The luxury automaker's first EV will arrive in 2024.
Acura is returning to its performance car roots with the revival of the Type S moniker and the new next-generation Integra, a fastback compact sedan with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Electrification is the next logical step to extract more performance from its future sports cars. In the US, neither Honda nor Acura sell a single battery-electric vehicle, but this will soon change.
After the production Integra previewed by the prototype goes on sale next year, Acura will launch its first EV in 2024. But whereas Acura's parent company Honda is launching new hybrids before transitioning to EVs later this decade, Acura is skipping hybrids altogether in favor of making a big push for performance-focused EVs.
"For Acura, we're going much faster than the Honda brand in terms of our transition to electric vehicles as a percentage of sales," Emile Korkor, assistant vice president of Acura national sales, told Automotive News. "We're going to bypass hybrids altogether. So our shift is going very rapidly into BEV. That's our main focus."
At this stage, little is known about Acura's first EV. Launching in 2024, it will take the form of an electric SUV and will be based on General Motors' Ultium platform shared with the Cadillac Lyriq and utilize Ultium lithium-ion batteries. Acura aims to sell 30,000 units per year and wants EVs to make up at least half of its total sales by 2030. Honda will also launch its own equivalent version called the Prologue and expects to sell 70,000 units in 2024 and 2025.
"We're not just dipping our toe in the water with electric [cars] at Acura, we are jumping all in," added Korko. "And that's not just because we need to. It's because we want to. Acura is really focused on performance, and electrification is one of the greatest ways we can augment that performance."
After Acura's first electric SUV launches in 2024, the brand's future EVs launching in the second half of the decade will be underpinned by Honda's new e:Architecture electric car platform. Previewed back in October, Honda's new series of EVs will be called the e:N Series starting with the China-only e:NS1 and e:NP1. Let's hope that these retain the fun-to-drive appeal of today's traditionally-powered Hondas and Acuras.