Honda is planning a major overhaul for its Acura brand, which hasn’t been performing well lately. Total U.S. sales for Acura in November were 9,909 units, down 11.2 percent, while year-to-date sales totaled 110,170 vehicles, a 7.1 percent drop from the same period last year.
At a recent media briefing in Las Vegas, Acura told reporters that with the exception of the next generation of the NSX, which will be shown in concept form at the Detroit auto show, the company will focus on offering “mid-level premium vehicles that favor fuel economy over performance”.
The company’s plans include the introduction of a new RL, a mid-life facelift for the RDX crossover and the brand-new ILX compact sedan that is scheduled to reach dealerships next spring.
A report from Autonews confirms the news adding that the Honda Civic-based ILX will effectively replace the TSX, which is derived from the European market Honda Accord.
Talking to reporters at the Las Vegas event, Vicki Poponi, American Honda assistant vice president for product planning, said the brand’s TSX, TL and RL sedan were cannibalizing sales because they were too close in exterior dimensions and interior space. “Our sedans haven’t been doing the job for the brand,” she said.
Poponi added while sharing major components, the ILX will bear no resemblance to the ninth-generation Civic or the Canadian-market Acura CSX.
“All the suspension settings will be tuned to be Acura,” she said. “Consider it as different as the TL is from the Accord or the MDX is from the Pilot.”
We also learn that the ILX will be offered with a choice of three powerplants including a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder unit matched to an automatic transmission, a 2.4-liter engine with a six-speed manual transmission or a 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain.
The report goes on to say that a facelifted version of the TL sedan and a new MDX crossover are scheduled to be introduced in 2013.
Story References: Autonews