Acura Now Knows How To Make Less Boring Sedans

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The solution actually came from a crossover?

There was a time, specifically back in the early and mid-1990s, when Acura built great and exciting sedans like the Legend, and coupes such as the Integra. Today, things are very different due to the popularity of crossovers. Much of the sedans’ spark has been replaced with a more conservative attitude. While the all-new Acura RDX is a smash hit, Honda’s premium brand believes now’s the time to refocus attention on its three-model sedan lineup, consisting of the ILX, TLX, and RLX.

Automotive News spoke to Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda recently and he admitted that the brand isn’t about to expand its lineup with more crossovers, like many of its competitors are doing.

Instead, it plans to refocus some attention to its three sedans. Ikeda acknowledged that while sedans sales have dropped, lessons learned from the new RDX will soon be applied. How so? For starters, the RDX was the first Acura to be completely redesigned with Acura’s latest styling language which emphasizes performance. All other models have simply been given facelifts. The RDX, Acura’s best-selling vehicle, also features the new True Touchpad interface for its infotainment system, a technology that will soon find its way to the sedans and existing crossovers.

But Ikeda is also confident its back to performance attitude and tech formula will work extremely well for sedans. Why? Because, for example, the RDX A-Spec trim package is bringing in younger buyers. An impressive 45 percent of these buyers are under the age of 45.

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“We've got performance ... we've got design,” Ikeda said. “Technology is the third piece when it comes to the premium segment. Those are the three pieces emotionally (where) you have to get a buy-in so people pay the kind of money they're willing to pay.”

The new RDX’s design, packaging, technologies, and attractive pricing (base price: $38,295) are all of the right ingredients needed to revive interest and, hopefully, sales for its next-generation sedan lineup. Any chance the Legend will come back? Doubtful, but it sure sounds like its spirit is about to return.

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