Some More on Acura History
In 1986, Honda launched the Acura division in the United States and Canada. The idea was simple, a high end brand that was focused on the needs of the North American consumer that sat above the economical Honda brand. Almost immediately Acura cars captured serious market share and started a new mid-level luxury segment. The other impact was that is raised the stature of Japanese cars when it comes to creature comforts, technology and comfort.
From an enthusiasts perspective the first few models weren't that exciting. There was the the Legend and the Integra. While they didn't light a fire with sports car fans they did have remarkable success, enough so that it forced Toyota and Nissan to copy the strategy with Lexus an Infiniti.
Enthusiasts and sports car dans had to wait till the 1990 to get some awesome machinery from Acura. The car was the NSX. The acronym stood for 'New Sports eXperimental' and the NSX quickly became a cheaper and fun alternative to costly European counterparts such as the ones delivered by German and Italian manufacturers like BMW and road-cruising and racing supremacists Ferrari. You can thank the NSX for Ferrari and Porsche radically improving the quality and drive-ability of their cars.
By the mid 1990s the rest of the Acura lineup got shaken up. The Legend and Integra names were dropped and replaced with a bunch of weird alphanumeric names that still confuse us today. In recent years, Acura has gone all-in on the SUV and crossover market. It still sits in that middle market luxury spot and is an also-ran in terms of innovation these days. Their cars are good, but not great.
The most exciting thing to happen at Acura in the last few years is obviously the relaunch of the NSX. TheA new generation NSX was introduced as a 2016 model year car. Like the original, the idea was to make a techno-marvel that anybody could drive fast. Unfortunately, times had changed and the NSX has not garnered the praise of the original. To some degree this is unfair because we think of the current Acura NSX as a Porsche 918 for 20% of the price. It is a techno marvel that is insanely fast, engaging and original in its approach. Long live Acura.