Skip to main content

Acura Celebrates 30 Years of Modern Performance Luxury

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

On March 27th 1986, premium motoring received a major shake-up in North America. During a time when luxury was still seen as a big, heavily vehicle with an eight-cylinder engine, the gaining momentum of import vehicles would impact the way upscale automobiles you be viewed in the United States and Canada. The first of three Japanese auto brands who have successfully launched a luxury car brand, Honda introduced Acura to the world 30 years ago.

Originally classified as "Channel II" by Honda in initial planning during 1984,   In creating the Acura brand, Honda reacted to a projection of growth in the luxury car market. The dedicated luxury car marque presented the ideal opportunity to promote even more aggressive vehicles and technologies in North America. Launching with roughly 60 dealers, Acura's model line-up consisted by the 3-door and 5-door Integra as well as a V-6 powered sedan called the Legend. Both promoting a blend of performance and luxury personalities, the Acura Integra and Legend boasted sophisticated driving dynamics. The original Acura line-up featured sophisticated aerodynamic tailoring, impressive four-valve, fuel-injected engine power and driver-oriented interiors. In its first year, Acura sold 52,869 vehicles and advertised 150 dealers in the United States. In 1987, Acura production pushed across 109,000 cars while the Integra and Legend (which added a coupe body style) was lauded by the North American press.

Since the 1986 introduction of Acura, the luxury make has gained a lasting reputation. The company  As the brand entered the 1990s, Already proving to be strong in the sales department, the Acura gained a sensationally desirable vehicle that had not been seen by auto enthusiast eyes. The Acura NSX debuted in 1991 as the first production car to be built on an all-aluminum chassis and body. Channelling inspiration from a F-16 fighter jet, the Acura NSX was the mid-engined, two-passenger supercar that proved the extent of the luxury performance brand's sizzle. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine of the 1991 NSX would also be the first Honda product to feature their VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control engine technology that allowed bullish performance at low and high RPMs. The Acura Integra's engine would gain a 1.7-liter VTEC engine in 1992. Sales of a fourth model, the Vigor also started in 1992. By 1994, the 1,000,000th Acura would be sold in the United States. Over the course of the late 1990s, Acura would eliminate vehicle names in favour of alphabetic naming. The Legend became the RL in 1996, the Vigor was replaced by the TL and the Integra survived until 2001 before the introduction of the RSX,

Photo Credit: American Honda Motor Company

The first Japanese-based luxury car maker to sell vehicles in North America, Acura would also be a pioneer in the way they deliver their products to showrooms starting in the late 1990s. Originally completely built in Japan and imported with Acura badging, the cars of the luxury brand would eventually lead to production jobs in the United States and Canada. In early 1996, the Acura CL coupe's construction at Honda's East Liberty, Ohio facility would allow the premium car division to claim the distinction of being the first international luxury car to be built in the United States. Production of Acura vehicles in Canada started at roughly the same time in Alliston, Ontario. From 1996 to 2013, the EL, CSX, MDX and ZDX were built by Canadian labour from the Honda of Canada Manufacturing plants. Marking 20 years of production in the United States, Acura has sourced more than 98 percent of their vehicles from North America.

Having first endeavoured into the luxury sport utility vehicle starting in 1995 with a badge-engineered Isuzu Trooper called the SLX (Only sold in the United States with less than positive fanfare), Acura proceeded in their own attempt in the emerging and lucrative premium sport utility vehicle market. The Acura MDX was born in 2001 as a seven-passenger mid-sized vehicle co-developed with the Honda Pilot. Proving to be a popular vehicle, Acura would later reinforce their line-up with a smaller crossover called the RDX. There was also a period between 2010 and 2013 where Acura sold the ambitiously styled ZDX that the brand described as a four-door sport coupe. The daring design won both praise and criticism but remains captivating to this day.

