Acura is readying a BMW X6 fighter and that’s a fact. Many prototypes have been spotted recently, and as their sightings become more and more of an everyday occurrence for spy photographers, they tend to cover it and move on. But this new SUV or crossover or SUC or whatever the heck they are calling these things nowadays, is more significant than people might think.
This is a platform that will see use of Honda’s first production V8 engine, ever. It’s hard to imagine that a car company as vast and large as Honda has never put a V8 in its road cars. But as a company that prides itself in engineering and efficiency, Honda has never really needed to make a V8. They’ve been pushing the boundaries of small-displacement performance for more than 60 years. Plus, the flagship RL needs a V8 if it wants to compete with the big boys anyhow, and you can bet that Honda can’t hold out much longer.
The RL’s V6 is already running at the limits for sensible manufacturing with its naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 making almost 100-hp per liter. But back to the new sporty-ute’ (that’s what I’ve settled on) that is being tested. Cleverly disguised as a boxy SUV, this new Acura will be anything but. With a sloping C-pillar and rakish windshield, this will be one car that will cut a sporty profile akin to BMW’s X6, Acura’s main target rival for this model. Like the X6, functional space will be invaded by fad-of-the-minute design, making me wonder if BMW isn’t influencing car design in a bad way.
Look for the car to debut at one of the spring auto shows and to be sold as a 2010 model. Acura needs this car to succeed and not just for the North American market. It’s going to be marketed as a Honda in Russia and the Middle East as well.
Source: Motor Trend
Photos: KGP Photography for Motor Trend