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Update on Acura for 2012 and beyond
 Date: November 09, 2010 09:13
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: Anonymous
 Credibility Rating: 7


A source has provided some new information concerning Acura news for the coming year.

As we reported back in July, the source confirms that the 2011 model year will be a very short run for the TL. The 2012 TL will reportedly go on sale "early next year". There are said to be no sheetmetal changes, but the metallic "tramp stamp" will reportedly disappear from the trunk lid. Also, as we already knew, the grill design has been revised. 19" wheels will be standard on a new Advance package which will also introduce Acura's BSI (Blind Spot Information System) and "other enhanced features". The source supports our earlier reports that Acura's 6-speed automatic will also become a part of the TL product mix.

The new entry level sub-TSX model is on track to be shown next year. The source says it will be offered with gasoline and hybrid powertrains. Also, and I quote: "We have been told it is very edgy and very affordable. 'Think aggressive IS350' we were told." We're not exactly sure what to make of that statement.

Now, we move on to the flagship. In discussions of the upcoming RL, there are said to be consistent comparisons to the 7-series, but it seems the comparisons have mostly been focused on rear leg room. Another source of ours supports this notion that rear seat room is a priority, saying the next RL will be something in the mold of the Mercedes CLS, "a 4-door coupe but with sufficient rear head and leg room for 6+footers". Superior fuel efficiency and new engine technology have been topics that keep coming up as well. Note that in a Q&A with Automotive News that was published yesterday, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito stated:
"We are also developing a hybrid system for larger-size vehicles with a goal to make it contribute not only to fuel economy but to the attractiveness of the products. The concept for this hybrid is significantly different."


When asked about Honda's plans for positioning the Honda brand, Ito stated:

We are having a lot of discussions about Acura and which way it should be going. And what we confirmed is that the brand direction should be smart premium, not top tier.

Among the technologies we have at Honda, we must apply those that symbolize our advanced performance technology and environmental technology. We call this "smart." We agreed that smart premium is what we should be targeting with Acura, not the upper-segment vehicles such as Lexus or Mercedes-Benz. We must apply advanced technologies which make our vehicle more fun to drive, achieve a more comfortable drive and high environmental performance.


One more item of interest from that same Q&A, Ito also mentions that Honda is considering shifting TSX production to the US. And finally, speaking of the TSX, the TSX Sportwagon will be in showrooms within the next 2 months. To be more specific, "late December-early January" is what we've been told.

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Last edited by JeffX on November 09, 2010 10:41

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