How could Acura make those badges on the ILX and RDX feel a tad more special? It could so by putting into production the Acura Precision Concept, which made its debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show.
The concept is eye-catching and would serve as a perfect four-door complement to Acura's current halo car, the NSX. Its long dash-to-axle ratio and short overhangs strongly hint at a rear-wheel-drive platform. Interesting stuff considering the status quo for Acura is front-drive sedans and crossovers such as the TLX and MDX.
That said, Acura isn't spilling any details regarding the Precision's powertrain and which wheels it'll spin. With a hood that long, the possibilities are endless. Could it get a version of the NSX's hybrid system including its twin-turbo, longitudinally mounted 500-hp V-6? That would make the most sense based on Acura's engine arsenal. A quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic would further sweeten the package.
For now, the Precision Concept is a design study, a preview of the automaker's future design language that'll showcase what it calls its "Precision Crafted Performance." Acura says the concept is the first to feature its Diamond Pentagon grille, which looks a lot like a riff on Mercedes-Benz's grille that first debuted on the CLA (and is coincidentally also called a diamond grille). The grille still sports Acura's shield-style (or beak) design flanked by boomerang-like air inlets. Meanwhile, Acura's signature Jewel LED headlights evolve into Jewel Constellation LEDs for the Precision Concept and feature "organically arranged fractal elements" for a star-filled-night look.
Overall, the Precision Concept looks nothing like Acura's current lineup. The haunches are both wide and sharply sculpted, and the 22-inch wheels fill in the wheelwells nicely. The roofline is fairly simple with a silhouette that resembles a liftback at the rear. (Think Audi A7, which isn't a bad thing.)
If the concept appears large to you, that's because it is. With an overall length of 204 inches, the Acura Precision is just 2.5 inches shorter than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan. It's almost 10 inches wider than the Benz at 84 inches, though its height of 52 inches makes it lower than the S-Class by more than 6 inches. Its wheelbase stretches 122 inches, a full 10 inches more than the Acura RLX flagship sedan.
Emphasizing the concept's coupe-like styling is its absence of B-pillars. The rear seats appear to be floating thanks to cantilever-type mounts, while wood accents are used throughout the interior including on the speaker grilles. The concept's "human-machine interface" (Acura-speak for infotainment system) features a wide, curved screen and a touchpad that appears to float over the center stack. Acura says the HMI system scans passengers to personalize various vehicle functions and settings.
The RLX might be luxurious, comfortable, and full of tech, but it's a relative wallflower in Acura's lineup. Acura sold only 2,195 RLX sedans in 2015, which is a drop of 35.7 percent compared to 2014. The NSX has injected some life into Acura, but a production and rear-drive version of the Precision Concept would be a welcome addition to the brand.