Acura's product plans for the next several years include modified faces, upgraded powertrains and new iterations of its newest brand signature, the NSX sports car. But the brand will retain its close connection to its mainstream sibling brand, Honda.
ILX: A redesigned ILX, riding on the latest Honda Civic's modular platform, is expected in 2017 as a 2018 model. It's expected to use the Civic Si's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
TLX: Look for this midsize sedan to be the next Acura model to pick up the new corporate face when a freshened version bows in late 2016 or the first half of 2017. When it does, there could be healthy powertrain upgrades behind the new grille: the 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder from the Civic Si could stand as the base engine, while the 2.0-liter turbo four could replace the V-6. A redesign is due in 2020.
RLX: A redesign is expected in 2019 as a 2020 model. The car's ethos won't change much: front- or optional all-wheel drive and a V-6 base model with optional hybrid powertrain. Look for the styling to be the biggest change, with a watered-down take on the Precision Concept that debuted at the 2016 Detroit auto show.
CDX: Acura is mum on when this HR-V-based compact crossover lands in the U.S., though a 2018 or 2019 model is likely. It would use Honda's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and come with optional awd and clever interior packaging similar to the Fit/HR-V twins. The biggest question is where it will be built. The current version is built only in China, and Honda's global capacity is tight. If that continues, the CDX could be the first China-built Honda product to land in the U.S. (The previous-generation Fit for the Canadian market was the first China-built car sold in North America.)
RDX: With a redesigned CR-V due in 2017, expect a redesigned RDX to bow a year later as a 2019 model. The powertrain pingpong should continue: originally launched with a turbocharged four-cylinder but now available with a V-6, the model we'll see in 2018 will come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four. After the 2018 debut, look for either a hybrid or PHEV version, depending on which route Honda goes on the CR-V.
MDX: The MDX just got a fresh look for 2017, with Acura finally ditching the much-maligned beak grille. The 2017 version also adds an optional hybrid powertrain shared largely with the RLX Hybrid.
Expect a complete redesign in 2019 as a 2020 model.
NSX: Now that Acura's second-gen supercar has finally landed on the lot, all eyes are on what comes next for the NSX nameplate. Variants are happening: There's extra production capacity at the NSX plant in Marysville, Ohio, and deep enthusiasm within the brand for the NSX nameplate.
The unknown part is which variants and in what order. The smart money would be on an open-top targa model; a nonhybrid, rwd, street-legal version of the GT3 racer Acura hopes to homologate this fall; and a four-motor EV iteration based off the Pikes Peak racer from last month.