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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Maybe you’ve been in this situation: stuck on the side of a road, a punctured tire needing to be changed out for the spare one in the trunk. You have a pair of options, do you choose to change the tire yourself, or do you call for roadside assistance. Both options can take a while to get you back on the road, especially if you’ve never changed a tire yourself before. And even if you have, sometimes it can take some serious elbow grease.
While the show is long over, we just stumbled across these live shots of the red NSX on the Honda press site (which oddly never made the rounds online) and couldn’t resist sharing.
Exact details on the NSX aren’t yet known but it does use a mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 engine and what Acura calls a Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system (similar to that in the new RLX), with electric motors in the front wheels.
GALLERY: Red Acura NSX Concept
Acura just announced pricing for its new ILX sedan, which will start at $25,900 and runs all the way to $34,400 for the highest-priced hybrid model.
Ranging from a 2.0-liter inline four cylinder engine in the base model to the 2.4-liter powerplant sourced from the Honda Civic Si and topped out cost-wise with the 1.5-liter hybrid drivetrain, the ILX will go on sale at dealerships starting May 22.
10. 2013 Lexus ES
Over the past few years Lexus has been referred to as a Japanese Buick, with the number one reason being the ES front-drive luxury sedan – a car that drew direct comparisons with the not-quite-Cadillac GM premium brand. To erase those comparos the new 2013 ES gets a more stylish exterior with a GS-themed front nose and a profile more like the flagship LS.
Swapping its Camry underpinnings for an Avalon platform it has, however, grown even more in size – a notable Buick trait. Plus, to challenge the eAssist mild-hybrid LaCrosse, there’s finally now an ES300h hybrid system getting 39 mpg average.
Acura has kicked off its ad campaign for the 2013 RDX with a Gulliver’s Travels theme, trying to give its newly revamped crossover the impression that its changes are all for the better. The Japanese automaker released two ads, the first one titled “Chariot” which shows that the RDX is the right size for any situation while the second ad, “Car Wash” proves that the RDX is the perfect balance of size, power, and luxury.
The ads aren’t the most clever or the best we’ve seen, but they do conjure up childhood memories of Gulliver’s Travels. It’s also rather humorous to watch a Lilliputian try to wash the RDX.
Watch both ads below.
A dramatic new styling direction for the brand it might not be, but the Acura RLX concept is a look at the hi-tech future flagship of the Acura brand.
Looking much like a larger version of the new ILX small sedan, the RLX is in some ways a backwards version of the upcoming NSX supercar, using a hybrid V6 engine and twin electric wheel motors, but with the engine in the front and the electric power in the rear.
To find out more about the upcoming RLX, unveiled at the New York Auto Show, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura RLX
Japanese automaker Acura has a huge involvement with the upcoming Avengers movie, which already looks to be a hit based on trailers and previews. We got a hint that Acura would be the official automotive partner for the movie when we spotted the Stark Industries Acura Super Car earlier this year.
It appears that the super car is a one-off Acura NSX Roadster and the Japanese automaker stressed that it was “created specifically for the film.” We still have belief that a convertible variant of the new NSX is in the works, especially since NSX Spider patent pending images were leaked.
Besides the NSX, Acura will also have its MDX, ZDX, RDX, and TL starring in the film. Acura will also be launching an online game that will net players movie tickets, flashlights, and a trip to New York City.
With its flagship RL never much of a rival to traditional luxury saloons and its once hi-tech SH-AWD system now more commonplace in the industry, it’s no surprise that the car was a certifiable failure.
Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, Acura has switched nomenclature to RLX for it’s big sedan, hoping to wow audiences with a purposeful hybrid system that works in tandem with a next-generation electric SH-AWD system.
Making “more than” 370 hp, Acura has mated a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine with three electric motors. One motor works in unison with the V6 engine as a conventional hybrid drive, while two others power the rear wheels. As a result, the RLX now gets what Acura calls Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, allowing power to be distributed left to right in the rear to help the car rotate. A similar system, though with the gasoline in the rear, will be fitted to the next-generation NSX.
Check out the commercial for the new 2013 Acura RDX, where the car’s GPS helps point the drivers to safety in the midst of an epic super hero battle royale. For more information on the 2013 Acura RDX check out our review right here.
Other Acura vehicles are expected to be in the movie, including an NSX convertible prototype being driven by none other than Tony Stark.
You can watch the whole commercial below.
Though details are light on the new RLX, we can confirm that it will feature the automaker’s new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. A V6 hybrid engine will power the front wheels while the system will take advantage of a pair of electric motors individually powering each rear wheel. The entire setup will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and will result in the performance of a V8, with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder.
So far Acura hasn’t revealed exactly what V6 powerplant will be in the RL, but it did mention that the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will not be standard on the new RLX. We’ll be reporting live at the upcoming New York Auto Show, bringing you the latest coverage.
