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(Press Release)







Acura Precision Concept Points to Bold Future for Acura Design
DETROIT, January 12, 2016 – The Acura Precision Concept model made its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show today, pointing toward a bolder, more distinctive future for Acura vehicle design. The Acura Precision Concept was developed by the Acura Design Studio in California to express the Acura brand DNA of "Precision Crafted Performance."

"There is no more clear promise for the Acura brand than Precision Crafted Performance," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. "We're committed to infusing this core Acura promise into every facet of our products and every aspect of our relationship with the customer."

With an emphasis on high-contrast details and the intersection of modern, sheer surfaces and muscular, organic sculpting, the Acura Precision Concept communicates Acura's focus on performance and prestige through its ultra-low and wide stance, long dash-to-axle ratio, deeply sculpted surfaces and the debut of a new Diamond Pentagon grille.

"The Acura Precision Concept is more than simply a concept vehicle, it is a design study model that literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products around our Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said Dave Marek, Acura global creative director. "The Acura Precision Concept is the leading edge of a renewed commitment to delivering Precision Crafted Performance in every facet of the product experience and creating a powerful and very exciting direction for the next generation of Acura models."

The Acura Precision Concept's crouched and athletic stance is further emphasized by its deeply sculpted side surfaces pouring over swelling rear wheel arches covering 22-inch wheels and tires. The forward-looking concept also features signature lighting designs – in front with its Jewel Constellation LED headlights composed of organically arranged fractal elements, and in back with floating LED taillights.

A key design theme, dubbed "quantum continuum," is seen in the seamless transition of materials and structure from the exterior to the interior of the vehicle, which is further highlighted by the absence of a b-pillar. The large door rocker panel flows into the interior side sill, transitioning into a cantilever for the floating rear seats. The rear center high-mounted stoplight becomes an architecture element piercing the rear glass and then flowing down to help form the structure for the metal airfoil shape of the rear headrests.

The elegant and powerful exterior is matched by its dramatic interior design, where cantilevered surfaces meet with striking tones, expressive surfacing and modern detailing. Of particular note are the double-layered instrument panel, the high-contrast front seat surfaces, the ultra-thin "floating" rear seats, evoking the look of modern lounge furniture, and the hand-crafted audio speaker grilles made of exotic wood.

The driver's space is highlighted by a compact, race-inspired, sports steering wheel with paddle shifters and Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) controls, a floating center meter, a driver's head-up display, a cantilevered center stack and an ultra-wide, thin and curved center display screen.

New Acura HMI Concept
The Acura Precision Concept also explores a new approach for Acura's digital human-machine interface (HMI), enabling a more intuitive, advanced and seamless connection between man and machine. The ultra-wide and curved center screen is operated by a floating touch pad suspended on the cantilevered center stack. Upon entry, the system scans each occupant and selects personalized features and functions, including maps, audio and customized vehicle performance settings. Acura Precision Concept dimensions:

Width-84 inches
Length-204 inches
Height-52 inches
Wheelbase-122 inches
Wheel/Tire 22-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer Tire

About the Acura Precision Concept
The Acura Precision Concept was created to explore new and challenging ideas for future Acura design, particularly Acura sedans. The concept was created by Acura's California Design Studio under the direction of Acura global creative director, Dave Marek. The exterior design was led by Michelle Christensen, principal exterior designer, with the interior design created under the leadership of John Norman, principal interior designer. Both Christensen and Norman also played a key role in the creation of the next-generation Acura NSX supercar.

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of precision crafted performance-luxury vehicles through a network of approximately 270 U.S. dealers. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America's all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV. The next-generation Acura NSX mid-engine supercar will join the Acura lineup in the spring. Acura has been recognized by Edmunds.com for the fourth consecutive year as leading all luxury brands in retained value after five years of ownership.


 

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(Autoblog)












Precision Concept previews the future of Acura design
When we drove the 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid two years ago we celebrated its massive handling and carped on its milquetoast styling. We'd have done backflips if the internals of the brand's flagship sedan had been wrapped in the sheetmetal of the Acura Precision Concept. Don't get us wrong, we still have some questions about the front end of the car in these images, but we're all-in on the side view and, more importantly, we applaud Acura for making a bold design statement.

Acura says the Precision concept "literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products," bringing a "bolder, more distinctive future for Acura vehicle design." Hallelujah. As if you couldn't tell, this is the product of the Acura Design Studio in California, where Acura NSX veteran Michelle Christensen led the exterior work and NSX veteran John Norman led the interior design.

Up front is what's called a Diamond Pentagon grille, which looks fussy here but we won't make final judgments until we see it on the Detroit Auto Show floor later today. Come around to the side and the low-slung, rear-wheel-drive proportions on 22-inch wheels are the last thing we'd expect from a design study for an Acura sedan. It is about two inches shorter than the 2016 BMW 750i with a wheelbase that is 4.4 inches shorter, and sits six inches lower.

Intensely sculpted surfaces flow from the exterior into the cabin, like the CHMSL that breaks the rear backlight to roll into the rear headrests. Interior elements thrust like geologic formations, popping with mixed materials, floating rear seats, a small steering wheel and floating gauge locked onto a tiered instrument panel. The wide, curved screen atop the center console experiments with a floating touchpad to control a concept human-machine interface.

Acura says everything about the Precision concept is an expression of the company's "Precision Crafted Performance DNA." We have no idea how Acura plans to integrate this into its product line; put the Precision on a showroom floor right now and every other current Acura model save the NSX would squeal away and hide. But we welcome the attempt. We can't wait to see what happens.
 

