Acura, Honda’s American luxury and performance division, is considering using all-wheel drive exclusively in their future models.
The brand is looking to reinvent itself as consumers shopping among premium brands are choosing other directions. While over half of Acura’s sales in 2014 come from all-wheel drive models, many of the models that Acura offers are front-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive is a very economical and practical layout for a car, but it doesn’t necessarily target premium customers due to the lack in performance and handling. All-wheel drive is less economical, but it provides for a better ride in every other aspect: acceleration, top speed, handling, and traction on surfaces such as snow and gravel.
Emphasis on all-wheel drive models have boosted sales in the Northeast United States for every car manufacturer that has done so, including Audi and Subaru.
The 2015 Acura TLX boasts a very dependable all-wheel drive layout. The much hyped Acura NSX will exclusively use all-wheel drive.
While this turn is certainly one in the right direction for Acura, the approach to all-wheel drive will be a unique one. Companies such as Audi, Subaru, and Mitsubishi have all-wheel drive systems that trickle down from their rallying motorsport divisions. Acura will be the first company to exclusively use the platform exclusively for the consumer.
Acura only exists in the United States. The same models may be sold by Honda with the Honda badge in other countries, including Japan.
How will this change affect the American premium car consumer?
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