Acura turns attention to cars, seeking repeat of RDX success




LOS ANGELES — Acura’s 2019 RDX crossover, which it calls the embodiment of its resurrected Precision Crafted Performance brand promise, has gotten off to a torrid start, attracting younger buyers with its A-Spec trim, conquesting more European luxury makes and bringing new customers to Acura dealerships.

With the redesign launched in June, the RDX recorded its sixth straight monthly sales record last month, while deliveries for the year are outpacing 2017 by 22 percent.

A home run

While other Acura vehicles have received some styling updates, such as the new grille design, the RDX was the first Acura to be fully redesigned since the brand re-embraced performance as a styling, engineering and marketing cue.

It’s been a home run, says Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda. And Acura is seeking more of them with the rest of its lineup, including its three sedans. Although sedan sales have waned, Ikeda says consumers can expect Acura’s car lineup to get the same treatment the RDX did.

The RDX transformation gave Acura a chance to deploy a new interface for its infotainment center, called the True Touchpad. Instead of a touch-operated screen on the center stack, users can access functions on a certain part of the screen — the top right corner, for example — by tapping the corresponding area of the touchpad, which is mounted just behind the gearshift buttons.

Ikeda said Acura was aware of the risks brands face when trying to be revolutionary with their infotainment systems. Ford’s quality rankings were hampered for years by its maligned MyFord Touch offering.

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