura has been involved in American motorsports, specifically in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and IMSA GT Championship series. Starting in 1991, Acura reached an agreement with the Comptech Racing to use the V6 motor of the all-new Acura NSX in Comptech's Camel Lights Spice prototype. Acura would go on to take the Lights championship in its initial year, including a class win at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Acura and Comptech would take the Lights championships again in 1992 and 1993, as well as another Daytona class win in 1992 and a class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring for 1993.

However a change in the IMSA rules would lead to the demise of the Camel Lights, and so Acura moved to touring car racing, joining Realtime Racing in the SCCA World Challenge with the NSX in 1996, winning the final two races of the season. In 1997, Acura added Acura Integras to the lower classes, and were successful in taking the championship in both of these classes. Realtime took the touring championship with the Integra again in 1998, and came within a few points of winning it again in 1999 only to lose it in the final race, then coming back to retake the title in 2000.

Although Realtime had abandoned the NSX program in 1998, the NSXs returned to the top class in 2001. Although the NSX squad suffered mechanical woes and were unable to take the title, the Integras of the touring class once again took the teams championship. By 2002, Acura replaced the aged Integra with the new Acura RSX in the final races of the season, scoring good finishes in their debut. At the same time, Acura finally retired the NSXs from the top GT class. The RSXs would later be joined by new Acura TSXs in 2004. Realtime continues to campaign the RSX and TSX in the SCCA Speed World Challenge. Acura also currently races RSXs and TSXs in the Grand American Road Racing Association's KONI Challenge Series for touring cars.

At the Detroit Auto Show in 2006, Acura announced their plans to enter the American Le Mans Series with multiple teams of Le Mans prototypes in the LMP2 class starting in 2007 season. The cars would be purchased chassis from existing manufacturers, but use American-built Acura V8s (a first for Acura and Honda). Acura also announced their initiative to take the cars to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2008 and eventually move to the superior LMP1 class with cars built by Acura themselves in 2009. Later in 2006, Acura announced that the three factory teams would be Andretti Green Racing, Fernández Racing, and Highcroft Racing, and that the chassis would be built by Lola Cars of the UK and Courage Compétition of France.

The three Acura-powered prototypes debuted at the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring, opening round of the ALMS season, and were successful in their debut. Andretti Green's Acura took second place overall and first in the LMP2 class, while Fernández Racing took third overall, and Highcroft sixth, beating a series of established Porsche teams in their class. At the same time, Acura began development of their own chassis by heavily modifying their purchased Courage chassis. The cars now have been so radically changed from their original orientation that they are now named Acura ARX-01a.

Acura continues to incorporate technology from its racing experience into the automobiles it produces.

Timeline

1986
Acura debuts in North America as the first Japanese luxury marque.
1990
Acura dealerships in the US win their fifth consecutive first-place ranking on the Customer Satisfaction Index by J. D. Power and Associates. Acura announces that it will expand research and development in US.
1991
The Acura Legend coupe wins Motor Trend's prestigious Import Car of the Year trophy.
Honda's revolutionary VTEC technology is introduced in the NSX
Acura is introduced in Hong Kong by Reliance Motors
1997
The Integra Type-R is introduced.
The Civic-based 1.6EL replaces the Integra sedan in the Canadian lineup, while the Integra sedan continued U.S. sales until 2001.
2001
The MDX wins the prestigious Motor Trend "2001 Sport/Utility of the Year" award.
Civic-based 1.7EL launched, replacing the 1.6EL, in the Canadian lineup.
2002
Acura RSX replaces Integra name in North America. Integra, first introduced in 1986
2003
CL is dropped.
2004
Acura is introduced in Mexico by Honda de Mexico.
3rd generation Acura TL is introduced.
TSX is introduced. TSX becomes very competitive choice against popular BMW 3-series.
2005
The new Acura TL wins "Consumer's Most Wanted Vehicle" at Edmunds.com
Acura RL is introduced with revolutionary SH-AWD system
2006
Acura is introduced in China.
Acura RDX is introduced with SH-AWD
Acura introduces CSX to replace EL, and is only sold in Canada.
Acura RSX is dropped
2007
Acura MDX receives a redesign
Acura TL Type-S is reintroduced, CSX Type-S is introduced
2009
Acura TSX receives a redesign
Acura TL receives a redesign

Future models

  • Acura will be introduced in Japan two years from 2008 or so
  • Acura “Advanced Sedan Concept“ (flagship)
  • Acura “Advanced Sports Car Concept“ (next generation NSX)

Current models

  • MDX (luxury SUV)
  • RDX (crossover SUV)
  • RL (mid-size sedan) (know as "RL" in North America, "Legend" in the rest of the world)
  • TL (mid-size sports sedan)
  • TSX (compact sports sedan)
  • CSX (compact sedan) (replacement for the Acura EL, only available in Canada)

Discontinued models

  • EL (compact sedan, replaced Integra sedan; available only in Canada, replaced by the CSX (which is also available only in Canada))
  • Integra (sports coupe and sedan, replaced by the RSX and EL)
  • RSX (sports coupe, discontinued after the 2006 model year)
  • Legend (luxury sedan and coupe, replaced by the RL) ("Legend" nameplate discontinued only in N. America)
  • Vigor (mid-sized sedan, replaced by the TL)
  • CL (luxury coupe, discontinued after 2003 model year)
  • SLX (SUV, replaced by the MDX; available only in the United States)
  • NSX (exotic coupe)
  • Sterling – a version of the Acura Legend marketed in the USA, built in the U.K. by Rover

List of all Acura cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

Auto Insurance Discounts

There are several discount programmes offered by many insurance companies, which we summarized below. Availability of each discount, discount rates and age requirements may vary by insurance company and by state, indeed. Also be aware that certain types vehicles may not qualify, you should always check with your insurance provider.

Anti-Theft Discount

Vehicles equipped with an alarm or anti-theft device may save you money on your Comprehensive Coverage.

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