January 23rd, 2013 by Steve Cypher

If the 2013 North American International Auto Show is any indication the luxury division of Honda is on the comeback trail

Back in the game

Ah, the automobile business can be a cruel mistress – if you don’t believe this, just ask anyone at Honda’s luxury division that’s been there more than a couple of years. I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the folks there probably feel like Michael Corleone – “Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in.”

Fortunately for Acura, this is a good thing. A case in point is the brand’s offerings at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

Acura MDX Prototype

For those of you out there still unfamiliar with the term, the word “prototype” at least in Acura-speak means a lightly customized version of an upcoming production model. This means that show-goers will be looking at what is, essentially, the all-new 2014 Acura MDX.

Although it shares some hard points with the current model, Acura’s largest crossover is 1.5 inches lower with an all-new Earth Dreams direct injected 3.5-liter V6 engine. Acura engineers have also massaged the suspension and lightened the chassis.

Styling changes include more aggressive front and rear styling touches. Up front, the MDX features Acura’s new signature “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, a feature first introduced on the new flagship RLX, as well as a toned-down version of the brand’s blade grille.

Acura NSX Concept part two

Although the word “Concept” in Acura-speak is at least a step further away from production than a “Prototype”, the good news for gear heads is that while it seems to be taking an interminable time for their next halo car to reach production, at least it’s headed in the right direction.

This time, show goers will be treated to a glimpse of the direction in which designers will be taking the interior. So we’ve got that going for us – which is good.

In any case, here are excerpts from the press release:

Together with the next-generation direct-injected VTEC V6 engine mounted on a lightweight vehicle body in a mid-ship layout, the NSX Concept features a highly-efficient and high-output SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD (Super Handling – All Wheel Drive) hybrid system, which realizes both outstanding driving performance and fuel economy.

The SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD is a hybrid system which features an electric all-wheel drive system that combines the engine with a newly-developed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with a built-in high efficiency motor, and two electric motors that drive both front wheels independently. Honda’s original torque control system enables independent control of torque distribution to the front wheels to generate the torque necessary to realize an innovative “on-the-rails” feeling during cornering without relying on engine output.

The exterior design was further advanced for the new NSX Concept, by adopting dynamic styling that is clean, modern, low and wide which indicates the vehicle’s high performance potential. The interior design, developed under the concept of a “Human Support Cockpit,” offers excellent visibility, an exotic driving position and a cockpit equipped with an intuitive interface which enables the driver to focus on driving.

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