Precision Concept previews the future of Acura design [w/video]

When we drove the 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid two years ago we celebrated its massive handling and carped on its milquetoast styling. We'd have done backflips if the internals of the brand's flagship sedan had been wrapped in the sheetmetal of the Acura Precision Concept. Don't get us wrong, we still have some questions about the front end of the car in these images, but we're all-in on the side view and, more importantly, we applaud Acura for making a bold design statement.

Acura says the Precision concept "literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products," bringing a "bolder, more distinctive future for Acura vehicle design." Hallelujah. As if you couldn't tell, this is the product of the Acura Design Studio in California, where Acura NSX veteran Michelle Christensen led the exterior work and NSX veteran John Norman led the interior design.

Up front is what's called a Diamond Pentagon grille, which looks fussy here but we won't make final judgments until we see it on the Detroit Auto Show floor later today. Come around to the side and the low-slung, rear-wheel-drive proportions on 22-inch wheels are the last thing we'd expect from a design study for an Acura sedan. It is about two inches shorter than the 2016 BMW 750i with a wheelbase that is 4.4 inches shorter, and sits six inches lower.

Intensely sculpted surfaces flow from the exterior into the cabin, like the CHMSL that breaks the rear backlight to roll into the rear headrests. Interior elements thrust like geologic formations, popping with mixed materials, floating rear seats, a small steering wheel and floating gauge locked onto a tiered instrument panel. The wide, curved screen atop the center console experiments with a floating touchpad to control a concept human-machine interface.

Acura says everything about the Precision concept is an expression of the company's "Precision Crafted Performance DNA." We have no idea how Acura plans to integrate this into its product line; put the Precision on a showroom floor right now and every other current Acura model save the NSX would squeal away and hide. But we welcome the attempt. We can't wait to see what happens.

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Acura Precision Concept Points to Bold Future for Acura Design

DETROIT, January 12, 2016 – The Acura Precision Concept model made its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show today, pointing toward a bolder, more distinctive future for Acura vehicle design. The Acura Precision Concept was developed by the Acura Design Studio in California to express the Acura brand DNA of "Precision Crafted Performance."

"There is no more clear promise for the Acura brand than Precision Crafted Performance," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. "We're committed to infusing this core Acura promise into every facet of our products and every aspect of our relationship with the customer."

With an emphasis on high-contrast details and the intersection of modern, sheer surfaces and muscular, organic sculpting, the Acura Precision Concept communicates Acura's focus on performance and prestige through its ultra-low and wide stance, long dash-to-axle ratio, deeply sculpted surfaces and the debut of a new Diamond Pentagon grille.

"The Acura Precision Concept is more than simply a concept vehicle, it is a design study model that literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products around our Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said Dave Marek, Acura global creative director. "The Acura Precision Concept is the leading edge of a renewed commitment to delivering Precision Crafted Performance in every facet of the product experience and creating a powerful and very exciting direction for the next generation of Acura models."

The Acura Precision Concept's crouched and athletic stance is further emphasized by its deeply sculpted side surfaces pouring over swelling rear wheel arches covering 22-inch wheels and tires. The forward-looking concept also features signature lighting designs – in front with its Jewel Constellation LED headlights composed of organically arranged fractal elements, and in back with floating LED taillights.

A key design theme, dubbed "quantum continuum," is seen in the seamless transition of materials and structure from the exterior to the interior of the vehicle, which is further highlighted by the absence of a b-pillar. The large door rocker panel flows into the interior side sill, transitioning into a cantilever for the floating rear seats. The rear center high-mounted stoplight becomes an architecture element piercing the rear glass and then flowing down to help form the structure for the metal airfoil shape of the rear headrests.

The elegant and powerful exterior is matched by its dramatic interior design, where cantilevered surfaces meet with striking tones, expressive surfacing and modern detailing. Of particular note are the double-layered instrument panel, the high-contrast front seat surfaces, the ultra-thin "floating" rear seats, evoking the look of modern lounge furniture, and the hand-crafted audio speaker grilles made of exotic wood.

The driver's space is highlighted by a compact, race-inspired, sports steering wheel with paddle shifters and Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) controls, a floating center meter, a driver's head-up display, a cantilevered center stack and an ultra-wide, thin and curved center display screen.

New Acura HMI Concept
The Acura Precision Concept also explores a new approach for Acura's digital human-machine interface (HMI), enabling a more intuitive, advanced and seamless connection between man and machine. The ultra-wide and curved center screen is operated by a floating touch pad suspended on the cantilevered center stack. Upon entry, the system scans each occupant and selects personalized features and functions, including maps, audio and customized vehicle performance settings. Acura Precision Concept dimensions:
Width 84 inches
Length 204 inches
Height 52 inches
Wheelbase 122 inches
Wheel/Tire 22-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer Tire

About the Acura Precision Concept
The Acura Precision Concept was created to explore new and challenging ideas for future Acura design, particularly Acura sedans. The concept was created by Acura's California Design Studio under the direction of Acura global creative director, Dave Marek. The exterior design was led by Michelle Christensen, principal exterior designer, with the interior design created under the leadership of John Norman, principal interior designer. Both Christensen and Norman also played a key role in the creation of the next-generation Acura NSX supercar.

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of precision crafted performance-luxury vehicles through a network of approximately 270 U.S. dealers. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America's all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV. The next-generation Acura NSX mid-engine supercar will join the Acura lineup in the spring. Acura has been recognized by for the fourth consecutive year as leading all luxury brands in retained value after five years of ownership.

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