Sales have been on the rise this year, yet Honda’s luxury division is languishing behind its main rivals. The new NSX is supposed to be the car that’ll mark its rebirth.
Acura has recently revamped its sedan lineup and, though the outcome is a bit hit and miss, all in all 2015 was a successful year.
Or was it? Through October, it has sold 148,098 vehicles. To put that into perspective, that’s not even half what BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus have delivered so far. What’s most disheartening, though, is that is trails even Buick. No disrespect to the latter, but if you want to play at the top level, then you have to do way better than that.
Its execs believe that the NSX might just be the car that will bring it in the spotlight and put it on the segment’s buyers’ list. “If you’re looking for a way to sharpen and hone your skills to be a distinct brand that matters, the NSX really does embody all those factors”, Ted Klaus, chief engineer of the project, told Automotive News.
Could it be though that it is too little, too late? A successor to the revered original, it was first visualized in 2007, then killed and finally resurrected and unveiled as a concept in 2012. Actual deliveries won’t start until next spring. Maybe the NSX has gotten a bit old news itself.
“I don’t think so”, Jon Ikeda, Acura’s general manager, told Automotive News at the press launch. “Three-and-a-half years is not long in car years, though I know it seems long for some people. The debut may have seemed early then but we were so excited with what we had, and we really wanted to share it.”
Ikeda, who has assumed his position in July, believes Acura can “do a Lexus” (though he didn’t actually use those words, of course) and turn its fortunes around by adding excitement and sportiness to its range.
He adds that the automaker needs the halo car so that it can “go into any product and say, ‘are you performing on that level?’”.
A limited production, US$150,000 supercar doing the trick is a very high task indeed. Even if, as Ikeda’s says, the dealers are glad to have it.