Monthly Archives: December 2018

Acura may only be in its early 30s, but it’s birthed some classics. These are our favourites

In this wonderfully diverse car world we live in, Acura is a relatively young manufacturer. But what Acura has managed to accomplish in 30 years of existence, many car manufacturers haven’t been able to do in well over 50 years in the business. Today we’re going to be taking a look at some of Acura’s most iconic cars from over the last three and a bit decades, as well as highlighting what made them so incredibly special.

Acura NSX

Acura NSX Test at Nurbergring 1990

It would be irresponsible of us to start off this article with anything other than the NSX. It’s a car that to this day adorns a lot of little boys’ and girls’ bedroom walls, continuing to inspire a new generation of car enthusiasts. It was developed and perfected by none other than the legendary Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in the sport’s entire history.

The NSX was considered to be the original ‘bargain supercar’ in 1990 when it was released, a reputation it held until 2005 when production ceased…and then fired back up again when it was relaunched in 2013.

It made supercar ownership somewhat attainable and yet managed to outclass just about everything else on the track. The first NSX came with a 3.0-litre V6 producing 270 horsepower, but Acura later upgraded it to a 3.2-litre unit capable of pushing out 290 horsepower. Although that wasn’t an enormous horsepower figure even back then, the NSX became well-known thanks to its incredible driving dynamics. Praised for its neutral and agile chassis by automotive journalists the world over, it’s earned its place in history as one of Acura’s best creations.

Acura Integra Type R/RSX

2001 Acura Integra Type R

When the first-gen Integra Type R hit the market, it absolutely shocked the automotive world and turned it on its side in 1997. The 1.8-litre VTEC four-cylinder engine producing 195 horsepower found in the Type R set the world record for the most power per litre of any naturally-aspirated engine at the time, at 108 hp/ltr.

What separated the Type R wasn’t its engine, however, but its chassis. The Integra Type R is light and extremely nimble. It’s easy to drive, but difficult to get the most out of, and as such, offers a unique driving experience. An engine with an 8,500 rpm limit, a Helical LSD for putting all that power to the road, and a sweet, slick 5-speed manual transmission.

The Type R, which was produced from 1997 to 2001 with a break in 1999) was succeeded by the Acura RSX. North America never got the DC5 Type R and instead got the equally-brilliant RSX Type-S. Objectively, in every way, the new RSX was better than the previous Integra Type R. It had a close-ratio six-speed manual, a more powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, and even sport-tuned suspension. For some reason though, the Integra Type R still seems to be a crowd favourite.

Acura Legend

1994 Acura Legend Sedan GS

Built to dominate the mid-size luxury segment, the Legend did exactly what Acura needed it to do in the 80s and 90s when it was produced. This flagship model proved to be one of Acura’s most profitable vehicles at the time, and for good reason. It was reliable, practical and most importantly, built to last. You can still see a lot of Legends on the roads today, many of which have ticked well over the 300,000-kilometer mark. It was made available as a 2-door coupe and a 4-door sedan, but you’re a lot more likely to spot a sedan as the coupes are rarer.

Acura TL Type S


A true definition of the term ‘sleeper’. The TL Type S was a genuine wolf in sheep’s clothing. Very few people suspected a 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 286 horsepower hiding under the hood of an average-looking sedan, and even fewer knew the differences. Distinguishable by its quad exhaust pipes, TL S badges, and unique wheels, the TL Type S quickly gained a following in 2002 when it debuted. People have been modifying and tuning these cars ever since. Our favourite is the face-lifted 3.7-litre V6 Type S equipped with a manual six-speed and all-wheel drive.

Everything you need to know about Acura’s True Touchpad Interface

What is Acura’s True Touchpad Interface? In short, it’s Acura’s latest and greatest user interface now available in the 2019 RDX. In today’s sea of entertainment systems filled with a ton of unnecessary buttons and hard-to-understand menus, the new True Touchpad Interface is a real breath of fresh air. Acura has completely reinvented the way an infotainment unit communicates with the user. The system has already gained high praise from WardsAuto in their annual “10 Best UX,” claiming it raised the bar that much higher for other manufacturers to follow.

What makes it so revolutionary?

The simplicity and usability it brings to the table for starters. Acura has worked hard to make it as elegant and unobtrusive as possible, with an eye-catching design that aims to reduce driver distraction. Above everything else though, it’s the new features introduced that truly make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Absolute Positioning

Unlike most pad-based systems we see in the industry nowadays, the True Touchpad Interface doesn’t offer the user a cursor to navigate through the menus. Instead, it has a precisely mapped, one-to-one touchpad that acts as a remote touchscreen if you will. Pressing the touchpad at a certain location corresponds directly with that same location on the display, so the driver never has to reach for the actual display and can operate everything from one single interface right next to his or her hand. This makes it the world’s first application of absolute positioning in a driving environment.

High-mounted HD Display

Then we get to the display itself, a 10.2-inch full-HD unit that rests on the dashboard, just above the center console. The operating system has been reworked to offer a new, intuitive design with simple graphics and logical menu structures. It redefines the term “ease of use,” decreasing the angle height of the required learning curve.

Acura RDX 96-1

Customizable App Layout

Since the new operating system is Android-based, customers can customize their “Apps” to their hearts’ desire. Frequently used features such as destinations, phone contacts or radio stations can be placed under the “Favourites” section and displayed directly on the home screen.

The Touchpad

The touchpad itself has been designed with maximum efficiency in mind. It has a subtle concave form factor including an actual physical border, so the driver can use it while keeping eyes on the road. A simple touch highlights an item on the display above, and a push confirms the action and makes the selection. This has been designed to prevent mistakes and unnecessary delays scrolling back through the menus.

Acura RDX Advance 67

A Two Zone Interface

The touchpad has two distinct zones and both of them correspond directly to the primary and the secondary information displayed on the screen. This, in turn, allows for quick-screen swapping and multi-content viewing with ease. The most common configuration is music on the right and navigation on the left.

Handwriting and Voice Recognition

In addition to the new touchpad, the infotainment system can be operated via voice recognition and handwriting. Acura has worked extensively on voice recognition in particular, making the new system one of the best currently available on the market.

Interactive Head-Up Display

The optional Advance Package brings with it a full-colour 10.5-inch head-up display with a ton of customizable options, projected directly in the driver’s line of view.

Acura RDX Advance 64