Report: Acura remains as a Tier 2 luxury brand, reports on lineup future

AutomotiveNews reports that Acura is in a major lineup change and that the brand will continue to maintain being a “second-tier” luxury brand. In other words, Acura will stick to competing with Audi, Buick, Infiniti, and Volvo instead of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus.

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So far, AN supposedly confirmed that Acura will be unveiling an all-new RL flagship while updating the MDX crossover and TL sedan for 2013. Acura will also be featuring a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to keep up with the times. To add, following Mazda’s SkyActiv marketing approach, Acura will begin adding their new “Earth Dreams” engine family in all future vehicles.

Beginning with the ILX, to curtail any rumors about a potential ILX coupe, AN found that there will be no coupe version. But because the current ILX has been widely noted for being underpowered, Acura may do an engine swap for the ILX’s mid-cycle refresh, which means an “Earth Dreams” engine—a 2.4L four-banger good for 181hp. To substitute the lack of a V6 option in the ILX, Acura may continue selling the TSX in V6 guise online in limited production.

The new 2013 Acura TL is expected to debut in the spring of 2013, sharing a good amount of its underpinnings with the all-new Honda Accord—a continuing tradition. Though expect a shorter wheelbase and overall length than the current TL as Acura plans to make the TL more of a TSX replacement. The TL’s “Earth Dreams” engine will be a 3.5L V6 good for 310hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, 30hp and 11 lb-ft more than the outgoing 3.5L TL. A hybrid version is also expected to come in the lineup as well, boasting around 45 mpg.

The RL is even a bigger piece of news as the redesign debuts this fall, complete with an “Earth Dreams” direct-injected 3.5L V6, supposedly good for 370hp. Expect Acura’s new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to take duty in the RL, combined with Honda Motor’s new Sport Hybrid All-Wheel Drive system.

The ZDX will remain in production in limited numbers since the ZDX shares majority of its components with the MDX, all while being made side-by-side. Acura claims it is not a costly issue. Speaking of which, the MDX will also be redesigned for this fall and will receive the same aforementioned incoming V6.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutomotiveNews