Acura is a very ambitious project of the Japanese automaker, Honda. The United States automobile market is the biggest single market in the world; it has always been the priority for the Japanese automakers. When it comes to the luxury segment of the American market, we often witness the competition of three major Japanese brands: Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. In our traditional review, as usual, we will acquaint you with twenty most interesting facts from the history of the famous Japanese luxury marque.
1. Acura is the luxury division of the Japanese vehicle manufacturer Honda. The new brand was officially launched in 1985; however, it did not receive its current name until 1989: previously it was known as Channel. Acura, being in business since 1985, has distinguished itself as the oldest Japanese luxury marque. The company’s headquarters is located in Tokyo, Japan.
2. The name of the marquee is based on the morpheme “Acu” (Acu), which comes from the Latin language and common to many other languages. Its meaning can be translated as accuracy, thoroughness, reliability. The new word Acura, which was formed from this morpheme, conveys the basic principle of the brand.
3. The official logo of Acura, which looks like the letter “A”, in fact has much deeper meaning. It represents the calliper, a tool for accurate measurements. This emblem implies that every Acura vehicle is built with precision and technological perfection.
4. Honda had become a well-known vehicle manufacturer long before the decision to launch a dedicated luxury brand was made. Marketwise, it made sense to focus resources and efforts on the production of sports cars and executive cars. In 1986, the Japanese company opened its new luxury division. The creation of Acura further emphasized Honda’s strong position in the market. In 1986, Acura presented its first two models, Integra and Legend.
5. The luxury division of Honda sold more than 100,000 vehicles as early as June 1987. Not long after that, the Acura Legend became the best-selling foreign premium car in the US.
6. In February 1989, at the Chicago Motor Show Acura presented the very first Japanese super car, the mid-engine prototype model Acura NS-X. This vehicle was the world’s first production car with an aluminium chassis and bodywork. The car quickly becomes a sensation and almost immediately received two awards from the Automobile Magazine: “Best Car of the Year” and “Best Design of the Year.” By the way, if you are interested, NS-X stands for New Sportscar – eXperimental.
7. In 1995, the luxury division of Honda introduced to the US market its first crossover under the name Acura – SLX.
8. In January 2000, Acura introduced the first mid-size crossover under the name Acura MDX that was fully engineered and built in the United States.
9. Not everyone instantly fell in love with Acura. Some automotive journalists even came up with a comical abbreviation for the name Acura: Asian Curse upon Rural America.
10. In 2010, proving it belongs to the cohort of the world’s best automobile manufacturers, Acura managed to gain victory in the famous endurance race 24 Hours of Le Mans. The model Acura ARX-01c was victorious in the LMP2 class.
11. Acura TSX proved to be a very popular compact executive car. Unlike many other luxury cars, it combines both comfort and low maintenance. By the way, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owns one of those entry-level luxury cars.
12. Acura makes its appearance in several popular Hollywood movies. The Acura NSX Roadster was featured in the high-budget blockbuster “Avengers”, while the Acura MDX and the Acura TL sedan appeared in the popular TV series “Shield”.
13. In 2012, Acura introduced a new generation of the legendary car Acura NSX at the Auto Show in Detroit. This phenomenal car can accelerate from 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) in under three seconds. Only a few cars can do the same.
14. Like everyone else in the automobile world, Acura also had its commercial failures. Launched in 2009, the Acura ZDX, a coupe with high off-road capabilities, was supposed to compete with the BMW X6. However, this car was not well received and Acura closed project in 2013 after producing only 5677 vehicles.
15. The secret of Acura’s popularity is simple: the Japanese company never fails to offer the comfort of a luxury car bundled with reliability and low maintenance of a perfect Japanese vehicle. Acknowledging this fact, the famous American portal Kelley Blue Book named Acura the 2017 Top-Rated Luxury Brand for 5-Year Cost of Ownership.
16. Most automotive experts agree, that Acura offers the best value for money. For instance, according to the American marketing agency J.D. Power and Associates, the Acura RDX belongs to the list of top-10 most reliable cars that, with simple routine care, can reasonably be expected to run for at least 250,000 miles.
17. Today, more and more people prefer eco-friendly cars. In 2012, a research made by the non-profit organization Ecology Center showed that Acura RDX, together with Audi S5 and the traditionally “green” Toyota Prius, happened to be among the cleanest models on the market. To find out what chemicals and their amounts are used in cars, researchers at Ecology Center, tested 11 components in more than 200 vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years using an x-ray fluorescence analyser.
18. Honda Marysville Auto Plant is one of the biggest Honda manufacturing facility in the US. It is located approximately six miles northwest of Marysville, Ohio, USA. This factory is one of the most important Honda facilities in North America; it produces both Honda and Acura models.
19. Jinbei Automotive, a Chinese automaker that is a subsidiary of Brilliance Automotive, could not resist the temptation to clone the Acura MDX. The Chinese “craftsmen” copied everything: from the overall proportions and design to the door handles, the roof rails, and the shape and position of the fuel cap. This is definitely not the first time that Chinese company copies a successful product from someone else. Well, I suppose, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…
20. According to the tests, made by the United States Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IISH), Acura models are one of the safest cars on the market. The influential institution tested different safety features, including the automatic braking system at speeds of 20 to 40 km / h. All vehicles, produced by the Japanese car manufacturer, namely Acura MDX and Acura RDX crossovers, as well as Acura RLX and Acura ILX sedan, received the highest safety rating: the superior.