2020 Acura NSX - Driven
Most supercars live a life of unexplored potential. In a world where a Toyota Camry can hit 60 mph in a once-shocking six seconds, and six-figure performance machines have to cut that time in half to be relevant, few cars can be pushed to their limits in legal conditions. And the higher the limits, the fewer the chances you have to approach them. That means most supercars spend their days flaunting their looks — along with the prestige associated with their extreme capabilities — between occasional bursts of all-out speed.
2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car
The 2019 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car is a unique version of the Acura NSX that serves as the official pace car for the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Essentially a production model fitted with pace-specific features, the 2019 NSX is the fifth consecutive Acura to pace the "Race to the Clouds." The second-gen NSX first served as the pace car for this event in 2015.
The Japanese pace car will be driven to the Pikes Peak summit by David Donner. A six-time Pikes Peak champion, Donner is also the current holder of the Time Attack 2 Production class record. The pace car will be joined by five other race entries, including two NSX cars. James Robinson will drive one in the Time Attack 1 class, while Nick Robinson will drive the second in the same category. Acura also fields the TLX GT in the Open class, the RDX A-Spec in the Exhibition class, and the MDX Sport Hybrid in the Exhibition class.
2019 Acura TLX PMC Edition
The Acura TLX PMC Edition is a special-edition version of the premium company’s compact sedan. Unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show, not long before the first-generation TLX is set to go out of production, the PMC Edition is more than just a limited-edition car with a few extra features. Unlike previous special-editions from Acura, the TLX PMC Edition is handcrafted in the Performance Manufacturing Center, where the NSX supercar is produced.
Combining the premium interior features of the Advance Package and the sporty exterior elements of the A-Spec line, the TLX PMC Edition stands out among its siblings and climbs at the top of the TLX lineup. The first vehicle to be part of the PMC Edition line, the TLX will soon be followed by an MDX crossover with similar features. Let’s find out what makes the PMC Edition stand out.
2018 Acura RDX A-Spec by Graham Rahal Performance
Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Acura RDX looks sportier than ever and boasts enough luxury features and state-of-the-art tech to give the German competition a run for its money. Unfortunately, it’s only marginally more powerful than its predecessor, even in the new, sportier A-Spec trim. This is where the Graham Rahal Performance update comes in, adding some extra grunt for the 2018 SEMA Show.
Founded in 2017 by race-winning Honda IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, Graham Rahal Performance (GRP), which owns an Acura dealership, decided to meddle with compact luxury crossover. In an effort to add style, power, and performance to the RDX, GRP customized the SUV’s exterior and interior and upgraded the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The end result is the most powerful third-generation RDX ever created, but it’s only for display purposes. At least for the time being.
2019 Acura MDX
When shopping for an SUV, there is usually a checklist involved before making a purchase. Is it spacious? Check. Does it have good power? Check. Is it well-built with quality materials? Check. Does it handle well? Check. Is it reliable? Check. Is there room for the in-laws? Check. The 2019 Acura MDX checks all those boxes and more all while providing subtle hints to let you know that you are in Honda’s premium brand.
2019 Acura NSX
The iconic Acura NSX made a comeback in 2016, after a 11-year absence from the market. Powered by a hybrid drivetrain for the first time, the second-generation NSX just got better for the 2019 model year thanks to a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh.
Already a potent sports car, the Acura NSX now rides on a revised chassis that’s supposed to enhance agility on the road and track. Acura also made some design changes, but these are rather small and limited mostly to new color options. But the Japanese firm also added new standard features that cost more than the marginal price increase of the facelift. Find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX.
2019 Acura RDX
Now that Acura has effectively moved on by the design slump it was once in; the brand has begun to blur the line between luxury and performance. The new RDX is a prime example of that, taking cues from the 2017 Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX. As the latest addition to Acura’s revamped model portfolio, the RDX takes on a striking new look, has more than enough power to take on the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and is luxurious enough to make you wonder why you’re not paying more for a vehicle of this caliber. That’s where that blurred line comes in, and that’s why you need to keep reading to learn more about the model that will make BMW and Audi fanboys reconsider what brand they represent.
2018 Acura RLX
Introduced in 2013, the RLX is one of Acura’s newest nameplates. Designed to replace the severely outdated second-generation RL, the RLX was received with mixed reviews. While praised for its powerful V-6, hybrid drivetrains, and technology, the full-size sedan was criticized for its bland looks and relatively high prices compared to its rivals. This is probably why Acura is introducing a new styling for the RLX only four years after the original model hit the market. The redesigned sedan was just previewed ahead of the Monterey Car Week, where it will make its public debut on August 15.
Although a four-year-old vehicle usually gets a mild facelift, the RLX was redesigned from the ground up on the outside, now reflecting the company’s new Precision Crafted Performance styling language. Granted, the interior carries over unchanged save for additional equipment and the drivetrain options all have the same specifications, but Acura solved one of the RLX’s biggest issues: the dull design. Let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table in the review below.
