Acura may go all AWD in bid to mimic Subaru's success

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Acura's struggles have been well publicized. The Honda-owned luxury brand doesn't seem sure of where it's going or what it's trying to accomplish, with its cars and marketing lacking a coherent theme. Now, a new report from Automotive News claims that the brand could follow the success of Subaru and (to a lesser extent) Audi, and adopt all-wheel-drive as standard across its model range.

"I think that's the way we should go," Acura boss Koichi Fukuo told Automotive News.

Acura already offers some form of all-wheel drive on every vehicle in its line aside from the lamentable ILX sedan. That could change as Acura begins rolling out next-generation versions of its still relatively new stable of sedans and crossovers.

"The key is AWD. As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition," Fukuo told AN. "What's important is to have the technology, styling and performance to evolve all together. Otherwise, I don't think we can increase the number of loyal customers, so-called Acurists."

Acura's all-wheel-drive push is a promising one, according to analysts on both sides of the Pacific.

"Subaru has carved out a niche with this and has cultivated one of the most loyal bases in the industry," Edmunds Jeremy Acevedo told Automotive News. "The AWD direction Fukuo aims to take Acura in also shows considerable promise."

"Making Acura 100-percent all-wheel drive could be a good idea," Tatsuo Yoshida, of Barclays Securities Japan, told AN. "It is very simple from a sales and marketing point of view to sell the cars with such technology."

What are your thoughts? Is this a smart move for Acura? Is there another aspect of its vehicles the brand should be focused on? Will a pure all-wheel-drive lineup work? Have your say in Comments.

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