Image: Photoshopped Acura TL coupe courtesy of Acurazine.

Acura's aim of becoming a "Tier 1" luxury brand has been thwarted by a lineup that some view as nothing more than decked-out Hondas. Dan Bonawitz, Honda's vice president of corporate planning and logistics believes that broadening Acura's line of vehicles is the way to compete with Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

The first step is to introduce an all-new vehicle that will arrive before the new NSX in 2010. A coupe is a possibility, filling the gap left by the dearly departed RSX and older CL. A retractable hardtop could be part of the package, and there's also talk of a four-door "coupe" that could contend with the M-B CLS and Audi's upcoming A7.

Whatever it is, it needs to be packing more than a just a four-pot driving the front wheels. A serious competitor the 1-series would be a welcome addition to the Acura line, and would fulfill the automaker's previous claim of pursuing niches generally left unfilled by other luxury brands.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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