Updated 11/06/2017: Acura announced prices for the 2018 RLX which is now on sale at dealer nationwide. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Acura RLX.
2017 Acura NSX "Dream Project By ScienceofSpeed
The second-gen Acura NSX is an amazing, mid-engined supercar that serves as a fine predecessor to the original. But, no matter how good a company makes its prized halo car, it can always be made better. And, that’s exactly what ScienceofSpeed has done for the second-gen NSX. There aren’t any serious engine upgrades to speak of (no, they didn’t throw on bigger turbos and upgrade the electric motors) but there are some minor upgrades to increase horsepower and torque a bit. The body isn’t neglected either, with a new aero kit and some fresh paint in place to fresh things up in the sun. Finally, the interior gets the orgasmic treatment as well, including things like new seats and updated custom upholstery.
Sounds pretty nice, right? Well, it’s not often that you find such a prominent aftermarket touch on a car like the NSX. After all, it’s only been on the market for a little over a year, and it took a long time for the name to be resurrected. So, what does this custom NSX have going for it? Well, it showed up at the 2017 SEMA show, and we’re here to take a good look at it. Let’s take a journey down the page.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura NSX "Dream Project By ScienceofSpeed.
2018 Acura ILX Special Edition
First introduced in 2012, the Acura ILX is framed as the premium brand’s replacement for the Acura TSX, and continues the tradition as a premium compact sedan offered at a relatively affordable price. At the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Acura ushered in a refresh for the 2016 model year, bringing an updated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed transmission, and new LED headlights. Now, there’s a special edition model on the table, and it gets sportier exterior styling plus new premium goodies in the cabin.
The new special edition is in dealers now, and it gets styling components pulled from the sporty-looking A-Spec package, plus premium touches in the cabin that help to justify the model’s luxurious aspirations. However, in terms of actual performance, the ILX Special Edition is essentially unchanged. Making the go is a standard-spec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with direct fuel injection, dual overhead cams, and the i-VTEC variable valve timing system. Sending the power to the front axle is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which can be controlled via steering wheel paddle shifters if desired. Peak output is rated at 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, while fuel mileage is rated at 25 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. Pricing for the Special Edition model is set at $28,900, which is an $800 premium over the standard model.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura ILX Special Edition.
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
Around since the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX is a very hot commodity and has been a huge success, proving to be one of the best-selling three-row luxury crossovers of all time, and has historically sat below the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury crossover. It’s been through two generational shifts with the third-gen model making its debut for the 2015 model year and was facelifted just a couple of years later, to bring about the new diamond pentagon grille, LED headlamps, LED taillights, and an updated AcuraWatch safety system that includes automatic collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard equipment. Its exterior style to cues from the Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX, the latter of which also inspired the drivetrain found in the hybrid model.
The MDX has had pretty steady sales since the third-gen model was introduced, with 2014 accounting for 65,603 units sold, 2015 accounting for 58,208 units, and 2016 accounting for 55,495 units. Those are U.S. numbers only, and this is a global model so you can imagine the global sales are significantly higher. As we move into 2018, Acura continues to set the pace as a leader in the segment by bringing about an updated infotainment system, some new exterior colors, and a new pricing point that is a bit higher than it was for 2017, but not by much and well worth it considering what you get from a luxury brand like Acura. Check out our full review below to learn all about the facelifted, third-gen MDX.
Update 9/19/2017: Acura has released pricing for the 2018 model year, and there are a couple of updates to talk about as well. Check out our review below to learn all about it.
2018 Acura ARX-05 DPi
Launched in 1986, Acura has come a long way in 30 years, evolving from a small two-car lineup into a full-fledged automaker with no fewer than six offerings in 2017. Acura also entered motorsport very early, hitting the race tracks in 1991, just five years after its launch. So far, it has raced in some of the most important motorsport series, including the SCCA, IMSA GT, and the American Le Mans, scoring class wins at Daytona and Sebring. In 2009, the brand produced its very first LMP1 prototype car, the Acura ARX-02a. Come 2017, and the Japanese firm is joining the IMSA SportsCar Championship with its latest DPi prototype, the ARX-05.
Developed for the 2018 season, the ARX-05 will join the top tier of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where it will go against Cadillac, Mazda, Ligier, and Nissan. A new team will bring together Acura Motorsports and Team Penske in an effort to win the championship against Cadillac, which has dominated the 2017 season. The multi-year DPi program will be headed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America. The ARX-05’s official debut will take place at the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2018.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura ARX-05 DPi.
