Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand. For the first few years after its launch, it held the title of the best-selling foreign luxury car brand in the United States.
The brand was a pioneer in many areas, which contributed to its success, which inspired other Japanese automakers, Toyota and Nissan, to create luxury brands - Lexus and Infiniti, respectively. In addition, the brand successfully competed with European premium cars.
On March 27, 1986, an assembly plant of American Honda Motor Co. was opened in California, which later became the company that produced Acura cars. By that time, after ten years of research, Honda already had 60 dealerships across the U.S. that were ready to promote the new brand.
The first cars to hit the market were the executive Legend and the compact Integra hatchback. The Acura Legend entered the market with a sedan body with a 151-horsepower engine, and in 1987 a coupe was introduced, equipped with an engine that developed 161 hp. This model was the first car produced by Honda that was equipped with a V6 engine. It was developed together with British company Austin Rover Group. The British wanted a replacement for the Rover SD1, and the Japanese wanted a new luxury car.
The Acura Legend took first place in the Car and Driver's 'Ten Best Cars of the Last Three Years' and was named 'Import Car of the Year 1987' by Motor Trend. It had a 2.5 liter engine, which allowed it to reach 100 km/h in 8 seconds, and a top speed of 217 km/h. The sedan had a drag coefficient of 0.32 and the coupe 0.30.
The second generation of the model came out in 1990 and offered many features that are now commonplace in luxury cars. These include dual front driver and passenger airbags, hands-free telephone, automatic climate control, heated leather seats, heated mirrors, four-wheel ABS, and disc brakes.
For its quality, reliability and ease of use, the Acura NSX was called 'a supercar for every day'. It was equipped with a centrally mounted V6 engine and a rear-wheel drive system.
The car was named 'Car of the Year' and 'Design of the Year' by Automobile magazine in 1991. It was produced until 2005, and then it was discontinued.
Along with the NSX, the brand logo, a stylized letter A and a crozier tool for measuring parts precisely, was also unveiled. This logo means that the brand uses rigid standards and precise calculations in the creation of cars.
Despite a strong start, Acura sales began to decline in the mid-1990s. Some experts attribute this to an unfortunate design that largely copied Honda cars for the domestic market, such as the 1992 Vigor. In addition, the brand switched to alphanumeric model designations. For example, the iconic Legend name was replaced by the faceless 3.5 RL, the Vigor became the 2.5 TL and the 3.2 TL. The parent company, Honda, was also suffering the effects of Japan's declining economy. Do not forget to use Acura VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.
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