Acura’s Focus Falls a Little Outside the Norm, and That’s Okay
Acura has no interest in following traditional EV naming schemes, nor is it focused on a sub-compact crossoverby Robert Moore, on
What in the world is Acura doing? Every automaker under the sun is pushing out SUVs like it’s all they know how to do, and here’s Acura with its current lineup that includes two sedans, two crossovers, and a supercar known as the NSX. Another SUV is on the cards, right? Wrong – Acura just revealed the all-new Integra, and it’s planning to focus on that for a while. Even better yet, the rest of the world is focused on shifting to EVs and Acura has little concern. There’s a new one coming in 2024, but we don’t know anything about it, and at this point, it seems Acura might not either. Acura’s strategy here is a little weird, and the future is certainly going to be interesting, and Acura’s plan for the Integra is, well, unexpected.
Acura Has Zero Interest in Following Trends
Acura’s first EV that’s coming in 2024 will be offered by both Honda and Acura, with the Honda version going by the name Prologue and both getting power from GM’s Ultium batteries. Outside of this Acura’s electric future is a big mystery. Ward’s Auto looks to get down to the bare metal with the brand, and in speaking with Vice President and Brand Officer, John Ikeda, they learned a couple of interesting things about the brand’s future.
First and foremost, Acura isn’t interested in following the trend of naming EVs with the “I” or “e” prefix like 90-percent of other automakers out there. In fact, Ikeda believes that it’s already become too common. “Do you have [to] name it an ’e’ thing or an ’i’ thing? If everyone does that, everyone’s car [is] going to be named the same. Why ’i?’ It’s just word association for consumers to think it’s innovative or futuristic.”
His thoughts actually make a lot of sense, and to be honest, it really is becoming too common in the industry this early on. At some point, it won’t even make sense given the fact that almost all new cars are going to be electric anyway. With Acura running so far behind on this shift as it is, it makes no sense to jump into the pool now. But what will its first EV actually be called? The company recently trademarked the name ADX which does go along with the brand’s other models. It doesn’t do much to stand out as something that’s electric, but with the brand’s current mentality, it really doesn’t have to. There’s also the potential that the brand could dive back into its old naming pool and resurrect names like “Legend.” I should point out that as someone who has owned a two-door Legend in the past, that name needs to be applied to a sporty coupe or sedan and not a crossover. That’s an argument for another time, though.
This wasn’t all that was discussed during Ikeda’s interview with Wards Auto, though. He was also asked about growing the Acura lineup. It’s not quite as bad as say, Chrysler, but it’s not like Acura has a ripe portfolio of offerings at the moment. The new Integra will help that a bit, but it’s still a small lineup. So, will there be a new sub-compact crossover to sit below the RDX and take up that entry-level space the brand is lacking? There is a CDX in the Chinese market, but don’t count on that coming here, so the answer is No. And it’s not because the brand can’t do it, it’s because that’s where the new Integra is fighting the good fight.
“Our 100% focus is on launching Integra Then we'll see where we can go. We have to look at what's happening. There may be other variations. [The Integra is] one of these vehicles that are fighting the fight against CUVs. It has the capability of carrying/doing things. We want to buck the trend with this car.”
This might seem a little surprising given the sheer popularity of crossovers and SUVs of all shapes and sizes, but if you know Acura’s history,it also makes a little bit of sense. The original Integra, despite eventually becoming a tuner’s dream, actually served as the entry-level to the Acura brand all those years ago. So, while all of you complain that it looks too much like a Honda Civic, or that it shouldn’t be a four-door, it’s still living up to its name in one way or another, and in this case, it’s the sporty entry-level model that it always was, and this time, it’s here to take on sub-compact SUVs as well as other models in its own niche.
Source: Wards Auto