Acura Announces New U.S. Design Studio to Kick Off 20th Anniversary
New facility will be built in Torrance, California
|TORRANCE, Calif, U.S.A., January 8, 2006–Acura announced plans for a new Acura design studio to be located close to Honda R&D Americas, Inc. headquarters in Torrance, California. This strategic move follows the recent announcement that the Acura brand will be launched in Japan, furthering the globalization of the brand. This new, exclusively Acura design facility will help to ensure additional separation of the Honda and Acura brands.
"The TL and MDX demonstrate how our U.S. teams can design and develop great products," said Takeo Fukui, President and Chief Executive Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "In this new studio, designers and stylists from around the world will play a lead role in designing future Acura models." The announcement comes as Acura kicks off its 20th anniversary celebration. Acura was the first Japanese luxury-performance nameplate when it was launched in 1986, with cars engineered to challenge the leading European luxury brands of the day. This bold move by Honda, to form an entirely new upscale division, drew global interest by the media and other automakers.
Acura dealerships opened their doors on March 27, 1986 with two models, the Legend luxury sedan and Integra sports sedans. The Legend boasted a 2.5-liter 24-valve V-6 and featured a sophisticated suspension, elegant styling and an upscale interior. The Integra was available in 3-door or 5-door hatchback body styles and featured a 113-hp 1.6-liter 16-valve DOHC engine and spirited demeanor that put it at the head of the sporty car class. By its second year, Acura was the best-selling luxury-performance import nameplate in the United States.
Over the years, the Acura lineup continued to expand with the addition of the groundbreaking NSX exotic sports car. The NSX featured all-aluminum construction and the first application of VTEC(TM) variable valve timing and lift. Throughout the 90s, Acura solidified its position as a luxury and technological leader with the introduction of the 3.5 RL sedan, which featured the first satellite-linked navigation system, and the 2.2 CL coupe, the first luxury car from an import nameplate designed, engineered and assembled in the United States. In 2000, Acura introduced the MDX, which was named North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend SUV of the Year.
Today, Acura boasts a world-class lineup of cars and light trucks, and continues to be a leader with innovative features such as Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, Bluetooth(R) wireless phone integration and DVD-Audio surround sound. Acura sales continue to climb, breaking sales records for the past three years and surpassing the 200,000 unit mark for the first time in 2005, making it Acura's best sales year in its history. This year, Acura will continue to expand its lineup with the addition of the RDX sport utility vehicle.