Acura ILX and RDX Concepts Arrive at Detroit

Acura reveals two prototypes that are very close to the production versions, both of which will arrive in showrooms in just a few months.

For the past few years, Acura has had a hard time in the world of luxury cars. Compared to their main competition, Honda's luxury division simply hasn't been able to grasp a design language that has mass appeal. Despite the chrome moustache front-end styling, Acura seemed to always just miss the target in terms of styling and performance. They're out to fix that now with the debut of their ILX and RDX concepts at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

The ILX concept is a luxury compact sedan that will likely replace the TSX. And if you like the concept shown here, then you'll be pleased to know that an almost identical production version will be arriving this spring. According to Acura, three powertrains will be offered: a base 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder; a high-performance model with a 2.4-liter inline four mated to a six-speed manual; and a 1.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid, which is Acura's first-ever hybrid offering. All versions will have a long list of standard features with the stated goal of drawing in many young buyers into the luxury car market.

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he RDX you see here is also supposedly a "prototype," but it too will be reaching showrooms with little changes. It's the second generation of Acura's performance crossover and is powered by Honda's 3.5-liter V6 with 273hp. Interestingly, Acura is dropping their turbocharged four-cylinder. As such, the V6 has been upgraded with the addition of two more cylinders which also likely improves fuel economy. This efficiency also comes thanks to a six-speed automatic with a lock-up torque converter. The exterior design incorporates a sleek, aerodynamically efficient body that is definitely a more mature look over the outgoing model.

Stepping inside, the interior features sweeping shapes, matte surface trim, and plenty of leather. Without question, the RDX will soon become a more serious model instead of the more offbeat model it used to be. The reason for this is because that's where the segment is heading: as buyers downsize, they still want their CUVs to be full of luxury without some of the quirkiness that used to exist. Expect for the RDX to arrive in showrooms later this year.

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