Honda may be working on an affordable sporty vehicle — a reborn Honda Integra, perhaps? — to complement the upcoming NSX hybrid supercar.
Car and Driver spoke to Dave Marek, chief designer for Acura, Honda’s luxury marque, at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. When asked whether there might a reimagined Integra in Acura’s future, Marek responded that “a performance brand needs a flagship and it needs an accessible sport car. Not a sports car, but a sport car.”
Marek didn’t clarify what he saw as the distinction between a sports car and a sport car.
He did admit to the American magazine that Honda, in trying to make the brand more luxurious, had abandoned the enthusiasts that had once flocked to the marque.
Although he wasn’t at liberty to reveal more specifics about Acura’s model plan, Marek noted that “there are lots of resources and activity going into making Acura back into what it was”.
Acura was launched in the US in 1986 with the Integra as its sporty entry-level model. In 1990 the division gave the supercar establishment a fright with the aluminium-bodied, V6-powered, mid-engine NSX.
The brand now relies heavily on its RDX and MDX SUVs, which together accounted for around 60 per cent of its US sales last year.
At the upcoming Los Angeles auto show, the brand will reveal a facelifted version of its Civic-based entry-level ILX sedan. If rumblings out of the brand are to be believed, the revised ILX will be sportier both visually and mechanically, and is a pointer to the marque’s more athletic future.
A second-generation NSX will be launched in the States next year and that car will eventually be sold in Australia as a Honda.