Acura: Too “Advanced” for U.S.?

Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept

The Acura Advanced Sedan Concept, introduced at the LA Auto Show in early December, was not the hit the folks at Honda had hoped it would be. Reviewers and showgoers responded pretty negatively, overall, to the rather extreme design elements. The folks at said, “[O]ur first reaction was shock and amazement, followed by a touch of nausea,” and that was one of the nicer comments. (Most reviewers did comment favorably on the concept’s potential roadworthiness, with its big tires and low center of gravity; it was definitely the look that turned people off.)

Well, Honda is getting another chance to impress the U.S. automotive community, with the unveiling of the Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in early January. The Sports Car Concept is, if anything, even more “advanced” in terms of styling than the Sedan Concept.

What do you think? Are U.S. drivers ready for something like this (even a softened version)? I somehow don’t see drivers who’ve spent the past several years enjoying their SUV’s headroom switching to something with a roofline raked this dramatically. It seems to me to have all of the wedgy un-charm of late-’70s sports cars, with the bottom-heavy clunkiness of a late-’80s sedan.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see how people react in Detroit.If I were Honda, I’d be worrying. The Acura brand has been floundering in the U.S. for a while, and even though this might look like a silver bullet, I don’t see it acting like one.

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