Honda’s premium sister brand, Acura, is working towards a bright future. Following the announcement of a return to supercardum with the upcoming NSX is another return to the company’s roots. When the compact RSX bowed out in 2006, Acura was left without a gateway car for more than five years but that will soon change. Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show is both the precursor to the RSX replacement and a first for the brand: the ILX Concept.
Using numerous components borrowed from the Honda Civic, the ILX is sized accordingly and will be the first four door compact Acura since the Integra of the late 1990s. It may still be in the concept phase, but Acura has already confirmed a selection of three powertrains with one being a brand first. Base motivation will be supplied by the Civic’s 2.0 liter inline four cylinder while a high performance version will borrow the SI’s revvy 2.4 liter i-Vtec engine and six speed manual transmission. A 1.5 liter gasoline/electric powertrain will also be available making the ILX Acura’s first hybrid. To keep efficiency high, the outside has been obsessively crafted to be as classy and professional as possible. Taking a lot of cues from the larger TSX, the big-bared grille and sculpted headlamps make the ILX without a doubt, an Acura. Flared rear fenders and a short trunk deck give the impression of a four-door hatchback which means the inside should be rather roomy.
Even though it will be a gateway car, it will still be loaded with luxury and technology. Standard features could include keyless entry, push button start, leather seating and more. New bits and pieces such as Pandora Internet radio, text messaging read back and smart phone pairing will be offered. The final version of the ILX is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2012. It’s building point will be in the United States at Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana manufacturing plant.
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