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What's in store for model year 2011? Part II - Acura
 Date: June 02, 2010 16:00
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: TOV News
 Credibility Rating: Not Specified

At Acura, the big thing in MY '10 was the introduction of the ZDX and Honda's first-ever 6-speed automatic transmission. The MDX and RDX received MMCs and the TSX was bolstered with an optional V6. For model year 2011, the biggest news is that Acura will expand the TSX lineup further with a new Sport Wagon model. Beyond that, model year '11 is shaping up to be pretty quiet at Acura, though during calendar year 2011, things could possibly be picking up again.

  • TSX Acura introduced a V6 version of the TSX last year. It was supposed to broaden the TSX's appeal to enthusiasts. Though gaining a much needed boost in straight line thrust, unfortunately, it falls short of the mark as a performance sedan. So the next bid to attract enthusiasts (with practical needs) could have been the Sport Wagon, which was introduced at this year's New York Auto Show. It will only be offered with a 5AT and the 201hp 4-cylinder, so, strike two (for enthusiasts). The TSX Sport Wagon will make a great option for people who want a practical but stylish vehicle and have grown weary of the endless CUV offerings. It will be interesting to see how the final pricing ends up and ultimately, how well it sells. The 2011 TSX sedans will benefit from an early MMC thanks to the addition of the Sport Wagon, so this means the sedans will get the updated HDD-based navi system with the crisp VGA display, interior refinements, and another iteration of the Power Plenum grill.
    Summary: A Honda wagon (finally) returns to US shores and the TSX sedan gets an early MMC.
    Watch For: Enthusiasts will probably have to wait for the FMC for the potential of anything interesting to develop.
    Available: Sport Wagon will arrive late in the year - around Decemberish, we're told.
  • RDX The RDX received its MMC last fall, and the power plenum and FWD model came as expected. Sales have improved nearly 30% year over year, but it was selling pitifully last year, and the take rate is still a fraction of Acura's original targets. Will a volume of around 15,000 per year be enough to secure the RDX's future, or will it vanish after only one product cycle?
    Summary: No changes expected for 2011.
    Available: Autumn
    Watch For: ??
  • TL A 6MT version of the TL SH-AWD was quietly introduced last year. It's a brilliant performer but so are many of its closest competitors. No significant changes are expected in 2011, as the MMC is due in 2012. When the MMC comes, a 6AT will very likely become the standard transmission, and styling tweaks are almost a certainty.
    Summary: No major changes for 2011
    Watch For: 6AT and styling tweaks expected at the MMC next year.
    Available: Autumn
  • MDX The MDX received its MMC last year and continues on as one of the best 7-passenger premium CUVs on the market. No significant changes are expected until the FMC.
    Summary: Superficial changes, if any, for 2011
    Watch For: FMC in MY '13?
    Available: Autumn
  • RL A new RL is overdue, but don't look for it before MY '12. The next flagship has been described as "amazing", but it has also been said that it won't offer a V8 nor a proper FR chassis. There is a lot of talk about the next RL (Legend?) debuting a new hybrid drivetrain system for Honda. This new hybrid system is said to be more optimal for application on larger vehicles, so expect to see it applied to Honda's other larger models at some point. Update 09 June: It has been recently confirmed at a very high level that the FMC will be happening next year.
    Summary: Minimal changes for 2011.
    Watch For: FMC in MY 2012, debuting new hybrid technology.
    Available: Autumn
  • NSX Replacement The prospects of reviving the V10 supercar program appear to be slim at best, though perhaps the HSV-010 competing in SuperGT provides a faint glimmer of hope.
    Summary: Don't hold your breath.
    Probably never?
  • ZDX The ZDX launched late last year and to date has sold in relatively small numbers. No meaningful changes are expected for 2011.
    Summary: Minimal changes, if any, are expected for 2011.
    Watch For: ??
    Available: Autumn

  • Entry-level model UPDATE 09 June: We have confirmed that this vehicle will be entering the lineup in 2011. While we couldn't get a specific date on the introduction, we received confirmation that this vehicle and the next generation RL are coming next year, with the RL intro trailing this model by approximately 6 months.It has reportedly been confirmed to dealers that Acura is preparing a new entry level model to slot in the lineup below the TSX. With the relative lull in product updates for 2011, a 2012 introduction would probably make a lot of sense, but we do not have any sort of confirmation on this. Based upon Acura's past history, logic would dictate that this model would very likely be based upon the upcoming replacement for the Civic.
    Summary: A new more affordable Acura is coming (again) to the lineup. Will it sufficiently differentiate itself from the Civic upon which it will presumably be based?
    Watch For: Civic hardware, Acura styling?
    Available: Next year?

  • Last edited by JeffX on June 09, 2010 09:58

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