Acura is seriously considering making a big change to its full model lineup, adding all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Automotive News originally reported on the possibility after speaking with Koichi Fukuo, who is the top executive at Acura. The idea has come out of the Acura Business Planning Office, which was formed recently in an effort to differentiate the luxury brand from Honda. One thing’s for sure: Acura is essentially standing still in an evolving marketplace. Honda has finally realized that having the same people work on the Honda and Acura lines has led to little differentiation between the two, which is a big problem when an Acura costs considerably more. Something needs to change, probably multiple things, because competition among the premium brands in the automotive market is heating up considerably.
Fukuo noted that so far in 2014, half of the Acuras sold in the United States have come with SH-AWD, or the brand’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The next-generation of SH-AWD has come, which could make an excellent time to make it a standard feature on all of the models. After all, one of Acura’s strong points as a brand has been the use of advanced technology. In the interview with Automotive News, Fukuo disclosed that Acura will not touch certain options. Among them is rear-wheel drive and engines with more than six cylinders. He did say that more powerful engines for all models is almost certainly going to happen. Considering that the ILX is built on the same platform as the Civic, which could mean a more powerful, all-wheel drive version of the car. That would fulfill many Honda fanboy fantasies. Slapping all-wheel drive on all Acura models comes with a few benefits. Most people realize that it helps with vehicle stability and handling, including in poor weather conditions.
In addition, Fukuo says it helps Acuras accelerate faster without turning to large, heavy engines. Such a move would help line up the rest of the Acura brand with the image that the new NSX will portray, which is a smart move.