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Legend name too powerful for acura!

Old 04-02-2009, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Default Legend name too powerful for acura!

With all the controversy surrounding Acura with the recent redesigns of the TSX, RL and the soon to be released TL, I was reminded of an article I had read in which Acura stated the reasoning behind changing the name of the Legend to the RL was simply about brand recognition.

Acura was concerned that the value of the Legend name was becoming more powerful and recognizable than the name Acura, and as such by steering clear of names instead using letter and numbers to identify their cars, the name Acura would instantly be recognizable. People would know that an RL was an Acura, as opposed to their argument of the Legend essentially becoming a brand in and of itself.

If I had the ability to insert sound effects, insert the sound of brakes squealing to a stop here.


Am I missing something here? I would argue that having a name as powerful as Legend in the case of Acura would be a manufacturers dream. Think about it, when you hear names like Mustang, Corvette and Camaro you immediately know the makers. Even in German car circles nameplates like M3 and A4 bring brand recognition for their makers as well.

And yet Acura made the decision to take nameplates like Legend and Integra off the table replacing them with emotionless letter and number combos like RL or RSX.

The Germans have used letters and numbers for decades. Audi, BMW and Mercedes have entire model lines built around a combination of letters and numbers. Those combinations have become legends in their own rite, cars like the 2002tii, 450SL and M3 don’t need their makeRs name to be said, it falls into the category of, “you just know” who made that car.

But in the case of Acura, you really have to second-guess the logic in going from a name based to an alphanumeric model designation. Acura has been losing market share simply based on the fact it never really has fielded a true contender to go up against the likes of the Lexus LS and the big German sedans. Furthermore their insistence on carrying on the quasi-front wheel drive architecture has got to stop, lets go with a true rear wheel drive setup. We all know that as good as SH-AWD is, it is still a predominantly front wheel drive car. The major players in this segment ALL are rear wheel drive with the exception of the A8 from Audi, and that model sells in such small numbers it really shouldn’t be counted here.

The thing to consider here is this, Lexus started their brand using alphanumeric designation, and it has served them well. Everyone knows a LS is from Lexus. Infiniti started with the same, and although they struggled to establish its brand identity in the beginning, the brand has really come into its own.

Acura started as the Legend and the Integra. Great cars by all accounts. Second generation Legends are still by far one of the best looking sedans on the road. Even today if you mention the name Legend or Integra, people know you are talking about Acura.

Based on the current design direction, I would say that Acura really has it in for itself. Ugly is not a word that is strong enough to describe what is happening to once great cars. I don’t care how well engineered they are, an ugly car is an ugly car.

I would propose Acura go back to its roots, and start over. Bring back the Legend sedan and coupe. Bring back a replacement for the Integra; include a coupe in that line-up as well. The RDX and MDX can stay, but give them a name, an identity as they get redesigned.

Make Acura great again. Acura started the whole Japanese assault on the Germans, and yet no one at Mercedes or BMW is worried right now about what Acura is going to do next.

Make rear wheel drive platforms, not this AWD stuff. Why not put an Integra replacement on the S2000 platform.

Stop trying to be all things to all people and make yourself unique again, make Acura a name plate people lust after again, unique products that stand apart from the crowd for all the right reasons, not because of ugly styling.

For me a return to Acura’s roots would be a return to leadership and innovation, something Acura’s parent company Honda prides itself.

Tell me I am wrong…
Old 03-21-2019, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 4

You are not wrong. I am not sure about sales numbers, but Lexus and others have to be killing Acura in the luxury car market. Look at "lowly Hyundai", well maybe not so lowly anymore. They introduce a model called Genesis in 2009, it sells pretty well, and they create a luxury car brand out of it. Now EVERYONE knows what a Genesis is for the most part. The G90 and G80 are as nice inside as any BMW or Mercedes or Audi, and they are selling very well. The "Legend" was an AWESOME model name, I wish they would bring it back!
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