Unlike other automakers, Acura hasn't announced its electrification strategy yet.
Across the automotive industry, car companies are embracing electrification in a global effort to reduce emissions. Acura, however, is an exception. While its parent company Honda offers a variety of electrified cars including hybrid versions of the Accord and CR-V along with the adorable electric Honda e outside of America. By 2022, Honda aims to electrify every model in its European lineup. Acura, on the other hand, hasn't announced any electrification plans whatsoever.
It's a stark contrast to other automakers like Jaguar Land Rover that are becoming all-electric brands within the next few years. Speaking with Automotive News, Acura's Brand Officer Jon Ikeda revealed that Acura's main focus is returning to its performance car roots before the automaker is ready to embrace electrification.
"For us as a brand, we needed to kind of refocus and re-establish ourselves as a performance brand," said Ikeda. "We want everybody to understand where we are, what we're about first. Even if we go electric we will continue to be a performance division of Honda and performance will be our focus." Ikeda admits the brand has experienced "growing pains," prompting Acura to go back to its roots as the performance division of Honda.
To reestablish itself as a performance car maker, Acura launched the second-generation NSX hybrid supercar in 2016 as a showcase of how hybrid technology can improve performance rather than hinder it.
Acura is also preparing to launch the new TLX Type S, marking the return of the fabled Type S performance moniker for the first time in over ten years. For the first time in its model history, the MDX is also getting the Type S treatment and Ikeda wants to add more Type S models in the future. This doesn't mean Acura won't embrace electrification, but performance and handling will always be the priority. To achieve this, Acura even builds multiple platforms to help distinguish its cars from Honda.
There's still a lot of work to be done, but Ikeda is confident people will start associating Acura with performance again. "That's what Acura is. That's what I fell in love with," he said.