GALLERY: 2012 Acura RL
It appears that the Japanese automaker could be investing in a nine-speed automatic manufactured by German supplier ZF. Chances are though that we won’t see any Hondas or Acuras on the road equipped with it until 2014 at the earliest.
The transmission is called 9HP by ZF and could be the same unit that Chrysler plans on using in its model lineup. Even though the Japanese automaker has developed its own transmissions over the years, the 9HP is designed for transverse installations, making it ideal for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles. In addition it utilizes planetary gearsets, helping save space.
According to ZF, the transmission is capable of supporting up to 354 lb-ft of torque and could be used in both start/stop and hybrid drive systems.
Of course the Japanese automaker didn’t confirm or deny the reports, but if the rumors are true and Honda is indeed switching to the transmission by 2014, we could see it with the new-generation Acura TL to start.
[Source: Automobile Mag]
Earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, Acura brand VP Jeff Conrad made an astounding claim, telling the assembled press that the Honda luxury division is forecasting increased sales of 45 percent in 2012. Sharing the stage with Conrad were three models, the NSX, RDX and ILX, two of which are set to make up the bulk of the brand’s growth.
“Looking at the luxury market the segments that are forecast to have the most dramatic growth over the next four years are the entry luxury sedan and SUV,” said Conrad in Detroit. “In fact they are the only two segments expecting double digit growth.”
During a press drive event held this week in Scottsdale, AZ, for the second-generation RDX and all-new ILX small premium sedan, forecasted sales provided by Acura representatives for the two vehicles will account for an increase of 55,000 units. The bulk of that will come from the ILX, Acura believes, with sales of 40,000 units.
Meanwhile, sales of the RDX are expected to hit the 30,000 mark, double that of last year, thanks to a softer and more refined vehicle that unlike the original isn’t targeted at young males, but rather at conventional luxury buyers. Acura is also counting on the well-priced and content-heavy RDX, which starts at $34,320 and includes standard features like a leather and keyless access with a push-button ignition, to win over buyers from segment benchmarks like the BMW X3 and Lexus RX.
With sales in 2011 reaching 123,299 units, a 55,000 unit boost should get Acura close to its 45% gain and projected year-end sales of 185,000. 2011 sales figures were down eight percent over the year before, due in part to limited production as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as flooding in Thailand. With the automaker’s production capacity now back to normal, Acura is counting on the improved supply to help fill in the gap.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
At the car’s official reveal at the Chicago Auto Show, Acura announced estimated mileage numbers that, frankly, failed to impress. At the time the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder was pegged at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. Revised figures deliver a three mpg improvement in city driving, allowing for a more reasonable 28 mpg average figure.
The all-new 2012 Civic is rated at a higher 28/39 mpg, though it uses a slightly smaller and less powerful 1.8-liter unit, and has less weight to carry around.
Hybrid models also see a bump with the original 35/38 mpg rating now 39/38, an improvement of four miles per gallon in city driving. As a result, the ILX Hybrid gets a combined rating of 38 mpg. That number is six miles per gallon less than the Civic Hybrid at 44 mpg average, despite using the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine and electric motor, a result of a more responsive CVT transmission program, as well as the car’s added weight.
Acura has yet to release official pricing on the ILX, but has said the bae 2.0-liter model will start at around $27,000 with the Hybrid and 2.4-liter performance models at $30,000.
GALLERY: 2012 Acura ILX Hybrid
RealTime Racing has become a staple of the SCCA World Challenge series over the last decade, racing some of the world’s top-bred Acuras to success. Now the team looks poised and ready to reclaim the manufacturer’s championship in the GTS class with their newly-upgraded V6 TSX race cars.
In 2010, RealTime Racing took home the inaugural GTS class Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ championship but last year they had to fend off V8-powered Ford Mustangs. Even though it was a fairly successful campaign with one win, two pole positions, and eight podium finishes, the second place in the manufacturers standings didn’t sit well with the team. In the off-season, RealTime Racing decided to swap out the four-cylinder powerplant in its race car for a more formidable V6.
For the 2012 season, the TSXs will be powered by Acura’s 3.5L VTEC V6 engine, which will give it the power it needs to compete with the likes of the BMW M3, Nissan 370Z, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi TT, and more.
“In order to improve the competitiveness of the TSX in World Challenge, we have moved forward with switching RealTime from the four-cylinder to the V6,” said Lee Niffenegger, Senior Engineer at Honda Performance Development. “Making the switch to the top trim level of our TSX engine line-up will enable RealTime to continue its record-setting performance in the Series, while further establishing this Acura model as one of the most successful in World Challenge history.”
Peter Cunningham, team owner and the winningest driver in World Challenge history, will be back behind the wheel of the number-42 RealTime Acura TSX, joined by teammate Nick Esayian in the number-34 TSX. You can watch the St. Petersburg doubleheader season opener live this weekend.
With Acura recently announcing the 2013 ILX would start at around $27,000 for the base 2.0-liter 150 hp model, the Honda luxury arm has now revealed more pricing details about the remaining two versions.
