From Acura’s once controversial beaked grille to Lexus’ jagged, seemingly deformed front ends, to say that Japanese luxury cars are weird-looking would be an understatement. However, their polarizing designs are deliberate, and it’s all because of China!
Somewhere in the U.S., Donald Trump isn’t happy…
As it turns out, the Japanese haven’t been designing their cars for North American or Europeans. Rather, it’s the Chinese market they’re more interested in. Nissan-Infiniti chief creative officer and head of design, Shiro Nakamura, said as much in an interview with :
“The United States is slightly more conservative. China is a rather young market. They don’t know the name of the brand; they don’t know the quality, the performance. So visual communication is most important. In the first encounter, you judge visually.”
China is home to a dizzying number of both domestic and foreign brands, so automakers must do everything in their power to stand out. Chinese customers prefer “dazzle and baubles,” apparently.
Approximately 2 million luxury cars are sold every year in United States alone, just slightly above China’s 1.7 million units. Toyota’s Lexus, Nissan’s Infiniti and Honda’s Acura all expect China to soon overtake the US as the world’s largest premium car market, explaining why Lexus found it compelling to debut their recent, rather outlandish IS facelift at the 2016 Beijing Motor Show.
It’s also the reason why Nissan brought Chinese designers to its Japanese studios to help design the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration, which also debuted in Beijing.
By the look of things, it doesn’t seem like the American, European and Korean automakers feel the same way… Who’s do you think is right?
Vehicle Spotlight: 2020 Acura MDX Three-Row Crossover
One of the best-selling three-row SUV of all-time enters the 2020 model year still feeling like a champ.
Unveiled in 2013, the third-generation Acura MDX has been a sales success for Acura and a strong contender in the three-row crossover segment, offering drivers a fun driving experience, room for the entire family, and of course, a whole slew of luxury and tech features. It received a mid-cycle refresh for the 2017 model year, further boasting its appeal.
Instead coming in traditional trim levels like its competitors, the 2020 MDX is offered with different packages options — namely ‘Tech’ and ‘Advance’ — that lets you outfit your vehicle to match your lifestyle. Power is provided by a 3.5-liter Direct-injected i-Vtec 24 valve V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and a maximum torque of 267 lb-ft, channeled to the front or, optionally, all four wheel via a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission.
An idle-stop system reduces emissions and saves you money at the gas pump, with front wheel-drive MDX models delivering an EPA-estiamted fuel economy rating of 20 / 27 / 23 mpg (city/ highway / combined).
According to opting for Acura’s renowned Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system sysems shaves off few mpg in city and highway driving, but you get superior traction and better handling for a safer overall ride.
The sharp and angular exterior of the 2020 Acura MDX is available in a wide range of paint colors, including Performance Red Pearl, Majestic Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, and White Diamon Pearl to name just a few. A set of 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, and automatic LED headlights all come standard.
Inside, driver and passengers can treat themselves to power-adjustable heated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Situated at the center of the dashboard is a dual-screen infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration, and Bluetooth. An eight-speaker sound system delivers a high quality audio experience, while four USB ports ensures that your electronic devices don’t run out of juice.
AcuraWatch, Acura’s comprehensive safety and security package, also comes standard on every MDX models, adding adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure warning and mitigation, and several other potentially live-saving safety features.
Buyers looking for even better safety, a more robust sound system, and other high-tech features should consider the Technology package, which upgrades the audio to a 10-speaker premium sound system with HD radio and adds navigation, remote engine start, blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert, automatic wipers, and power-folding side mirrors.
While the Technology package focuses on high-tech features, the Advance package is all about creature comforts. 2020 Acura MDX models equipped with the Advance package get premium leather and trim throughout the interior, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row captain’s chairs, front-seat ventilation, a top-down surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive suspension dampers.
There is also an that adds the Acura DVD Rear Entertainment System, which includes a 9-inch screen that is lowered from an overhead console. Paring the Entertainment package with the Technology package gets you a 9-inch screen and 11-speakers, while pairing it with the Advance Package brings an extra-wide 16.2-inch screen in the overhead console, an HDMI input, and 12-speakers for improved surround sound.
When all three rows of seats are in use, the MDX offers 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding both rear rows flat gets you a maximum of 68.4 cubic feet, which is very class-competitive.
The 2020 Acura MDX has a starting price of $44,400 and can be optioned out to $60,150. As Acura’s largest vehicle, it offers everything a large family could possibly need.
Acura Type S Concept Previews Exciting New Sports Sedan
It marks the return of the venerable Type S sub-brand after a decade-long hiatus.
Acura has revealed the Type S concept, showcasing its vision for a modern high-performance package.
Inspired by the latest NSX supercar, the sporty four-door concept features more aggressive styling with better sports car proportions than Acura’s current sedans, with highlights including a long hood that stretches back to the A-pillars, a wide track, and a low stance.
The car features an open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille, new four-lamp Jewel Eye LED headlights, forged carbon exterior elements, 21-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, and 285-width summer tires. Expect the production model to look very similar to the concept.
When the second-generation TLX goes on sale in 2020, it will be the first Acura since 2011 to get the Type S treatment. The new TLX Type S will likely compliment the aesthetic enhancements with more power and sportier handling.
Do you like what you see? Share your impressions in the comments below.
Acura NSX Indy Yellow Pearl Pays Tribute To Original NSX
Acura’s new NSX is finally available in yellow again.
The Acura NSX enters the 2020 model year with a new ‘Indy Yellow Pearl’ paint that pays tribute to the original NSX.
Spa Yellow was the fifth most popular color for the first-gen NSX from 1997 to 2003 before it was replaced with Rio Yellow for the last two years of production (2004 and 2005). Given the high take rate, it was only a matter time before Acura brought it back in one form or another.
Indy Yellow Pearl joins Berlina Black as one of the two heritage colors currently available on the new NSX. However, while Berlina Black is standard and won’t cost buyers extra, going yellow will set you back an additional $1,000 on top of the car’s MSRP of $157,500 ( $1,995 destination and handling).
Unfortunately, the new color is the only update for the 2020 NSX, but reports claim a hotter NSX Type R is on the way.
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