So far, the Acura ILX’s sales have been a disappointment for the Japanese automaker and it appears that the underpowered 2.0-liter engine might be to blame with reports it will be cut from the lineup.
According to American Honda executive vice president John Mendel, the Acura ILX “is not hitting sales expectations,” and that the 2.0-liter engine is “underpowered and consumers don’t see the value.”
With a performance-oriented 2.4-liter and a Hybrid option available it’s not clear if Honda will replace the 2.0-liter or just drop it entirely. Honda is in the early stages of rolling out direct-injection technology and if mated to the 2.0-liter engine could see a modest 10 percent increase in power, which might be enough to help.
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Last month, the Japanese automaker sold 2,108 ILX models but wants to sell around 30,000 units a year. Though Acura is hitting hitting about two-thirds of its sales expectations, it believes it can do better.
Acura is also looking forward to its new RLX model, which will replace the RL flagship. The RL has hardly been a force in the automaker’s sales, averaging around 35 units a month for the past couple of years. As for the RLX, Acura will be focusing on its next-generation technology including its standard Precision All-Wheel Steering (PAWS) system, which allows the rear wheels to have independent toe control while cornering.
“The RLX has the right package to compete with more expensive vehicles,” said Art St. Cyr, American Honda’s head of product planning and logistics. “The previous RL didn’t match what the customers were looking for.”
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GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
[Source: Automotive News]