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Auto blogFri, 07 Nov 2014
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.
Acura says it will show a prototype of its 2014 MDX crossover at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, and we'll admit that the announcement has left us in a bit of confusion. See, the Acura press release says that the MDX proto will present "Aero Sculpture" design language, "alluring proportions" and "arching body lines." It has been accompanied by a sketch (above, click to enlarge) that, indeed, shows off a swoopy, alluring CUV.
Yet we have spy shots from two months ago of what is supposed to be the 2014 MDX, and unless the camouflage is actually some sort of vehicular moo moo, there isn't really a swoopy line on it. It is stout and substantial, but not in a way that makes us think of "Aero Sculpture." We'll know in a few weeks where the truth resides. It would appear that Acura's rendering artist has done a masterful fade on the rear glass/D-pillar area of the vehicle.
If you want to see the answer in real time, the reveal will be broadcast as it happens on Acura's webcast site. There's a press release below with the details.
Let there be no doubt - racing automobiles can be very dangerous. This unfortunate fact of life has been proven once again today by Cody Loveland, owner of LoveFab, who crashed his Corvette-powered tube-frame Acura NSX on the second turn of the Pikes Peak hill climb course, apparently after a rear upper control arm failed. Cody hit a wall of boulders at high speed, after which the racecar caught fire.
Cody was able to escape the blaze unhurt - minus some missing hair that was singed off in the fire - but the car appears to be a complete mess, as you can see from the image above. The LoveFab Motorsports team has vowed to do its very best to rebuilt the car in time for the competition, but we'd be awfully surprised (and impressed) if that burnt-up hulk were ready for racing with just a few days to rebuild.
We're happy to hear that Cody got away safely, and here's hoping the rest of the competitors get up the hill without incident, or, like Cody, are at least able to walk away uninjured if they don't.