Paul A. Eisenstein , The Detroit Bureau – 19 hrs.
Acura comes roaring back with NSX supercar
Acura still has some serious challenges to overcome, but it appears to be making inroads after what some have dubbed a lost decade.
These days, it’s common for automakers to display “concept cars” on the auto show circuit that are thinly disguised versions of upcoming production models – like the MDX Acura introduced at the Detroit Auto Show last month.
But the show car that drew the real crowds was a model that won’t hit the street for at least two years, the reincarnation of Acura’s once formidable NSX supercar.
The Japanese maker is desperately hoping that the re-born NSX will grab the high-line brand some much-needed attention and bring curious new shoppers into Acura showrooms even before it reaches production.
When it was launched more than a quarter-century ago, Acura transformed the way Americans thought about Japanese cars, proving that the Asians could challenge the well-established European and domestic luxury brands. But the initial success of the Honda Motor Co. subsidiary proved far too fleeting and in recent years, Acura has lagged in the back of the premium pack.
“It was a brave experiment when it was first launched,” says automotive analyst George Peterson, of AutoPacific, Inc. And now, he adds, there are signs Acura “has hit bottom and is on the upswing.”
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