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My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 29: Acura - in search of an identity

Poor old Acura. Suffering thru the same problem that has beset Lincoln and that has perplexed many other car manufacturers over the years. The Problem? Coming up with a visual corporate identity. A design feature that will immediately identify your ride for what it is. We all know when a BMW drives by, since those twin kidney grilles do a great job of saying, "I'm a Bimmer (so step aside)!". The design features may include a variety of little touches, but it's the front end that sets the tone.

Way back when Acura started and introduced the Legend, maybe front ends weren't so important, because the designers really didn't do anything to make this model say, Acura. But, hey, the Japanese were very conservative and continued to be so for many years.


Heck, even the Rover Sterling 800, which was a rebodied Legend, didn't do a great job either........


Arguably better than its twin? Probably not. Sales wise, this model disappeared faster than a poor swimmer in shark infested waters. Due to its front end? Who knows?

But flash forward to 1999..........


Pleasant, but nothing special, Acura carried this front until 2008, when after a wild Vegas weekend, the Acura/Honda designers came up with this new corporate front end........


I never really minded this (I had one), but it got universally panned. A bit of overbite in the design. Not terrific and very controversial. This alone is not a bad thing (see today's Lexus line up). What's that line? There is no such thing as bad publicity? Yeah, maybe so, but this new front didn't set sales afire. Some dealers even took to modifying it slightly with paint to lessen its unusual impact.........


Pretty bad when your dealers don't even like what you are offering and without them, you are as dead as that poor swimmer. A couple of years later, Acura modified this snout slightly, so that it wasn't so polarizing (like toning down The Donald).

Now look at this concept that, appeared last year on the auto show circuit........


Said to be a look into the future of Acura's next design language. Finally, the designers seem to have got it right, as this front, which is sort of similar to the gorgeous Mazda6's, was their best effort so far. Now let's come up to today and the introduction last week at the New York Auto Show of the newly revised MDX......


There is that new front end. Very nice and probably one that Acura can live with. Finally, a corporate identity that is different without being strangely different. A front end that can be carried across the line, so that when someone drives up in their new Acura whatever, the innocent bystanders will say, "Hey look, (insert name here)'s got a new Acura. Sharp!". Personally, I can see Acura living with this one for a very long time.

Now what about Lincoln's new visage? I believe that the jury is still out on that one.

Until next time......



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