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Auto Services in Missouri
Wrightway Garage ★★★★★
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Auto blogThu, 16 Jan 2014 18:15:00 EST
There's a distinct benefit to automakers having their own premium brand. After all, why develop one vehicle to be sold under one nameplate if you can turn it into two? Especially if a little reconfiguration and some premium accoutrements allow said automaker to charge significantly more for the luxury version. It's a winning formula - for crossovers especially - that Toyota has used to turn the Highlander into the Lexus RX (even if the first-gen RX arrived before the original Highlander), that Ford has used to transform the Edgee into the Lincoln MKX and that General Motors has applied to the Chevrolet Suburban to turn it into the Cadillac Escalade (to name just a few of the many examples out there). And it's one to which Honda and its Acura division are certainly not unaccustomed.
Acura has adapted its Euro-spec Honda Accord into the TSX, the Civic into the ILX, the CR-V into the RDX and the Pilot into the MDX. And now that the Honda Vezel is coming to market, Acura reportedly has its eye on that as well. The idea was first introduced when Acura unveiled the SUV-X concept (shown above) at the Shanghai Motor Show this past April, just a few months after Honda revealed its Urban SUV concept that previewed the production Vezel. At the time, says Automotive News, Acura said it intended to put the concept into production in China for the Chinese market, and it's reportedly moving ahead with those plans. But now that it is, executives are wondering where else they might find buyers for the premium compact crossover.
With the Vezel soon to begin production alongside the Fit at Honda's new plant in Mexico, it wouldn't be a stretch to see the Acura version follow suit. The market does, after all, seem to be heating up with entries like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, and we couldn't blame Honda - pardon us, Acura - for wanting a slice of that pie.
Answering The $30,000 Entry-Level Luxury Question
Twenty years ago, a comparison between an entry-level Buick and Acura would have matched a Skylark against an Integra.
Twenty years ago, a comparison between an entry-level Buick and its Acura equivalent would have matched a Skylark against an Integra. The unfair battle would have resulted in the compact American's defeat in nearly every measurable category, as the Japanese competitor was arguably at the height of its powers.
The Acura Integra (pictured above in Type R trim) was one of the definitive vehicles of the Acura brand in the US, having joined the Legend at the marque's birth here. However, since the retirement of the RSX, the luxury arm of Honda has lacked a compact, sporty coupe to fill that niche. There appears to be a chance of that absence possibly coming to an end in the coming years, though.
Acura lead designer Dave Marek spoke to Car and Driver during the SEMA Show and said, "A performance brand needs a flagship and it needs an accessible sport car. Not a sports car, but a sport car." However, he also suggested that a new model wouldn't be spinning its tires too soon, at least not before 2017 by his indication.
While the vague possibility of a new sports coupe is still years away, Acura is taking its early steps in a brand revitalization campaign that includes spinning the luxury arm further away from Honda. The strong initial sales of the TLX are certainly a good start, but the work appears to just be beginning, according to Marek. "There are changes coming, and then there are more changes coming," he said to Car and Driver.