How often can you say that Acura wowed the crowd with its styling? Sure, the 2017 NSX is a looker, but it's a supercar and we've seen it for so long now that it no longer inspires passion. At this week's Detroit Auto Show, Acura unveiled the Precision concept as an expression of the brand's DNA of "Precision Crafted Performance."
Developed by Acura's California design studio, the Precision concept is a design study that Acura says will shape the direction of the brand's future products. If that is indeed the case, then the most important aspect is the new "Diamond Pentagon" grille. It represents a new face for Acura and the end of the "beak" grille that has been panned by so many critics. The concept's face also features "Jewel Constellation" LED headlights, while the rear gets floating LED taillights.
Acura says the design emphasizes high-contrast details and the intersection of modern, sheer surfaces and muscular, organic sculpting. That may be design speak, but especially on the car's flanks you can see how modern, creased surfaces interplay with more organic, rounded shapes. Metallic trim pieces along the lower sills and a sharp indent at the bottom of the front door work to create contrast. The fenders also flare front and rear to make room for the large 22-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Acura Precision Concept, 2016 Detroit Auto Show
The concept also employs a design theme Acura calls "quantum continuum." It means that structural and design elements from outside the car flow into the inside. For instance, those lower sill trim elements appear as a cantilever to the rear seats. And at the rear, the design of the center high-mounted stoplight flows from outside to inside the car.
The inside of the car is highlighted by a double-layered instrument panel, hand-crafted wood speaker grilles, and thin "floating" rear seats that Acura says have the look of modern lounge furniture. The small steering wheel has shift paddles and controls for the Integrated Dynamics system. There is also a floating instrument panel, a head-up display, and a large, curved center screen that is operated by a floating touchpad.
In an effort to improve the Human-Machine Interface, Acura says the car can scan each occupant as they get in and select personalized features and functions, including maps, audio, and vehicle performance settings.
Acura Precision concept, 2016 Detroit Auto Show
At 204 inches long, the Precision concept is a large car, just a few inches shy of an Audi A8 or BMW 7 Series. The 122-in wheelbase is in the full-size car range, too, and at 84 inches, the width is greater than that of a full-size sedan or even a Chevy Tahoe. However, the car is just 52 in tall, which is the height of a Nissan 370Z. Those low, wide, and long lines give it definite presence and let the design play out over a large canvas.
Given its dimensions, could the Precision concept point to a new full-size car from Acura? Probably not. This is a pure concept car. However, a bold, stylish car based on this concept, especially with rear-wheel drive and at least 400 horsepower, would be a smart replacement for the slow-selling RLX. And if the rest of the lineup can take on the Precision concept's bold design themes, maybe Acura could bolster its relatively weak sedan sales.
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