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Old 01-12-10, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Detroit 2010: Acura Hybrids Coming Says Honda CEO

A brand desperately in search of a clear direction, Acura will soon deliver a hybrid model says Honda CEO Takanobu Ito.

The announcement was made by Ito just prior to introducing the latest hybrid in the Honda lineup, the CR-Z. Ito did not comment on if an Acura hybrid would use Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid technology, which by all accounts is outdated compared to full-hybrid systems currently on the market from company’s like Toyota and Ford.

Acura has struggled to find itself in the luxury marketplace since it moved away from entry-level models like the RSX and decided not to offer competitive top-tier products to compete with vehicles like the Lexus LS. Plans to build a successor to the NSX have all but fallen apart, even though the company recently debuted what appears to be a very capable replacement (the HSV-010). Honda has said that model is only for racing.

In the past Ito has commented that Honda has no plans to deliver a V8 engine, meaning that Acura won’t be competing with Lexus in the premium flagship segment any time soon. Meanwhile, the Acura brand has launched the ZDX, a coupe-styled crossover, aimed at a very small segment of the market.

It’s likely the first hybrid from Acura will be based on the ucoming relacement for the RL, however, an entry-level hybrid model is also a possibility.

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