This prestigious marque was created to bring elegant styling, state-of-the-art technology and engineering, stimulating performance and an unprecedented level of customer service to the luxury import market.
Now in its ninth year, that venture is showing extraordinary results. Acura has been the number one selling luxury import make and for the past seven years its flagship luxury sedan, the Acura Legend, has been the best-selling luxury import in each of the last five consecutive years. From a start-up with two automobile lines, three models and 60 dealers, Acura now offers four automobile lines, with six distinct models, sold through a network of nearly 300 dealers. And, in July, 1994 Acura sold its one-millionth automobile.
While selling a relatively high number of automobiles for the luxury import category, Acura has consistently performed extremely well in one of the most important measures of success: making the ownership experience as satisfying as possible.
Acura has ranked number one in the annual J.D. Power and Associates® Customer Satisfaction StudySM(CSI) survey four times. The marque has also ranked best in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Performance StudySM(VPI), which ranks customer satisfaction with the operational and functional performance of their automobiles after three years of ownership.
Research and Development
The success of Acura can be attributed largely to the research and development that goes into every vehicle. Acura automobiles are designed and built using leading-edge technology. At the same time, they are well-known for extremely high levels of ergonomic design, quality and durability.
To give the designers and engineers the kind of creative freedom and positive working environment they needed to function at their best, an autonomous research and development company was formed in 1960 as a separate entity from its parent, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. This separation allows the engineers to go their own way, investigating new ideas and innovations without the budgetary and bureaucratic constraints encountered by engineers at many other automobile manufacturers.
After an automobile is designed and developed, it is exhaustively tested at facilities in Japan and the United States, and it undergoes environmental testing in harsh climates and conditions all over the world. The main R&D testing facility in Japan is the Tochigi Proving Grounds, with its broad range of demanding driving situations. Acura automobiles are also tested at two major test facilities in the United States. The Transportation Research Center (TRC), in East Liberty, Ohio, has many of the same capabilities as the Tochigi Proving Grounds. And further illustrating our commitment to the U.S. market, an all-new testing facility in the desert north of Los Angeles, the Honda Proving Center of California (HPCC) has recently opened, which allows thorough development and product testing close to Acura Division headquarters in Torrance, California. HPCC features a 7.5-mile high-speed oval track, plus five miles of a winding road course that offers a full range of challenging road surfaces.
The deep-seated commitment of Acura to racing started at the very beginning-- well before the Acura Division was founded. Soichiro Honda, who founded Honda Motor Co., Inc. in 1948, was a racing enthusiast at heart. Throughout his life he maintained an active interest in his company's racing exploits and in the world-leading technology that made them possible.
Nobuhiko Kawamoto, president of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has his roots in racing as well. Kawamoto was a key engineer on the early Honda Formula One racing effort in the 1960s. And later, as president of Honda Research and Development Co., Ltd., his influence and engineering expertise led to Honda's return to Formula One racing in 1983.
Formula One racing is the world's most demanding arena of motorsport competition. The participation of Honda in Formula One served as an indispensable training ground for engineers, and a unique source of inspiration for the designers of Acura production automobiles.
Racing also provides a priceless body of knowledge, at the leading edge of technology, that would be impossible to acquire in any other way.
Honda-powered cars have won six consecutive Formula One Constructors' World Championships (1986,1987,1988,1989,1990,1991) and five consecutive Formula One Drivers' World Championships (1987,1988,1989,1990,1991). But the ultimate payoff of this racing experience is built into each Acura in the satisfying way it functions and feels.
The Acura commitment to racing is also evident on the racetracks of the United States. Race-prepared Acura Integra automobiles have won two consecutive IMSA International Sedan Manufacturers' Championships and three consecutive IMSA International Sedan Drivers' Championships.
The Comptech Racing Acura-Spice GTP-Lights race car, powered by a modified Acura NSX V-6 engine, has carried driver Parker Johnstone to the last three consecutive Manufacturers' Championships, and last three consecutive Drivers' Championships in the prestigious IMSA Camel GTP Lights series.
In 1994, Acura made a debut in IndyCar racing. The Acura-sponsored Comptech Racing team had its first outing at the Portland IndyCar race with Parker Johnstone at the wheel. If previous success is an indication of the future, Acura is designed to make a lasting impression on this most American form of racing.
Acura is continuing its association with Comptech Racing by sponsoring the Comptech IndyCar racing program. This association extends the racing efforts of Acura into the premier form of motorsports competition in the U.S., and helps to further the image of Acura as a world-class builder of high-quality performance and luxury automobiles.
Acura Model Chronology
Two initial model lines went on sale in March 1986.The Integra sports sedans, in both 3-door and 5-door versions, were introduced, along with the Legend 4-door performance luxury touring sedan. The Legend Coupe was introduced one year later, in 1987.
Since the unveiling of the two original model lines, two models have been added: the mid-engine NSX exotic sports car and the Vigor luxury sports sedan. And both original model lines, the Integra and the Legend, have been superseded by all-new, totally redesigned and re-engineered successors. The second-generation Legend Sedan and Legend Coupe were introduced in the 1991 model year. The second generation Integra was introduced in 1990: the 1994 Integra Sports Coupe and Sports Sedan represented the third generation of the Integra model.
Acura enters the 1995 model year with a full line of sophisticated automobiles, each carefully tailored to bring the best in driving satisfaction, inspiring performance, gratifying luxury, state-of-the-art safety engineering and advanced ergonomics to its owners. Starting in 1994, every automobile in the Acura line was equipped with both driver's and front passenger's Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags as standard equipment.
In the 1995 model year, the Legend receives few changes. The model lineup includes the Legend Sedan in L, LS and GS trim levels and the Legend Coupe in Land LS trim levels. Two new colors have been added to the Legend.
The Integra has a new model for 1995, the Special Edition. Available in both Sedan and Coupe body styles, the Special Edition features a standard leather-trimmed interior, body-colored side mouldings, simulated wood-trimmed interior in the Sedan model, a rear spoiler in the Coupe model, and a Special Edition emblem. The Special Edition includes 15-inch alloy wheels, Michelin XGT-V4, all-season, high performance tires and front stabilizer bar also found on the GS-R. In addition, the LS Sedan now features a standard power moonroof, and the GS-R Coupe and Sedan are available with an optional leather-trimmed interior.