It’s been a popular opinion lately that Acura seems to be a bit lost in terms of its product strategy, but a recent trademark filing might help restore hope in the Acura faithful.
AutoGuide.com has discovered that Acura’s parent company Honda has recently applied for a trademark in Europe for the word “Legend,” which could be applied to “Vehicles; Apparatus for locomotion by land; Apparatus for locomotion by air; Apparatus for locomotion by water; Parts and fittings for land vehicles; Parts and fittings for air and space vehicles; Parts and fittings for water vehicles,” according to the filing.
This is curious because Acura does not operate in Europe, but companies can sometimes file trademarks in different markets to protect a name while avoiding suspicion in their own backyard while they work on new projects. They could also be trying to protect the word so other automakers in North America won’t be tempted to use it because it’s already been trademarked in another market. [Update: The Acura RLX is still sold as the Honda Legend in Japan and Honda could just be moving to renew the trademark to protect the nameplate. If this is the case, it could mean absolutely nothing for us, which Acura PR spokespeople seemed to allude to.]
Reports earlier this year, however, suggested a new “production-ready concept” based on the Precision concept would debut at this year’s Pebble Beach events during Monterey Car Week, and this trademark filing suggests a new Acura Legend could be unveiled.
We’re slightly suspicious of the timing of this move to trademark the word Legend because we all know the demand for sedans and coupes is diminishing, so we have three theories on what a new Acura Legend could be:
- The pessimist in us speculates there’s a chance the new Legend could be a fastback “coupe” version of the RDX or MDX (think ZDX but less ugly and better timed).
- It might make more sense if the new Acura Legend turned out to be a larger fastback sedan with a coupe-like roofline, kind of like the Kia Stinger. Which leads us to our next point…
- What’s more likely is that Acura will show us a new-generation RLX with a coupe-like roofline, but ditch the RLX badge and call it a Legend instead, like they do in Japan. The RLX is, after all, the Legend’s spiritual successor as the brand’s flagship sedan, and is due for a new-generation model very soon.
If Honda’s luxury brand was going to debut an actual performance coupe, it would make more sense to make it a compact model and bring back the RSX or Integra name, so it’s very unlikely the Acura Legend will be a traditional coupe with two doors. What theory do you think is most likely? Tell us in the comments section!
Acura stopped selling the Legend in North America in 1995 and fans have been asking for its return ever since. After the Legend was discontinued, it was succeeded by the Acura RL, then later the RLX. Back then, the Legend was V6-powered and was available as both a sedan and a coupe. The design of this mid-sized luxury performance car was pretty popular. Rapper and actor Ludacris reportedly still drives his gold 1993 Acura Legend and the Japanese automaker recently did a full restoration on the sedan.
Reviving an old nameplate can be tricky because old school fans can get very testy about not respecting the name or history behind the name. Take for example the new Supra. Even though the new Supra is an incredible car, people love talking about how it’s not a “real Supra” because it’s “nothing like the old one.”
Let’s just hope this trademark filing means that Acura is coming out with new sedan or coupe and isn’t going to apply the name to a new crossover and pull a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross on us.
Discuss this Acura Legend Forum
With additional reporting by Dennis Chung