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Acura Admits Benchmarking Lexus And Infiniti Was A Mistake

Luxury / 20 Comments

Mistake acknowledged. So, what's next?

Acura was launched over three decades ago, becoming the first Japanese luxury brand. Honda has always been more forward-thinking than its domestic rivals. However, competition came fast from Toyota (Lexus) and Nissan (Infiniti) and within just a few years Acura found itself preoccupied by benchmarking those brands, notably the former. Instead of leading the pack, it became a bland follower. According to Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda, via Automotive News, that's all in the past.

Ikeda admits that Acura strayed down a "wandering road" and lost touch with its roots. Cars like the Legend and Integra were replaced with rather dull successors. We can back this up with our own experience driving the RLX flagship sedan. In more recent years, Acura has come to rely on SUVs like the MDX and RDX, but it wasn't until 2016 when the second generation NSX arrived that things began to feel exciting again. Thing is, the NSX is a halo supercar out of reach for most consumers. What Acura needs is more affordable models that also fully embody "Precision Crafted Performance," the brand's new mantra. Equally important, Ikeda admits Acura's job is not to "reinvent luxury."

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It's best to be both luxury and performance-oriented. You know, how Acura originally was. "When you start benchmarking and looking at everything else, instead of looking introspectively, is where you lose your way," Ikeda said during a panel discussion. "We're a lot more truthful (now) to who we are and what we're trying to be. I think it's a growing pain we went through." Agreed, and now it's time to make up for those growing pain years with something interesting, relatively affordable, and not an SUV. Perhaps a production version of 2016's Precision Concept?