2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
Acura first presented the third-generation MDX in production form at the 2013 New York Auto Show, and it went into production just a month later in Lincoln, Alabama. Offered with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes use of variable cylinder management, and as a FWD vehicle in the U.S. for the first time, the MDX was ready to continue its battle in an overpopulated segment. But, to stay at the top of the food chain, the MDX has to remain as relevant and fresh as possible, which is why Acura gave it a fairly intensive facelift for the 2017 model year. As such, it’s more aggressive than ever and features Acura’s new Precision Grille on the outside while the interior took some minor changes to offer better refinement and space. Now, Acura is bringing an updated MDX Sport Hybrid to the market, and it offers a significant improvement in power over the range-topping, non-hybrid MDX.
To put it simply, the new MDX Hybrid uses the same three-motor setup that is found in the RLX Sport Hybrid and the Acura NSX and pushes the output for this new range-topper over the top with an extra 30 ponies and 40 percent better fuel economy in the city. That’s a pretty big deal for those of you who are concerned with fuel usage, and for those who want just a little extra oomph. The MDX Sport Hybrid is set to hit dealers starting in early April, so let’s take a closer look at it and see what it brings to the table before it gets there.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid.
2018 Acura TLX
The Acura TLX hit showrooms for the 2015 model year as a replacement for the TL and TSX sedans. After just a couple of years on the market, Acura commissioned a facelifted for 2018 that will keep the first generation alive until at least 2021. The big news here is that the TLX is getting a new pentagonal grille that not only replaces the beak found on most Acura vehicles but is also similar to the grille found on the Precision concept and the updated MDX crossover. That new grille will be accented by new headlight units and a new fascia. Inside, the 2018 TLX changes very little with this facelift but does have Acura’s updated dual-screen interface that’s said to be 30-percent faster and has more intuitive menus. Drivetrain options carry over unchanged, with the base model making use of a 206-horsepower four-cylinder and the TLX V6 getting the same 290-horsepower V-6 mill. Pricing for the updated TLX starts out at $33,000 and climbs to as much as $45,750 for the range-topping TLX 3.5 SH-AWD with the Advance Package.
So, as you can see, the term “facelift” is perfect for this model as the updates are focused primarily on the exterior design. And, while there isn’t any major improvement to the interior and absolutely zero improvements to the mechanical bits and pieces under the hood, it’s still a fitting update after just a few short years on the market. With competition like the Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS, BMW 3 Series, and the Mercedes C-Class, the Acura TLX has its work cut out. Will the new looks be enough to keep the TLX relevant? Let’s take a good look and find out.
2017 Acura TLX – Driven
The Acura TLX competes in a rather strong segment with players like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, not to mention relative newcomers like the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia. Needless to say, Acura has its work cut out. Curious to see how the TLX performs on familiar streets, I recently spent a week with a 2017 model fitted with the optional 3.5-liter V-6 and SH-AWD. This would technically be Acura’s hottest-performing TLX. So how’d it do?
Well, I’ll get to that. But first, some backstory.
The TLX hit the scene for the 2015 model year. It was designed to replace the compact TSX and slightly larger TL sedans. Acura essentially reorganized its sedan lineup, which now includes the compact,
based ILX, the mid-size TLX, and the RLX luxury flagship. Not much has changed for the 2017 model year beyond a slight price increase. This means the car carries over with its standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, and front-wheel drive. Different option packages bring high-tech bits like active safety features and upgradeg leather seats to go the an ELS stereo system.
My tester, which came fully kitted out with the V-6, AWD, the Technology Package and Advance Package, represented the cream of the TLX crop. Its $45,740 price tag actually sits mid-pack in relation to its competition, with the Audi and Alfa Romeo coming in slightly lower, while the Mercedes and BMW can be optioned to cost more than $5,000 more than the my loaded TLX tester. What’s that mean for Acura? The TLX represents a relative bargain. And, thanks to its 290-horsepower engine and torque-vectoring AWD system with rear-wheel steering, the Acura provides plenty of fun when driven hard, with a sure-footed grip when tooling around town.
There’s more to the Acura TLX, so keep reading for the full driven review.
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2017 Acura MDX – Driven
The Acura MDX has been roaming streets since the turn of the new millennium. It has held fairly strong sales numbers, with 2014 being its best year with 65,603 examples finding homes. That makes sense, as the 2014 model year marked the first year of the current generation. But sales have slowly slipped, with Acura only moving 49,252 MDX models in the first 11 months of 2016. However, the three-row crossover has a new hope – a heavily refreshed face for the 2017 model year.
The new MDX loses the unloved “shield” or “beak,” as some called it, trading it in favor of a pentagonal grille with a massive Acura logo affixed front and center. It takes after the Acura Precision Concept. A revised rear fascia and chrome rocker panels further add a level of luxury not present before.
