The Acura ILX arrived in 2013 to give Honda’s luxury arm a small sedan to take on the likes of the Audi A3, and later the Mercedes CLA-Class. In its first three model years on the market, the small, Civic-based sedan hasn’t been the sales monster Acura had hoped for, likely because it is behind its main competitors in term of advanced powertrains and styling. Well, according to a press release from Acura, it has revamped the ILX lineup for 2016 and worked specifically on its two weakest points: styling and drivetrain. We’ll see the changes at the LA Auto Show when the 2016 ILX debuts.
According to Acura’s press release the updates for the 2016 ILX include “a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.” I drove the ILX just a few weeks ago, and while I really enjoyed it, I did find that its drivetrain lacked the power needed to compete with its German rivals, even the range-topping, 2.4-liter i-VTEC. Fortunately, the model I tested didn’t have the base, 2.0-liter engine, which I understand is not a good match for this car.
My findings combined with rumors that have been circulating the web lead me to believe that Acura will be borrowing the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, Earth Dreams engine from the Euro-spec Civic Type R and installing it in the range-topping 2016 ILX. I am certain the ILX’s unit will carry the same power as the Type R, as it’ll likely be detuned to around 250 horses for this application. Mating this engine to the front wheels will likely be the eight=speed dual-clutch transmission found in the new TLX. Expect the 2.4-liter engine to carry on as the base unit in the 2016 ILX, and the 2.0-liter to go the way of the dodo bird.
In terms of styling, expect the ILX to draw nearly all of its inspiration from the TLX. In fact, the teaser image that Acura released (above) shows off body lines that display a lot of the TLX’s character.
The 2016 Acura ILX will debut on November 20,2014 at 9:30 a.m.