The Acura nameplate was established in 1984 in North America as a division of Honda specializing in manufacturing premium-level vehicles. Acura can be regarded as an emotional and technological continuation of the Honda lineup. The brand is considered to be the first in Japan to embark on luxurious segment and it has brought about significant repercussions in that field. During the lifetime of the marque, its cars have been nominated to numerous awards in the sphere of innovative technologies and safety, and spearheaded such American ratings as “J.D. Power's”, “Motor Trend”, “Car and Driver's 10 Best List” and many others.
Acura introduced a brand new direction to promote its products – the philosophy of emotions which stands for considering the car not only as a single mechanical unit but as a whole new instrument to enhance human capabilities and harmonize the life itself. Integra (1985) and Legend (1987) were the first two models which marked the debut of the new brand. A compact Integra was available in two variations - five- and three-door hatchback, while Legend constituted a five door executive sedan. Both cars brought commercial success for Acura selling more than 130 000 vehicles by 1990. In 1989 a completely new Acura prototype was presented at the Chicago Auto Show demonstrating to the world its revolutionary breakthrough in auto making technology. It was labeled as NSX – “New Sportscar eXperimetal”. The model featured aluminium VTEC V6 rear engine, and all-aluminium lightweight monocoque body seating two persons. The new car received mainly positive reviews.
The NSX model participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, 1995 and 1996. However, the only successful race for Acura was in 1995 when it took the first place in the GT2 category. Several facelifts and extensions to the original model were made by Honda, notably the 1992 NSX-R (JDM). The primary aim of its constructors was to minimize the weight. The initial NSX weighed 1370 kg and the updated variant came up with 1230 kg. Although the model found a lot of supporters in the tuner culture in the 1990s, its production had been gradually discontinuing amidst the economic crisis in Japan. In 2015 Acura launched the production of the second generation NSX. The current supercar is powered by a four-wheel drive DOHC v6 engine and features dual-clutch transmission.
In 2000 the brand introduced its first executive SUV named Acura MDX, which was warmly accepted by the public. Car and Driver magazine gave it highest appreciation. The model was followed by several other SUVs of the same class, the most recent being the 2014 Acura MDX (YD3) which marked the onset of the new premium-class generation offering an executive-style interior combined with cutting-edge safety and navigational technologies. YD3’s sibling is Acura TLX executive mid-size sedan featuring V6 3.5 or 2.4 liter engine. Its starting price would be considerably lower in comparison with Acura’s recent SUV generation, providing the same performance (save off-road capabilities) and comfort.
All in all Acura represents a serious and promising competitor in the luxury segment which is capable of producing sensational models and jaw-dropping appearances.