While official pricing hasn’t been confirmed, at the car’s launch presentation in Scottsdale, AZ, Acura has said both the 2.4-liter performance model and the Hybrid version will start at around $30,000 – a modest $3,000 price increase for either a significant performance or fuel economy gain. Acura’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder model, borrowing its engine from the Civic Si makes 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. The ILX Hybrid also borrows its powertrain from the Civic Hybrid using a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and lithium-ion battery pack and gets an average 38 mpg rating.
All ILX models will come standard with keyless access, a power moonroof, Bluetooth, 16-inch aluminum wheels, as well as a USB and iPod hookup.
To compare, the 2012 Civic Si sedan is priced at $22,405 and the 2012 Civic Hybrid at $24,050.
Acura continues to tease pricing figures for its new entry-level luxury sports sedan, with the latest number coming much closer to the mark.
At a press launch currently underway in Scottsdale, AZ, for both the ILX and RDX a company representative told the assembled journalists that it will cost “around $27,000.” That’s perhaps more than might have been suspected, with what is perhaps the car’s closest competitor, the Buick Verano, starting at just $22, 585. When questioned, Acura VP Jeff Conrad didn’t seem concerned, commenting that he doesn’t believe the two vehicles will attract similar buyers.
Another quasi-rival is the Lexus CT200h, which starts at just under $30,000.
At launch the ILX will be available with three powertrains: a base 150 hp 2.0-liter, a 35/38 mpg 1.5-liter hybrid and 2.4-liter 201 hp performance engine that will come exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
Last year, we shared images of Tony Stark’s Acura NSX convertible on the set of the Avengers. Initially, Acura Spokesman Gary Robinson claimed an open-top NSX is a “one-off fictional car that was created just for the film.”
Surprise! According to a Honda and Acura forum, six drawings of an open top NSX were filed with the European Patent Office on Febuary 22. The six illustrations include a wire-frame sketch showing all angles of the vehicle. When compared to the coupe variant, we notice slight styling differences at the side vents.
Check out the images below. We can’t wait to see one in the flesh at an upcoming auto show.
GALLERY: Acura NSX Concept
[Source: Motor Trend]
With the recent introduction of the ILX entry-level luxury sedan at the Chicago Auto Show, Acura is reportedly planning a two-door version to follow. Like the sedan, the ILX Coupe will borrow its underpinnings from the Civic – which already has a two-door offering.
To illustrate just how the ILX Coupe could look, we’ve employed the rendering expertise of Jon Sibal, who has had remarkable success in the past with cars like the Camaro ZL1. Along with the conversion to a coupe, this “concept car” showcases a new side skirt design, a sloping rear roofline, new wheels and a modified headlight design.
Available powertrains include the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder base engine, a larger performance-oriented 2.4-liter and a hybrid 1.5-liter. Of note, however, by the time the Coupe does arrive Acura’s Earth Dreams Technology line of new engine technologies will be in full swing, meaning that we should expect the addition of direct-injection to each engine, as well as CVTs, with improved performance and fuel economy. The new technology could make for a 160 hp 2.0-liter with fuel economy above 40 mpg on the highway, while the 2.4-liter should produce as much as 220 hp.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura ILX
Discuss this story on ILXForums.com
Earlier this month we reported that Honda had launched a recall for 347 Accords and Crosstours subject to the possibility of side curtain airbag failure. The devices may fail to deploy at the moment of strong impact, putting passengers at a higher risk of physical harm.
The failure lies in incorrect propellant used in the side bags. Most recently, Honda announced the recall has been expanded to include additional Accords and Crosstour models as well as select 2012 Civic and Acura MDX. The number of affected vehicles grew to 974.
Owners of affected Hondas should receive recall letters mailed February 24th. The recalls will be carried out free of charge at authorized dealerships.
Up until now, we’ve been mostly admiring the Acura ILX under the auto show lights but the Japanese automaker has released a huge photo gallery of their new compact sedan model.
The Acura ILX is marketed as a compact, premium model that shares the Honda Civic chassis and powertrains. But its styling looks 100-percent Acura, with very little hints that this vehicle is based on a Honda Civic. The ILX is also the first hybrid from Acura, but will also be offered with a 2.0L four-cylinder with 150-hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid variant features a 1.5L four-cylinder with 111-hp and 127 lb-ft of torque, similar to what is found in the Honda Civic Hybrid. The Acura ILX Hybrid only offers 35/38-mpg, significantly less than the Civic 44/44-mpg rating.
Lastly, those seeking plenty of performance can opt for a 2.4L-equipped model with 201-hp and a six-speed manual transmission. Even though no official pricing has been announced, Acura has been sticking firm to the fact that it’ll start “well below” $30,000.
Watch a video of our first look at the 2013 Acura ILX at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
To discuss the Acura ILX, please visit our Acura ILX Forum.