We take a look far into the future to try to predict Acura’s lineup in the year 2040. The once prominent luxury brand from Honda saw their sales peak in 2005, but have been slowly declining ever since.
Will Acura rise back to prominence? Or, will they continue to circle the drain and eventually get merged back into the Honda brand?
If they get back on track, what models will they need to offer to capture the right market? We attempt to forecast Acura’s transformation and re-establishment by 2040 and see what they will feature in their lineup.
Of course, we realize that it is quite an unpredictable topic to cover, but we made the best estimates we could about what Acura will build. We might be wildly off and Acura may even be discontinued. Or, the brand may start to thrive and we will miss the mark going the other way as well.
So, suspend your disbelief for just a few minutes as you read through what we think Acura will be selling by 2040.
Acura debuted as a brand in 1986 and reached 52,868 sales in their first year. Their popularity continued to grow and they doubled their sales in the next year.
Eventually, they sold over 200,000 cars in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006. At that time, they offered a robust lineup of six sedans, coupes, and SUVs – the TSX, TL, RSX, RL, NSX, and MDX.
However, by 2020, they were combining their sedan models and offering more SUVs. There was the NSX, ILX, TLX, RLX, RDX, and MDX.
It is now a turning point for Acura as they realize that their market share has been slipping and their sedan-heavy lineup may not be optimally positioned for future consumers. It does not help that they all kind of look the same and have not been properly differentiated.
Meanwhile, enthusiasts have been disappointed twice in recent years. First, there was the discontinuation of the Integra/RSX in the mid 2000s. Then, the popular TSX became the more bloated and less focused TLX, which was a combination of the TL and TSX starting in 2015.
Additionally, Acura currently doesn’t have any electric vehicles in their lineup and they don’t seem to have a strong pipeline or strategy for electrification.
However, they have recently announced the revival of the Integra name in the form of a five-door fastback. Perhaps they are banking on its cult status to get back on track.
But, we think they’re going to need to do a bit more. So, let’s see what we think will be part of their lineup in 2040.
Acura’s Predicted 2040 Lineup
Acura Integra Coupe
We think that Acura will continue to maintain the Integra name and expand it into a coupe and a sedan. The 2040 Integra Coupe will be designed as a hatchback just like the original model.
It will also be the only non-fully electric car in the lineup and will come equipped with a 300 horsepower electric base version and a 420 horsepower Type-S version powered by a petrol engine.
Essentially, the Integra Coupe will be Acura’s more affordable (and hopefully more reliable) answer to the M4 and C63.
Acura Integra Sedan
The Integra four-door will continue to exist and will be fully electric. It will also have an option for a Type-S version to compete against the M3.
In a reversal of trends, the Integra Sedan will actually be downsized and share similar dimensions as the TSX from back in 2004, which will make it a nimble and desirable option for the entry-level performance crowd.
Acura Legend Sedan
We think Acura will discontinue the TLX and completely depart from the midsize sedan market, which will likely be taken over by the SUV market.
Instead, they will focus on the full size luxury market and revive the Legend name in place of the RLX.
They will roll out a fully electric four-door that will match the size of the S-Class, 7 Series, and LS and will be positioned as an amenity-laden, performance driven sedan that undercuts their competitors.
Essentially, Acura will reuse Lexus’ plan for the original LS400 and run the same playbook to regain their share of the large luxury sedan market.
Acura NSX Coupe
Acura will continue to produce the legendary NSX and position it as their halo car. By 2040, it will be all-electric and produce 800 horsepower that will competently compete against the 911, R8, and even supercars from Ferrari and Mclaren.
It will also be equipped with the latest technology that will eventually find its way down the entire lineup.
Acura TDX SUV
By 2040, we think Acura will succumb to the SUV trend and beef up their crossover lineup by offering an entry-level SUV to slot under the RDX. Based on the Honda HR-V, the TDX will be fully electric and produce 200 to 250 horsepower.
Acura RDX SUV
The RDX will remain in the Acura lineup and should be its best-selling model as a midsize luxury SUV. This volume seller will be fully electric and offer up to 320 horsepower, making it a formidable opponent against family SUVS from BMW, Audi, and most importantly, Lexus.
Acura MDX SUV
We think the MDX will go full size and be only offered as a 7 seater to compete against other large luxury SUVs like the A7, X7, GLS, and GX. The MDX will be fully electric and offer the most advanced technology out of any SUV in the Acura lineup.
Summary – The 2040 Acura Lineup
Overall, we think that Acura will reposition itself for greater success through the year 2040. Once they arrive there, they will have a robust lineup that will meet the needs of enthusiasts and value seekers in virtually every popular segment of the market.
The Integra line will definitely be a boost to Acura’s performance credibility and will be able to pave the way for the next generation of their Type-S line.
Meanwhile, switching nearly half of the lineup to SUVs will allow Acura to compete on volume and keep them profitable. The fact that they will all go electric will also help them align with the future demands of the market.
We also think that it will be important for them to keep producing the NSX as the aspirational part of the brand, even if it just means building only a few thousand units a year.
Ultimately, we see a path for success for Acura as long as they develop a strong electric strategy now while remembering their roots as a high quality, performance orientated luxury car brand.
However, they are truly at a crossroads at this time and need to make some bold choices if they want to stay relevant. If they are not careful, they may turn into just a 3 model lineup, or even worse, be discontinued altogether.