While other Acura vehicles have received some styling updates, such as the new grille design, the RDX was the first Acura to be fully redesigned since the brand re-embraced performance as a styling, engineering and marketing cue.
It's been a home run, says Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda. And Acura is seeking more of them with the rest of its lineup, including its three sedans. Although sedan sales have waned, Ikeda says consumers can expect Acura's car lineup to get the same treatment the RDX did.
The RDX transformation gave Acura a chance to deploy a new interface for its infotainment center, called the True Touchpad. Instead of a touch-operated screen on the center stack, users can access functions on a certain part of the screen — the top right corner, for example — by tapping the corresponding area of the touchpad, which is mounted just behind the gearshift buttons.
Ikeda said Acura was aware of the risks brands face when trying to be revolutionary with their infotainment systems. Ford's quality rankings were hampered for years by its maligned MyFord Touch offering.
But "you have to try," he said.
"We've got performance ... we've got design," Ikeda told Automotive News during the Los Angeles Auto Show. "Technology is the third piece when it comes to the premium segment. Those are the three pieces emotionally [where] you have to get a buy-in so people pay the kind of money they're willing to pay."