Acura is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda. The brand was launched in the United States and Canada on 27 March 1986, marketing luxury, performance, and high-performance vehicles. It was introduced to Hong Kong in 1991, Mexico in 2004, China in 2006, Russia in 2014 and Kuwait in 2015. Honda plans to introduce Acura to the Japanese domestic market (JDM) in 2008 was delayed, due to economic reasons, and later withheld as a result of the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Acura holds the distinction of being the first Japanese automotive luxury brand. The creation of Acura coincided with the introduction of a JDM Honda dealership sales channel, called Honda Clio, which sold luxury vehicles, joining previously established Honda Verno, followed by Honda Primo the following year. In its first few years of existence, Acura was among the best-selling luxury marques in the US. Though sales were down in the mid-to-late 1990s, the brand experienced a revival in the early 2000s, due to drastic redesigns and the introduction of new models.
In the late 1980s, the success of the company’s first flagship vehicle, the Legend, inspired fellow Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan to launch their own luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti, respectively. The 1990 launch of the NSX, a mid-engine exotic sports car, offered a reliable and practical alternative to exotic European sports cars and introduced Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing system to the North American market.
The 1993 Legend coupe featured Acura’s first use of a six-speed manual transmission, mated to a Type II engine. In the late 1990s, Acura produced a Type R version of its compact Integra coupe, which featured a reduced curb weight, a stiffer and lower suspension, and a high output VTEC engine.
In the early2000s, Acura introduced new models, including the company’s first all-original SUV, the MDX, and two models which replaced the Integra coupe and sedan, the RSX and TSX, respectively. Type S versions of the RSX, CL, and TL were added to the brand’s lineup during the decade.
Acura 2005 RL flagship introduced SH-AWD, a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The 2007 RDX, a crossover SUV, featured the first North American use of a turbocharged Honda engine. In the 2010s, Acura debuted more new models, including the ILX, TLX, ZDX, and RLX, the latter of which introduced Acura’s Jewel Eye LED headlights. A second generation NSX was launched in 2016 and features a twin-turbocharged mid-engine, a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.
The Acura logo, introduced in 1990 for the 1991 model year, is, according to Honda, a caliper- a design tool used for measuring that can also be interpreted as a skewed “H” or a stylized “A”. This logo that was originally authorized without the approval by Soichiro Honda did not contain the small horizontal bar joining the two vertical pillars-thus, it did not form the letter “H” Soichiro Honda ordered the 5,000 badges already produced to be destroyed, including prying off the emblems applied to 309 cars already.
Acura’s current marketing slogan is “Precision crafted Performance’ Recent models include Technology, Advance, Type-S, SH-AWD, and A-Spec trim levels. Technology and Advance models typically come with the latest hi-tech features such as a keyless start and a blind spot information system. Type-S and SH-AWD models are performance-oriented, with a substantial increase in horsepower compared to the lower trim levels. Some models, such as the TL, also combine trim levels”.
Acura has also a ‘mobility program’ that ensures drivers who are disabled are safe in their vehicles. The program offers cash reimbursement towards the cost of adaptive equipment for disabled drivers.
Types of Acura cars and their prices:
- ILX: It starts at $26, 925
- MDX: It starts at $45,395
- NSX: It starts at $159,300
- RDX: It starts at $38,795
- RLX: It starts at $55,925
- TLX: It starts at $34,025
Acura cars and SUVs have long held a reputation for luxury, reliability, and charting new design and engineering paths.
When Honda launched its premium Acura Automobile division in 1986, it was a new direction towards luxury, refinement, and high performance for the Japanese automaker. The success of the early Acura models, the Legend and the Integra brought recognition to the carmaker, and it was soon one of the better-selling luxury marques in the United States.
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