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"Substantially New" 2016 Acura ILX to Bow in L.A., Doesn’t Appear Substantially Different

Car and Driver
October 20, 2014
By: Alexander Stoklosa


Acura's ILX compact sedan has been a near total sales dud. Sure, the idea of wrapping the Honda Civic’s bones in fancier clothes and ladling on an extra helping of refinement sounds good—and it worked in Canada!—but that’s not exactly how the ILX turned out when it hit the market as a 2013 model. Yet don't bury the thing just yet, because Acura has announced that it will debut a refreshed version at the 2014 L.A. auto show.

Acura hasn't outlined what exactly we can expect from the 2016 ILX besides offering up the darkened image of the car seen above and the promise that it is "substantially new." To be substantially more specific, Acura says the refresh includes "a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design."
Full article and photo at the link.

So, new engine. TLX's 2.4L, one of Honda's new turbocharged I-4s, or something else? :ponder: Either way it needs some solid updates to deal with the A3, CLA, etc. The claimed changes are very similar to what I had been suggesting, and we know I'm always right.
 

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Spy pics:





 

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It better be substantially improved, the Verano makes it looks like an econo-box.
Is Verano also going to be redesigned for MY 2016? Like ILX, Verano is in an unenviable position in the marketplace: it lacks the credentials to compete with true compact sports sedans, but more expensive than comparably equipped, mass market midsize sedans.
 

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Acura needs a design language that departs from Honda's
 

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I see nothing that will help in these spy pics.

Acura's problem is the cars they build lack desirability, their styling, while different has an overwhelming fwd Honda-ness to it. Audi has been able to design cars that make people not realize they are fwd based, they add detail and somehow that German-ness that everyone loves. Acura has been unable to stylistically remove itself from looking like normal fwd cars. Until they can do this their cars will be destined to being forgotten. Weird grills, bug eye headlights and the spy photos show what appears to be a weird looking swoop of a character line going up the side - none of this changes the overall forgettable Honda-ness of their designs.
 

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I was looking at the TLwhatever thread yesterday (yes, voluntarily) and found myself thinking if Acura simplified the front a bit (more) to a slimmer lightbar crossing thru a nacelle grille,
it wouldn't be awful
( +
of course going with Virtual-Awd hybrids on every model )
and
if they got rid of the meaningless seasick waves carved on the sides...
...maybe (from these pix) joining the front and rear lights with 'groove' like the Last attractive Acuras;
they might accidentally be Back
 
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Like ILX, Verano is in an unenviable position in the marketplace: it lacks the credentials to compete with true compact sports sedans, but more expensive than comparably equipped, mass market midsize sedans.
Agreed. The Verano has the luxury of being a bit of a unique odd-ball in the class, and has had relatively decent acceptance I would say. But if another automaker wanted to they could easily trump the Verano. Now that Buick has established themselves they need to really kick it up a notch for the next generation.

This is where I feel that Buick failed with the Rendezvous. It was a solid base hit, not spectacular, but fairly likeable, and pulled in new customers to Buick by practically inventing the crossover class. The problem is they didn't follow it up with anything, and lost all the momentum they had. With an bit of effort a revamped Verano could work very well I think.
 

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Agreed. The Verano has the luxury of being a bit of a unique odd-ball in the class, and has had relatively decent acceptance I would say. But if another automaker wanted to they could easily trump the Verano. Now that Buick has established themselves they need to really kick it up a notch for the next generation.

This is where I feel that Buick failed with the Rendezvous. It was a solid base hit, not spectacular, but fairly likeable, and pulled in new customers to Buick by practically inventing the crossover class. The problem is they didn't follow it up with anything, and lost all the momentum they had. With an bit of effort a revamped Verano could work very well I think.
Every time someone at GM has a great idea to make a fwd primarily Chevy chassis vehicle a Cadillac they should quickly throw out the idea, but then consider it for Buick. Buick should be Cadillac level of sophistication, but with fwd. Yes, the XTS would be a perfect example - here's how the conversation at GM should have gone when the idea for the XTS came up:

Old school GM manager "I have a great idea to save money, let's make a Cadillac on the Epsilon II platform"
New GM sr. manager reply "Terrible idea for Cadillac, lets think about making this a Buick though. Oh, almost forgot, you are FIRED for considering that for Cadillac"
 

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they need to go take another look at the 1st gen legend, that should steer the course to where they need to be.
This is what I was about to post. They need to go back to longitudinally mounted engines that give the body the proportions of RWD while still being FWD. Most FWD vehicles just don't look like luxury due to the proportions. The new Mercedes does the best job but still doesn't exude luxury to me.
 

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Every time someone at GM has a great idea to make a fwd primarily Chevy chassis vehicle a Cadillac they should quickly throw out the idea, but then consider it for Buick. Buick should be Cadillac level of sophistication, but with fwd. Yes, the XTS would be a perfect example - here's how the conversation at GM should have gone when the idea for the XTS came up:

Old school GM manager "I have a great idea to save money, let's make a Cadillac on the Epsilon II platform"
New GM sr. manager reply "Terrible idea for Cadillac, lets think about making this a Buick though. Oh, almost forgot, you are FIRED for considering that for Cadillac"
Lacrosse. It's there already.
 

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This is what I was about to post. They need to go back to longitudinally mounted engines that give the body the proportions of RWD while still being FWD. Most FWD vehicles just don't look like luxury due to the proportions. The new Mercedes does the best job but still doesn't exude luxury to me.
Only two Acuras ever had a longitudinally mounted engine, the Vigor and it's immediate successor the TL, which didn't exactly light up the sales charts. No, I don't think that's the recipe for Acura's success.

Acura was launched at a time when Honda could do no wrong. Acuras were tied heavily in marketing to Honda's Formula One efforts at the time and offered body styles and engines you couldn't get at the Honda store (i.e. twin cam 4 and V6). Plus, they had really cool names and the styling, though Honda-like, was much sportier than the garden-variety Hondas.

Fast forward not too far and Honda began to get very conservative with the styling (if not downright goofy), dropped the names in favor alphanumeric designations, stopped marketing "performance," and basically tried to be too much like Lexus. Problem was, they weren't viewed in the same way as Lexus. Several platforms and engines were shared with US Hondas and it began to be very difficult to justify spending the extra dough for an Acura. Acura used to be like the Japanese tuning house of Honda, except that even the true enthusiast knew we still weren't getting the really good stuff (i.e. the "real" Integra Type R, NSX-R etc).

Acura has found itself completely lost with no direction to turn and a portfolio that doesn't stand out in any significant way. With Honda returning to Formula One, they need to focus on performance and engineering excellence again. Get rid of anything in the lineup that doesn't look, feel or drive sporty and give US customers the real JDM goodies. This is partly why Scion is dying as well.

My $.02, yomv.
 
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