Matching the updated looks are a slew of updated safety systems. AcuraWatch is now standard on every MDX and includes Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Thanks to these new systems, along with the LED headlights that scored an “Acceptable” rating with the IIHS, the MDX made the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ list for 2017.
The underpinnings continue almost unchanged, however, including the 3.5-liter V-6, nine-speed automatic transmission, and Acura’s available Super Handling AWD system. That’s not a big deal, as the V-6 continues to offer excellent power and efficiency. The i-VTEC and direct-injection 3.5-liter makes 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque while achieving 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined on models equipped with SH-AWD.
To get a feel of the refreshed 2017 MDX, Acura sent me an example to test for a week. I used it as a daily driver – chauffeuring the kid to school, picking up groceries, and making runs across town. Here are my thoughts and impressions.
Continue reading for the full driven review.
2016 Acura MDX NSX GT3 Custom Trailer
the SEMA Show is the ultimate car show when it comes to modified vehicles and aftermarket parts and accessories, but it is also an opportunity to have some fun with various concepts. Acura is the latest firm to join this year’s event, but unlike other automakers that modified existing cars, it created a custom trailer for the NSX GT3 race car. The trailer is being towed by a matching, beefed-up MDX SUV, giving the NSX the perfect transportation vehicle for racing events across the United States.
A joint collaboration between Acura Design, led by Dave Marek, Acura’s Executive Creative Director, and the Jimmy Shine Workshop, the trailer incorporates styling elements from both the NSX GT3 it’s supposed to carry and the MDX that provides the necessary motivation. The trailer is fully functional and was designed using the latest building techniques. But, even though it is promoted as a next-generation trailer, there’s no official word as to whether it will go into production. Most likely it won’t as Acura isn’t planning to offer such transportation assemblies anytime soon, but outsourcing the project to another firm in order to provide optional trailers to NSX GT3 customers could be on the table in the future.
But, until that happens, let’s have a closer look at this unique MDX and trailer combo and possibly the most advanced transportation platform we’ll see at SEMA this year.
Continue reading to find out more about the Acura MDX custom trailer.
2017 Acura TLX GT Package
The Acura TLX rolled onto the scene for the first time as the TLX Prototype at the 2014 New York Auto Show and went into production for the 2015 model year as a sporty proposition to and replace for the Acura TL and TSX sedans. As one of the youngest in Acura’s lineup, the TLX is still gaining momentum in the public eye but has a lot to offer. It can be had with 2.4-liter four-banger and front-wheel drive or with a 3.5-liter V-6 in either front- or all-wheel drive. Acura’s all-wheel steering system is available on FWD models while the V-6, AWD model has to go without. With pricing ranging between $31,900 and $44,800, there truly is a TLX for just about anyone, and you can expect the TLX to stick around in Acura’s stable for the foreseeable future. As such, Acura has decided to offer up a new package known as the GT package that is said to reflect on the TLX GT car that just finished its Pirelli World Challenge campaign.
Some might consider the TLX a sports sedan, while others look at it as more of a premium luxury sedan, but that’s the beauty of it because both views are correct. This new package, which is set to be showcased at SEMA for 2016, comes after the Technology Package and Advance Package that are already available for the TLX lineup. The Technology package is the first available package and includes things like Acura Navigation and a premium sound system. When the Technology Package is equipped, the Advance Package can be opted for and includes heated and ventilated seats, and lots of driver assistance features, among other things. Where these two packages stop, the GT package comes into play with some visual and aesthetic enhancements that give a properly equipped TLX a new, stylish edge.
Unlike the Advance Package, the GT Package doesn’t require the technology package. And, since it’s not a massive package with tons of features, it won’t increase your total cost that much. With that said, let’s scope out the details and talk about it in a little more detail.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura TLX with GT Package.
With only three sedans and two SUVs to offer, Acura has been struggling to keep up with Lexus and Infiniti, the other two Japanese premium brands created specifically for the U.S. market. The fact that Acura committed to a rather bland corporate design, limited body styles, and a couple of engines didn’t help either. But, that may change soon, as the brand just previewed its next design language with a bold looking concept car at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
Dubbed Precision Concept, the vehicle in the photos hints toward a bolder, more distinctive future for Acura design. The show car was penned at the Acura Design Studio in California by the same people who crafted the NSX and is described as a model that "will literally shape the direction of all future Acura products."
The concept depicts a low-slung, sporty sedan with a fastback-like roof and features styling cues previously not seen on any Acura production car. There’s no word as to when the first model based on the Precision concept will hit showrooms, but the study has plenty of interesting features to talk about. Keep reading to find out more about it and make sure you access our gallery section for photos from the Detroit Auto Show.
Updated 08/23/2016: Acura decided to show its new Precision concept at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours and we were there to take some shots. Check the picture gallery to check the new images.
Continue reading to learn more about the Acura Precision Concept.