• Sep 25th 2007 at 10:05AM
  • 37
Acura's sales are down, and rather than try to be all cars to all buyers, filling niches is more the game plan. Product planning manager John Watts intimated that Acura's looking at segments with a narrower appeal, such as the now-defunct CL, and the possibility of a retractable hardtop vehicle, too. The MDX does well, and the new RDX is the darling of everyone who drives it, but as far as cars go, Acura's not catching anyone's hair on fire. The top-dog RL sedan is a wonderful car – beautifully drawn, SH-AWD moves, and a powerful V6 make it a very pleasant way to devour miles, but it doesn't offer the flavor du jour for premium sedans with performance leanings. The engine layout is wrong, and it's missing at least two cylinders to truly be taken seriously by some buyers who are looking for a V8 and rear drive as prerequesites.

There's talk of a new 8 or 10 cylinder powerplant in the offing. The NSX is supposedly getting a V10, which could then propagate through to other Acura cars. Analysts have noted that there's a need for a flagship sedan above the RL to offer RWD and larger engines. While Acura gets its act together developing the new NSX and readying the new TL for launch in 2009, dealers are enviously eyeing Lexus and Infiniti stores, wishing they had a big V8 boomer to throw into the fray, as well.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]



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  • 37 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The problem is that the Acura brand doesn't really do enough to distinguish itself from a really laid-out Honda.
      I shopped the TL many times and ended up saying that the difference between it & a nice Accord isn't enough to justify the huge price difference. And yes, I'm an average driver who doesn't drive enough to need or notice the fine distinction between the 2 cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really have to wonder about the NSX. News is stale on the NSX front. Make with the leaks Honda!

      Despite being very nice cars, they're too bland.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What, like the way GM whores out the Camaro (or Chrysler the Challenger) to keep people from noticing that their current lineup, well, leaves something to be desired?

        No, Honda should play their cards close to their chest. When (if) a new NSX shows up, the "newness" factor will work for it. By comparison, we've already been saturated by the Camaro and Challenger to the point where people really aren't as excited as GM/Chrysler would like them to be.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Good point. However look at Honda's other cars, the Mugen RR for instance, I believe they need to inject more of that into the Acura range to keep interest high.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The RL beautifully drawn? I've been thinking amazingly bland. As much as I appreciate the idea of SH-AWD, the styling of this car is as exciting as the styling of the outgoing US Accord which it resembles far too much. It's neither big enough (barely more interior volume than a TL) or bold enough to be a range topping statement and it's road presence is nil. If had to choose between the two I'd take a TL right now and when the new TL bows with SH-AWD at a lower price point than the RL it's an even easier choice.

      Honda should simply retire the RL and replace it with bolder, better looking car with the requisite V8 or V10
        • 7 Years Ago
        On the RL I say back to the future. The RL was better positioned as a front drive luxury car alternative to the LS Lexus. Yes - the original needed more power. So use the new V-6. An 8 or 10 cylinder engine with gas going sky high gives it in the same drawback of every big lux sedan. The new RL should have been three inches longer than the original with most of that space in the rear seat. A 300+ hp V-6 with a 7 speed trans and legitimate 28+ MPG, the bigger front seat of the original, a more open cabin (loose the huge console), a legit trunk like the original (the new one is smaller that a TL). In short a Real Luxury (RL) car with front drive, great power to weight ratio, and real world fuel economy. FINALLY - THE CAR SHOULD'NT REQUIRE THAT YOU READ THE BADGE TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM A TL. That car would sell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well if Acura designers actually designed a car and not simply repurposed a Honda and charged a premium for it's bigger engine and nicer materials, maybe they'd sell more. How's Mercury doing for Ford? Toyota at least gets it seeing most Lexus' look unique from thier Toyota counterparts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Your statement only captures the TSX. The TL and RL are pretty unique to the lineup.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Actually the TL has more in common with the North American Accord than the TSX has in common with any car HondAcura sells in the States. The TSX is the Euro Accord, judged to be too small for fatass Americans, so they created the bigger, less-attractive US Accord. I'd consider a TSX Wagon with a manual transmission (like the European Accord Tourer.)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the RL is a pretty great car all-round. I think they may have erred in including so many gizmos that drove the price into the range of cars with more oomph. It's safe, nice looking in and out, awd is cool, handles well, etc. I'd consider one as a used purchase. The problem is, they also resale well.

      The MDX looks great and I like what it is. The RDX is more homely and with the small size and turbo engine, it's overpriced vs the competition it closely matches. For 35 large I want to be able to fit more stuff in a crossover.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Also, does this upscale move will force Canadian Acura dealers to drop the Canada-only model the CSX http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura_CSX
      • 7 Years Ago
      Acura seems to lack a consistent style, each vehicle in the lineup looks a lot different than the next. That said, if the TL was rear drive, you'd have something interesting. All that power through the front wheels is just way too much. I've driven German vehicles all my life and find it hard to take anything in the Acura lineup seriously, barring the TSX, which is a handsome, well balanced vehicle.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I would buy a manual V6 TSX or a diesel TSX in a heartbeat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      how about bring back the ack legend plus the coupe
        • 7 Years Ago
        The RL is the Legend.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My 2 cents: That Accord tourer shown in Frankfurt should come in as a TSX wagon and go after all the Euro wagons.

      • 7 Years Ago
      The RL puts me to sleep.
      Good car I'm sure of but nothing compared to how much I loved the early 90's lineup.
      Legend coupe, NSX, and Vigor.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Lexus and Infiniti make the grade because of RWD and V8s."

      Lexus because of the extreme luxury facade.

      Infiniti because they make a car that has 99.9999% of the handling and performance of a BMW for 80% of the cost.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Acura's-Honda's CFO's CEO's or someone from their marketing team reads this - Great forefront Expectacular brilliant Idea! Bring back a classic collectors limited edition bigger wider bodies to place in today's commodoties, with up to date styling interiors with todays technology - also focus on passenger comfort include all the goodies , bring back the gold plating, embeded crystal logo'ing BLING! Include navigation in those dinosours _ I WOULD PAY TO HAVE ME A REPLICA UP TO DATE VEHICLE SIMILAR TO THE 90's BODIES. ALSO PREPPY EASY TO MAINTAIN ENGINES, ALL WEATHER COATED MATERIAL ON THOSE EASY TO RUST PARTS SO WE CAN HAVE LONG LASTING LOVE. WHAT MORE DO I WANT. GAS MILEAGE!!! BRING IN THE HYDRO TECHNOLOGY.
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