Acura, which recently entered the hybrid market, has two new models. And one of them — the NSX — is a real showstopper.
“The NSX is our supercar,” says Crown Acura general manager Mark Carver. “It can go from zero to 60 in three seconds.”
Acura first introduced the NSX, Carver notes, in 1991 and discontinued production in 2005. The company restarted production last year.
The new, sporty model is powered by a combination of three electric motors and a twin-turbo, 3.5-litre V-6 engine which produces 573 horsepower. A nine-speed transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.
The 2017 NSX is also Acura’s first build-to-order vehicle. Customers can design their car by selecting one of eight exterior colours and four interior colour schemes available in three different seating surface options. Customers can also choose from several exterior and interior features, including three-wheel designs with painted or polished finish, carbon-ceramic brake options, a carbon-fibre interior sport package, carbon-fibre roof and more.
“We have just one model available for sale,” Carver reports.
Then there is the 2017 MDX hybrid. The seven-seater SUV is powered by a direct-injected, 3L V-6 engine — which produces 321 hp and 289 lb.-ft. of torque — married to two electric motors in the rear and one in front. There are four driving modes in the Sport Hybrid, up from three in other versions of the MDX.
Drivers have a choice of two packages. The technology package includes 20-inch wheels, remote start, blind-spot monitoring and navigation. The advance package adds upgraded Milano leather and wood trim, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs with a centre console, sunshades for the second row and LED fog lamps. Crash-mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and other active-safety features are standard on all MDX models.
Carver reports the MDX hybrid sells for a base price of $72,000.
As with the NSX, Crown Acura has just one model in stock.
Also recently arrived at Crown Acura is the TLX, newly designed for 2018.
“Acura did a really nice job of giving the TLX a fresh look,” Carver says, noting specifically the bolder-looking front grille. “What Acura has done has taken a really nice vehicle and made it better.”
The 2018 TLX engine is unchanged from earlier models. Power is still supplied by a 206-hp, 2.4-L, inline-four mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 290-hp 3.5-L V-6 is optional. Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) is standard equipment, while its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive setup (SH-AWD) with torque vectoring now can be added to any V-6 model.
Also standard are the AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistance features, including lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning/mitigation — as well as a redesigned infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Carver notes the seven-inch touchscreen responds 30 per cent faster than in previous TLX models. The 2018 TLX also features a wireless cellphone charger and a better sound system.
Another selling point, he points out, is the four-year comprehensive warranty. At a starting price of $39,365, he notes, you’re getting very good value.
“The TLX gives you affordable luxury,” he says. “And we have a great selection from which to choose.”
Hyundai Canada builds on IONIQ
Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. announced on July 31 a first-of-its-kind campaign — True Love is Just a Date (or a Test-Drive) Away — that is intended to put romance into its recently-launched IONIQ.
“The IONIQ offers an engaging driving experience, has an incredibly advanced powertrain and is an incremental addition to our product line-up, which presented us with an opportunity to do something new from a marketing perspective,” said Lawrence Hamilton, director of marketing with Hyundai Auto Canada, in a press release. “We knew the car needed to be promoted differently. The market positioning hinges on the concept of ‘Unexpectedly Electrifying’, which got us thinking about other experiences that surprise people and involve first impressions, getting to know someone or something new and potentially making decisions with long-term implications. We’re all looking for the right combination of traits when it comes to dating or car shopping. In the car shopping world, the IONIQ can be that surprise.”
To highlight the similarities between car shopping and dating, Hyundai sought the help of eligible celebrities Jasmine Lorimer and Joey Scarpellino. Through a unique media buy with Tinder, six lucky winners across Canada will be given the opportunity to go on a date in an IONIQ with Lorimer in Toronto or Scarpellino in Montreal this September.
Lorimer is a reality TV star who has travelled the world and been on some incredible adventures. Scarpellino is known from his starring roles in Les Parent and Lance et Compte.
With Tinder promoting the contest from July 31 to August 31, contestants can “swipe right” on the app when they see the Hyundai-promoted profile for Lorimer or Scarpellino to gain access to the Hyundai Ultimate Date contest. Canadians are also able to enter through a dedicated website, HyundaiUltimateDate.com.
From September to March, Hyundai will continue to spark chemistry with a national contest for Canadians to win a date of their own. One winner will be selected every month for six months where they’ll receive a $200 giftcard and the opportunity to cruise around in the IONIQ during their date.
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Paul Deleon
Dealership: Vickar Mitsubishi
No. of Years: Eight months
Favourite Model: Mitsubishi Lancer
Why: “The Lancer is a sporty vehicle,” Deleon says. “I like that it has all-wheel drive. The Lancer suits me as a young guy.”