Is there hope for Acura styling? Detroit concept teaser indicates ‘maybe’

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Acura looks to shed milquetoast design reputation with Precision Design concept

Acura will use next month’s Detroit auto show to offer a peek into the future design of its sedans.

Honda’s luxury division plans to show a car it calls the Acura Precision Concept on the second day of the North American International Auto Show.

A teaser image of the concept shows a far more dramatic profile than Acura has shown in its sedans, with a long hood and sharp creases stretching from the front fender to the taillights.

The concept doesn’t foreshadow a future model as many other Acura and Honda concepts have, Acura said. Rather, it’s meant to signal the design language the automaker will introduce in its next generation of vehicles, especially the cars.

“The Acura Precision Concept will signal the stronger and sharper focus of Acura styling on our core DNA we call ‘precision crafted performance,’” Dave Marek, Acura’s global creative director, said in a statement.

Acura has said it wants to fortify its sedan lineup, which it acknowledges hasn’t been its strong suit in recent years.

“We’ve struggled, candidly, with sedans,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, told Automotive News last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The RLX sedan, in particular, has been a dud, selling just 3,413 in 2014; sales are down 36 percent through November of this year.

It’s not just the volume that’s been disappointing. Acura wants its large sedan to be more of a true flagship, setting a standard and tone for the rest of the brand.

This is why it is keen to get the Precision Concept into the public eye.

Overall, Acura is having a good year. Its 160,342 vehicles sold through November represent a 6.9 percent gain over the same period in 2014. Crossovers dominate, but Acura also has benefited from the TLX midsize car, which has done well since it went on sale in 2014, even as much of the industry has had flat or declining sedan sales.

The Acura Precision Concept will debut Jan. 12 in Detroit.

Acura to preview new styling direction in Detroit originally appeared on


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