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
stores, wishing they had a big V8 boomer to throw into the fray, as well.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]