Update: New sedan to take Acura to ‘tier 1’ statusEnlarge Photo
While the TSX, RL, and TL have been redesigned for 2009, Honda’s vice president for corporate planning in North America, Dan Bonawitz, admits that none of these cars are up to 'tier' 1 standards. However, in a recent interview with Automotive News, Bonawitz boasted that the situation will change in 2010 when an "all-new vehicle about the same level as the TL" arrives.
The RL's poor sales performance has led to speculation that it will be replaced before 2012, speculation which has been fueled by Bonawitz, who revealed that Acura has a "sedan coming that will clearly put [them] in tier 1" before 2012.
The RL's possible replacement may become the Acura that can intimidate the Germans, with a possible 400hp (298kW) 4.5L V8 engine and a RWD layout rumored to be among its list of specs. There’s also the chance that this new sedan will be sold alongside the RL as no final decision on the future of either model has been confirmed. Pictured above is the Acura Advanced Sedan Concept from 2006's Los Angeles Auto Show, a striking design study for a flagship sedan.
Also rumored to be in the works is a new four-seater coupe as a possible replacement for the CL.
One model that is confirmed is the replacement for the NSX supercar. Seen testing recently at the Nurburgring, the new flagship model is expected to sport a 550hp (410kW) V10 engine with 420lb-ft (570Nm) of torque.
Finally, the RDX will come in for a redesign for the 2011 model year and could spawn a hybrid variant. This will be followed that same year by the next-generation MDX, which could be offered with a new V6 turbodiesel engine. A third SUV model could be added to Acura’s lineup as revealed by a new prototype caught testing recently in California’s Death Valley.
Original: Acura plans to add an all-new model to its lineup by 2010 to help expand its limited lineup and realign itself with 'tier 1' luxury brands such as its more established German rivals. This won’t be the NSX-replacement seen recently testing in prototype form as the new supercar isn’t due to hit showrooms until after 2010.
One of Acura’s key criticisms is its lack of a full model line and powerful RWD vehicles. Speaking with Automotive News, Acura’s vice-president for corporate planning and logistics, Dan Bonawitz, confirmed there would be an all-new model released in 2010.
The new car is likely to fit into the smaller segments in a nod to current fuel concerns, and according to Bonawitz “there is potential for a coupe like the previous CL (pictured)” - despite that model being discontinued after the 2003 model year.
The CL replaced the Acura Legend Coupe when it ceased production in 1995, but since its departure from the lineup Acura hasn’t had a mid-size coupe in its stable. Currently, Acura only has five vehicles but the addition of a supercar such as the NSX-replacement and a smaller, stylish coupe could have the potential to boost the brand’s image to compete with the likes of BMW, Lexus and Mercedes.
Sales for Acura last month dropped more than 14.8% on levels from a year ago, however this is in line with current market trends.