Join Date: Apr 2006
Car 1: 91 Alpha/Alpha Touring KA7
Car 2: 92 Alpha/ AlphaT KA8
Car 3: 91L,93LS,94LS KA7's
iTrader Score: 39 reviews
History of Acura
Acura is a Japanese brand name used by Honda in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Hong Kong since March 1986 to market luxury automobiles and near-luxury vehicles. The brand will be expanded to the Chinese market in 2006 and the Japanese domestic market in 2008. Acura is credited with creating or being the first to tap into a market for luxury Japanese cars outside Japan. Before Acura, automobiles from Japan were primarily economical and were seen as reliable above all else.
Other Japanese luxury brands (Toyota's Lexus and Nissan's Infiniti) sprang up in North America shortly after Acura's introduction of the Legend, a V6-powered coupe and sedan, and the Integra, which was offered with a 4-cylinder engine only. Automotive journalists were impressed particularly by the Acura Legend.
In 1989, Acura introduced the NSX, a swoopy 276-hp two-door sports car. The NSX, an acronym for "New Sports eXperimental", was hailed as the first (and perhaps, to date, the only) Japanese car capable of taking on Ferrari and Porsche. The car's meticulously engineered quality and sterling reliability were icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, after this strong start, the mid- to late 1990s, Acura's model line-up became less and less inspiring and consequently, sales suffered. During this time, Acura switched to an alphanumeric formula for nomenclature. The 1996 3.5RL, which replaced the well-loved Legend, was seen by many as the epitome of Acura's new-found blandness. Its sluggish 210-horsepower V6 (later bumped to 225 hp) and front-wheel drive, together with anonymous styling that cautiously aped the larger, more powerful and more engaging Lexus LS400, did little against more prestigious, attractive and faster offerings from BMW, Audi, and Lexus, among others. Even the swoopy NSX lost sales as Acura barely changed the car from its original 1989 trim.
Despite these letdowns, Acura did gain prominence in the 1990's with a younger group of people; the import tuner set. Parent company Honda's reputation as a maker of easy to tune and rev-happy engines with this demographic rubbed off onto Acura, and the Integra became a popular tuner car. This reputation has continued to this day, especially with the new RSX and TSX (see below.)
Beginning around the year 2000, Acura experienced a rebirth which was catalyzed by the introduction of several revitalized models. The first of these models was the redesigned Acura 3.2 TL, an upscale sedan competing with the likes of the Lexus ES300, Infiniti I30, and BMW 3-series. Although the 3.2 TL did not outdo its competition in any one area, it offered a well-rounded blend of sportiness and luxury that--combined with its relatively low asking price--proved very popular with consumers. Subsequent Acura models have followed a similar philosophy of offering a good luxury car at a good price, with lots of standard equipment and very few options.
Another refreshed Acura introduced in the early 2000s was the MDX, a popular three-row crossover SUV based on the Honda Odyssey minivan. The MDX replaced the slow-selling SLX, which was little more than a rebadged Isuzu Trooper. The MDX was a car-like and fun-to-drive crossover SUV with little off-road capability that catered smartly to the demands of the luxury SUV market. It was given top honors by Car and Driver in its first comparison test against seven other SUVs. Other cars in Acura's line-up during this time included the 3.2 TL, 3.2 CL, RSX (formerly the Integra), and the supercar, the NSX.
A new TL debuted in 2004, equipped with sharp, Italianate styling and a 270-hp V6, and available with a 6-speed manual transmission led to a dramatic increase in sales for Acura. The same year, Acura introduced the TSX, a European-market Honda Accord loaded with features, as a cheaper alternative to the BMW 3-series. This model became the only 4-cylinder sedan in Acura's line-up, replacing the Integra sedan. A new RL debuted in 2005, this time with a 300-hp V6, more exciting styling, and innovative Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), a system capable of sending almost all of the RL's power to just one wheel in a turn.
Acura's new models—particularly the RL and TSX—have been well received by the motoring press. However, with the US Big Three recently (re)introducing sport sedans with rear wheel drive and V8 engines, some predict that Acura (who is the only Luxury manufacturer not to offer V8s and along with Saab is the only one to use FWD exclusively) may need to rethink its design philosophy once again.
In the future, Acura will introduce the RDX, a smaller SUV set to feature the RL's SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive). It should debut in mid-2006 as a 2007 model.
And while the slow-selling NSX has been discontinued for the 2006 model year, Acura has promised a redesigned model sometime in 2007-2009, currently known only as the Honda HSC.
Yes im back! Alpha/AlphaTouring!http://www.acura-legend.com/vbulleti...ang%2Fjdm-kang
Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"
Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.