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First Drive: 2015 Acura TLX

Finally, a sedan that lives up to Acura's reputation.

by on Aug.06, 2014

Acura debuted its new TLX. The midsize sedan is expected help the brand reassert its position in the luxury segment.

Few automakers have had more riding on a single model than Acura does with the launch of the new 2015 TLX. Replacing two less-than-stellar offerings, the old TL and TSX, the new mid-range sedan is the Japanese maker’s stake in the ground, intended to prove that it really can take on the best in a field of tough competitors.

To get there, the Honda subsidiary has not only come up with a more visually compelling design than we’ve seen in recent years, but also some promising technology – including the latest version of its torque vectoring system, the awkwardly named Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD.

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Acura is hoping the new TLX will do what several other recent sedans, namely the ILX and RLX, couldn’t: put it back on the luxury map. It’s not so much that Acura has done anything terrible to alienate potential customers. If anything, it has scored a solid hit with the latest version of its big MDX crossover, sales up more than 55% for the first seven months of 2014. But that success on the SUV side hasn’t translated over to the Acura passenger car line-up. (more…)

Honda Offers First Look at Next-Gen NSX Drivetrain

Pricing to nudge high end of Porsche 911 range.

by on Nov.19, 2013

An Acura NSX prototype -- shown here in testing at Mid-Ohio Raceway earlier this year.

With development rapidly moving forward on the development of the eagerly awaited Acura NSX, Honda offered a handful of journalists a first look at the supercar’s complex, hybrid powertrain during a visit to its Tochigi R&D center.

After years of debating whether to adopt a traditional, more European approach to powering the next-generation sports car, such as going for a big V-10, the automaker ultimately decided to go with a more futuristic performance hybrid approach, it announced when showing off the first, early prototype of the Acura NSX nearly two years ago. But until now, it has revealed little else.

With functioning prototypes now running around test tracks in both Japan and the U.S.,

Performance News! was able to get significantly more details about the new powertrain – notably including the fact that the Acura NSX will be the only vehicle using Honda’s new three-motor hybrid technology that also will make use of a conventional turbocharger to further boost performance.


Revolution on Wheels: Honda’s New Hybrid SH-AWD System

Maker looking to transform its powertrain line-up.

by on Dec.08, 2011

Honda is coming up with a 3-motor hybrid version of its SH-AWD system

It’s been a tough year for Honda: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, production shortages.  And bad reviews.  The maker has taken a series of dings from the likes of Consumer Reports, no less, which panned its latest Civic model.  In some ways, that’s worse than the sharp downturn in Honda earnings in recent months. spent the better part of a week with mid-level and senior executives, all the way up to President and CEO Takanobu Ito to get an inside look at the company’s turnaround plans – which include a rapid fix of the much-maligned new Honda Civic.  But much of the effort revolves around a dramatic transformation of the Honda powertrain line-up. This is, after all, a company that likes to say it’s in the business of building engines, first and foremost.

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The new line-up includes both advanced gasoline and alternative propulsion systems – one of the most intriguing being a gas-electric version of Honda’s innovative Super Handling-All-Wheel-Drive system, or SH-AWD, a 3-motor system that we had a chance to take for the proverbial spin on the Twin-Ring Motegi race track a few hours outside Tokyo.