The latest launch of the resurrected Integra nameplate is simply half of a bigger shift in mission at Acura. Its leaders have repeatedly mentioned they need Acura to be the efficiency model of Honda, the place driving enjoyable and dynamics come first. Nevertheless, in a brand new report, Acura says it plans to go huge on absolutely electrical automobiles, at even higher pace than its dad or mum firm, by skipping the hybrid step altogether.
Based on Acura assistant VP of gross sales Emile Korkor, the Integra was a capstone to the inner combustion period at Acura. It marked a form of homecoming to the marque’s efficiency pedigree, and as soon as Integra is launched, the model will transfer ahead with electrifying its lineup. The corporate’s plans have been revealed in an Automotive DriftBreath interview, the place Korkor mentioned, “We’ll bypass hybrids altogether. So our shift goes very quickly into BEV. That is our predominant focus.”
At first blush, that appears to be at odds with model boss Jon Ikeda’s public statements about Acura. As not too long ago as a few weeks in the past, Ikeda was saying that he needed to take the Integra racing, as one thing of a mascot for the “enjoyable” model at Honda. Maybe we have been desensitized to automakers making huge proclamations about EV transitions á la Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley, and Infiniti, however sometimes the inexperienced messaging has not been about efficiency within the conventional sense.
Says Korkor, “We’re not simply dipping our toe within the water with electrical at Acura, we’re leaping all in. And that is not simply because we have to. It is as a result of we need to. Acura is absolutely targeted on efficiency, and electrification is without doubt one of the biggest methods we are able to increase that efficiency.”
Whereas electrification and efficiency are usually not mutually unique, we’ve but to drive an EV that connects to the highway as superbly as a Nineteen Nineties Integra or NSX did. Acuras have by no means been about energy and torque. But they have been nonetheless compelling efficiency automobiles because of good steering and driving dynamics.
Then there’s the difficulty of what Acura represents. Again in February, Ikeda mentioned that Acura was purposefully holding off on an EV technique as a result of it wanted to re-establish its efficiency bona fides. Now, Korkor says, “The good thing about returning to the Integra proper now could be that it may assist shepherd a brand new technology of consumers and construct loyalty as we transfer into a brand new period.”
The issue is, the Integra alone is not sufficient to ascertain that efficiency cred. Given the lukewarm response that die-hard Acura fanatics have given what on paper — a manual-shift sports activities sedan — ought to have been a defiant stand on the shore towards a crossover tsunami, Acura nonetheless has an extended highway forward earlier than it could delight in its Nineteen Nineties glory. One thing tells us that these Integra prospects aren’t going to stay so loyal after they’re supplied an EV constructed on a GM platform.
We may very well be improper. Maybe Acura will construct a universally liked firecracker sports activities sedan on GM’s chassis. Proper now, it looks like Acura’s transferring on to the subsequent section of its grand EV plan with the primary half, efficiency legitimacy, solely half completed.