Acura to rely on hybrids, considering small car below TSX

Acura’s stride to become a Tier 1 luxury brand came to a halt when the brand decided to cancel its rear-wheel-drive platform and V8 dreams last year. The brand’s executives have now told dealers that they have a new plan, which will rely heavily on hybrids – a plan they believe will help them move upmarket.

Last month, an anonymous Acura dealer confirmed that a hybrid version of the TSX is planned for 2011 and that two other hybrid models are to follow.

Until hybrids arrive, which could take a year or longer, Acura is providing dealers with incentives and has increased marketing funds.

Honda’s luxury brand is also planning a small car below the TSX (most likely a successor to the RSX) to compete with the likes of the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and the Volvo C30.┬áThe vehicle is also expected to help decrease the brand’s average fuel-economy levels to meet CAFE regulations. Acura must reach 37.5 mpg by 2016 to avoid paying fines.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)