1996 Acura Introduction
This prestigious marque was created to bring elegant styling, state-of-the-art technology and engineering, stimulating performance and an unprecedented level of customer service to the luxury import market.
Now in its tenth year, that venture is showingextraordinary results. Acura is the number-one-selling luxury import make (in July, 1994,Acura sold its one-millionth automobile), now offering three automobile lines, with six distinct models, through a network of nearly 300 dealers. And as part of an aggressive launch campaign, no fewer than three new model lines willjoin the Acura fold within the next six months.
While selling a relatively high number of automobiles for the luxury import category, Acura has consistently performed extremely well in one of the most important measures of success:making the ownership experience as satisfying as possible.
Acura has ranked number one in the annual J.D. Power and Associates® Customer Satisfaction Study (SM)(CSI)survey four times. The marque has also ranked best in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Performance Study(SM)(VPI),which ranks customer satisfaction with the operational and functional performance of their automobiles after three years of ownership.
Research and Development
The success of Acura can be attributed largely to the research and development that goes into every vehicle. Acura automobiles are designed and built using leading-edge technology. At the same time, they are well-knownfor extremely high levels of ergonomic design, quality and durability.
To give the designers and engineers the kind of creative freedom and positive working environment they needed to function at their best, an autonomous research and development company was formed in 1960as a separate entity from its parent, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. This separation allows the engineers to go their own way, investigating new ideas and innovations without the budgetary and bureaucratic constraints encountered by engineers at many other automobile manufacturers.
After an automobile is designed and developed, it is exhaustively tested at facilities in Japan and the United States, and it undergoes environmental testing in harsh climates and conditions all over the world. The main R&D testing facility in Japan is the Tochigi Proving Grounds. with its broad range of demanding driving situations. Acura automobiles are also tested at two major test facilities in the United States. The Transportation Research Center (TRC), in East Liberty, Ohio, has many of the same capabilities as the TochigiProving Grounds. And further illustrating our commitment to the U.S. market. an expansive testing facility in the desert north of Los Angeles, the Honda Proving Center of California (HPCC), allowsthorough development and product testing close to Acura Division headquarters in Torrance, California. HPCC features a 7.5-mile high-speed oval track, plus five miles of a winding road course that offers a full range of challenging road surfaces.
The deep-seated commitment of Acura to racing started at the very beginning-well before the Acura Division was founded. Soichiro Honda, who founded Honda Motor Co., Inc. in 1948,was a racing enthusiast at heart. Throughout his life he maintained an active interest in his company's racing exploits and in the world-leading technology that made them possible.
Nobuhiko Kawamoto, president of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has his roots in racing as well. Kawamoto was a key engineer on the early Honda Formula One racing effort in the 1960s.And later, as president of Honda Research and Development Co., Ltd., his influence and engineering expertise led to Honda's return to Formula One racing in 1983.
Formula One racing is the world's most demanding arena of motorsport competition. The participation of Honda inFormula One served as an indispensable training ground for engineers, and a unique source of inspiration for the designers of Acura production automobiles.
Racing also provides a priceless body of knowledge, at the leading edge of technology, that would be impossible to acquire in any other way.
Honda-powered cars have won six consecutive Formula One Constructors' World Championships (1986,1987,1988,1989, 1990,1991)and five consecutive Formula One Drivers' World Championships (1987, 1988,1989, 1990,1991). But the ultimate payoff of this racing experience is built into each Acura in the satisfying way it functions and feels.
The Acura commitment to racing is also evident on the racetracks of the United States. Race-prepared Acura Integra automobiles won two consecutive IMSA International Sedan Manufacturers' Championships and three consecutive IMSA International Sedan Drivers' Championships.
The Comptech Racing Acura-Spice GTP-Lights race car, powered by a modified Acura NSX V-6engine, carried driver Parker Johnstone to three consecutive Manufacturers' Championships, and three consecutive Drivers' Championships in the prestigious IMSA Camel GTP Lights series.
In 1994,Acura made a debut in IndyCar racing. The Acura-sponsored Comptech Racing team had its first outing at the Portland IndyCar race with Parker Johnstone at the wheel. Less than a year later, Honda scored its first IndyCar victory, when Andre Ribeiro took the checkered at the New England race in August, 1995.
This association helps to further the image of Acura as a world-class builder of high-quality performance and luxury automobiles.
Acura Model Chronology
Two initial model lines went on sale in March 1986.The Integra sports sedans, in both 3-door and 5-door versions, were introduced, along with the Legend 4-door performance luxury touring sedan. The Legend Coupe was introduced one year later, in 1987.
Acura introduced the second generation Integra in 1990.The following model year, the mid-engine NSXexotic sports car joined the Acura lineup. Also in 1991, Acura released the second-generation Legend Sedan and Legend Coupe. The 1994 Integra Sports Coupe and Sports Sedan represented the third generation of the Integra nameplate. The removable-top NSX-T bowed as a 1995model. And in early 1995,the all-new touring luxury Acura TL Series was unveiled as a 1996 model.
Acura enters the 1996model year with a full line of sophisticated automobiles, each carefully tailored to bring the best in driving satisfaction, inspiring performance, gratifying luxury, state-of-the-art safety engineering and advanced ergonomics to its owners.
And during the next six months, Acura will introduce a trio of exciting new models: the SLX luxury sport-utility vehicle, the all-new RL flagship sedan, and a new U.S.-designed luxury-sport coupe, the CL.
One of the world's greatest exotic sports cars continues with a choice of two body configurations for 1996-the hard-top NSXcoupe and the open-top NSX-T with a light-weight, quickly detachable roof panel for open-air driving.
As testimony to the NSX's outstanding performance and handling, a specially prepared NSX-T has been selected to participate as the official PPG IndyCar World Series pace car at select 1996 IndyCar races.
1996 TL Series
Introduced early in 1995 as 1996 model the TL Series touring luxury sedan lineup includes the sporty 2.5 TL and the luxurious 3.2 TL. The TL series has the highest features content in its class, with Automatic Climate Control and an AM/FM/cassette/CD player standard in all models. Each model is also offered with a Premium Package that features an even higher level of standard equipment.
The Integra model lineup includes two models- the Sports Coupe and Sports Sedan and four trim levels: RS, LS, high-performance GS-R, and the well-equipped Special EDition. The Special Edition features a standard leather-trimmed interior, body-colored side mouldings, simulated wood-trimmed interior in the Sedan model, a rear spoiler in the Coupe model, and a Special Edition emblem. A leather-trimmed interior is optional on Integra GS-R models. For 1996, a new optional alloy wheel design and three new exterior colors are offered on all Integra models.