Flickr presentation of Acuras over the years captured by my camera 

While the compact premium car market was left neglected by Acura in the 1990s and 2000s, Canada gained special attention from the luxury division. Based on the Honda Civic, the Acura EL and later CSX served as a well-equipped small sedans constructed in Alliston, Ontario. The Canadian-exclusive compact Acuras remained until the arrival of the ILX.

In recent years, some could make a case to say Acura lacked the essence of performance in their premium line-up with the absence of a two-door sports car. The Acura RSX was a desirable sport coupe that roamed through the mid-2000s. Discontinued in 2006, the RSX was the brand's last two-door car until just recently.

For late spring of this year, Acura's 30th birthday will feature some considerable force to blow out candles. A new generation Acura NSX returns as with Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Set to start at $189,900 Canadian, the 2017 Acura NSX has triggered a 1.2-million US dollar payment for the first example sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction for charity.

Along with introducing the long-awaited 2017 Acura NSX, the luxury car builder debuted a new version of their MDX crossover vehicle. Displaying a profoundly different look for the brand heading forward with a restyled grille, the 2017 Acura MDX's introduction at the New York International Auto Show also comes with a Sport Hybrid edition.

Acura, a new derived from the word "acu" translating from latin to mean mechanically precise or done with precision (according to corporate history), has produced over 4.2 million vehicles for the North America market.

In honour of Acura's 30th year, I wish to share a few Youtube videos of the brand's vehicles:

Acura NSX Concept at 2013 CIAS

Acura TLX Prototype at 2014 CIAS

Acura TLX GT Race Car at 204 Motorexpo Toronto


Popular posts from this blog

Will NASCAR's Next Gen Car Development Avoid Mistakes Made With CoT?

  Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images untitled On Wednesday of this week (May 5 th of 2021), NASCAR will formally present the sport’s newest Cup Series chariot. Originally called the Gen 7 car before adopting the moniker of the Next Gen car, the vehicle was initially planned to be part of the 2021 racing season but was pushed to 2022 due to the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupting development as well as team finances to implement the Next Gen car. From the details already leaked about the Next Gen car, the 2022 Cup season is destined to deliver the biggest learning curve ever to drivers, team and fans. Ahead of the official unveiling of the car, indications of a new spec chassis, six-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension as well as a larger diameter, single-lug wheels are radically going to reshape the operations of NASCAR Cup Series teams on and off the track. With anticipation building towards the planned on-track introduct

Morbid Motoring History: Transaxle of James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder Up For Auction

Photo Credit: Porsche AG untitled More than 65 years after James Dean’s fatal highway crash on U.S. Route 466, a verifiable piece has surfaced of the vehicle involved in the ill-fated Porsche 550 Spyder the 24-year-old actor drove in his last moments of life. Through an online auction being held on Bring A Trailer , buyers with a desire to obtain a rather ghoulish gearbox. The Porsche 550 Spyder was one of the first purpose-built race cars assembled to establish a name of what was once a small sports car located in Stuttgart, Germany. A derivative of Porsche’s 356 production car, the 550 Spyder’s compact, lightweight stature (the 550 was in reference to the vehicle’s weight in kilograms) combined with a mid-mounted 1,500 cc flat-four engine proved almost instantly superior in competition. Entering competition in 1953 by Porsche, the 550 Spyder cemented much of the early on-track success for the brand including a class victory at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. A total of 90

A New Four-Runner: Helio Castroneves Wins Monumental 2021 Indy 500

Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar untitled As race day for the 105 th edition of the Indianapolis 500 at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway approached, a number of favourites emerged through the practices and qualifying session. Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon topped the lists of many analysts after he captured the race’s pole position . Dixon’s #9 Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dallara-Honda posting the fastest time in Friday’s Carb Day practice only solidified the logic of picking the New Zealander to win. Other names favoured for having the best chances to drink milk in Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s victory lane included Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi. Besides Scott Dixon, it is surprising to conceive after the 2021 running of the 500-mile greatest spectacle in racing that another more veteran name wasn’t immediately entered into top contention prior to the green flag. Unlike the COVID-19 delayed 2020 event that ran on August 23 in 85