Article Summery :
Acura's Integra is now the RSX, a sporty head-turning three door coupe. Read on to learn exactly what powers this car and the future plans Honda has for the model.
Article Key Words :
Acura RSX, Acura Integra, Acura TL, Acura RL, Acura Legend, Acura NSX, Acura MDX, Honda Accord, BMW
Main Article Content :
Back in 1986, when the Acura brand was introduced by the Honda Motor Company, two models started it all: the Legend and the Integra. Since that time several additional models have joined the Acura line up and the two original models were renamed: the Legend became the RL and the Integra was renamed the RSX. Today’s RSX – a three door hatchback -- continues to offer pretty much what the original Integra stood for: luxury, engineering, and value. Let’s take a closer look at this popular seller and what the car means to both the driver and to the company.
Honda’s introduction of Acura was prior to and done slightly different than Toyota’s introduction of Lexus and Nissan’s roll out of Infiniti. Unlike its Japanese cousins who were introducing pure luxury brands, Honda decided to include “near luxury” as well as luxury cars in the Acura mix. This marketing method was Kind of like selling Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles under one name, but without the creation of a third brand. Honda’s strategy has paid off as the Integra/RSX has been a popular seller and a nice bridge for Honda loyalists looking for something a bit more refined than the typical Honda, but without the Acura price. Truly, a star was born with the Integra and continues to shine with the RSX.
For driver’s, the RSX offers a gusto not found on the average Honda, giving it plenty of room to be “specially tuned” by the aftermarket crowd. With 17 inch tires, 6 speed transmission, and 7 speaker Bose sound system, the RSX has been designed to provide optimal driving fun at an affordable price. Featuring 2+2 seating, sport styling, and a 201horspower VTEC engine, the four banger RSX effectively combines performance with fuel efficiency.
For the Honda Motor Company, the RSX has helped to keep Acura sales strong. Recently, the company began to market the Acura brand well beyond its North American roots and the RSX [curiously still called the Integra elsewhere] has led the way. Recently, however, the company has decided to discontinue the RSX to concentrate on further separating the Honda and Acura divisions. Thus, the original intent of Honda for Acura has been changed and Acura will now be exclusively marketed as a luxury brand.
For Integra/RSX lovers all is not lost. Honda will likely sell a similarly equipped Accord while Acura will continue to sell the TSX, a four door upscale version of the RSX. Changing consumer tastes have shown that a near luxury coupe doesn’t have quite as strong as an appeal as a four door sedan, so the RSX will not be produced after 2006.
The Integra/RSX has served Acura and its drivers well; new models are certain to build upon its success as the Acura brand is spread worldwide.