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(Motor Authority)




Eight Questions With Acura Precision Concept Designer Michelle Christensen
One of the highlights of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show was the Acura Precision Concept. A design study for future Acura sedans, the car debuts the company's new Precision Crafted Performance mantra and points to a more adventurous and stylish future for Honda's upscale brand.

The car's aggressive outward appearance was created by exterior project leader Michelle Christensen at the company's Torrance, California, design studio, where Christensen also acts as the principal design leader. In Detroit, I sat down with Christensen to discuss the Precision Concept and how it will affect the future of Acura styling.


The Precision Concept is sized like an RLX. Could it be your idea for a replacement for that model?

This car is basically our vision model. Coming off the momentum of the NSX and this Precision Crafted Performance [idea], we really wanted something not just to show the world, but to inspire our studio internally, what we're going to do with the future lineup of sedans. You will see elements of this inspiring all of our future sedans. So, it's not any one model in particular. It's a lot lower and wider than the current RLX for sure. Our Acura exterior mantra is Alluring Modern Edge. And the alluring part is all about proportion. We know that that's extremely important to luxury buyers, so we really pushed our limits with this car to really inspire low and wide proportions, and a nice stance, a nice emphasis on all the wheels, and convey performance through design.


The most noticeable aspect of the car is the grille, and it appears that the notorious Acura "beak" will be gone.

I know it was somewhat controversial at some point, but I think everybody started to really recognize it [the 'beak"] as distinctive. I think a lot of people started to relate to it and appreciate it. But once we had this momentum of the Precision Crafted Performance direction, we wanted to go back in and reevaluate. Does everything match Precision Crafted Performance? When we looked at the grille, it didn't match. We wanted something that conveyed more of a performance image. We had the plenum in the front that looks like it's blocking what is normally an air intake. That started the conversation of, OK we need to redo the grille. So, we went through hundreds of proposals and this one seemed every Acura--it's still kind of a pentagon so it's a nod to what we've already established--but it just has a nice clean shape to it and it really conveys performance by letting air in through the grille.


The grille has a pointed three-dimensional shape to it. How hard would it be to put that into production?

I think it depends on the vehicle, especially as you work your way up to the lighttrucks you would want a less aggressive point to it. But that center line break has always been an Acura characteristic. This car is a little bit more of a caricature of everything. We still want to work that into all of our vehicles, so we are working with engineering to develop the underlying components to help us achieve that on the outside.


It doesn't look like there is room for airflow in this grille. It is pretty much closed with numerous diamond-shaped elements to it.

We want to lure you in so there are all these details up close. All those diamonds are actually opened inside and the vertical slats are open as well. There are also two lower side intakes. Again, it's little bit of a caricature because we really want to inspire the designers internally. So we had a lot of fun with it, and there are a lot of third-read details in there. The intent is to be able to have all of that open for performance.

What other elements of the design do you see making it to production?

You could close your eyes and point. It might not be a copy-paste literal translation. Some of this is also coming from the NSX. One of the things we're pushing on this car is our new surface language, which is part of Alluring Modern Edge. We really wanted this contrast in the surfaces. Usually, you have one surface treatment all around the car. But for Acuras we want more contrast so he have these very sheer surfaces. For instance, the body sides, it's very sheer and kind of twisted sheetmetal, but as you go out to the tires it becomes more of this melted mercury, more organic look. It's almost like two different surface languages put together. That contrast surfacing, we're using on all of the models that we are working on now.

One of other things that was inspired by NSX and then taken to another level on this car is this lightweight, floating feeling. If you look at the Precision Concept, you'll notice that the A-pillars are floating and they just end in a little point, so it looks very lightweight. The taillights also look like they are suspended. You could put your hand through behind the taillight, which is coming from the NSX floating C-pillar. We want to keep that lightweight performance look, where it looks like it's windswept and constantly in motion.


This car is a four-door with no B-pillar, and it has suicide-style rear doors and a flying buttress style rear end. Could those elements make it into production?

Everything's possible. It depends on the vehicle and the needs of the buyer. Everything on this vehicle we are looking into. I think the suicide doors would be possible. It all depends on things like the testing, and crash, and structure.

Acura design has been panned in the last decade or so, at first for being too bland and later for being too out there. Do you recognize that and are you trying to find a new, more accepted direction?

Precision Crafted Performance has been in our DNA since the beginning. I think over the last couple of years it's been there but maybe it hasn't been as consistent or as loud or as potent as it should have. The great thing about Honda and Acura is that we always focus on the customer. We're always making products based on what we think they want and what buyers are telling us they want. Some of the reason for the undulation is that we are really focusing on the buyer and what they want. The Precision Crafted Performance direction I think is going to be very strong.

What do you want people to know about this car that we haven't covered?

We're just excited to share this concept with the world, and show everybody our secrets, what we are working on, and where Acura is going.
 

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Acura Precision Concept: The Future Is Now?
A bold step for a brand teetering on irrelevancy.
Infusing its models that aren’t the $150K-plus Acura NSX with passion and personality is a work in progress at Acura, and the latest weapon in the brand’s war on ambiguity is the Precision concept. A sharply hewn four-door sedan that was developed at the maker’s California design studio in preparation for its debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show, the Precision is a design-study model that Acura says “literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products.”

Following the NSX’s lead, the Precision concept features large, blocky rear haunches that shroud big—for an Acura sedan, anyway—22-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires. (Michelle Christensen, principal exterior designer, and John Norman, principal interior designer of the Precision concept, also worked on the NSX.) At 84 inches wide, it’s nearly eight inches wider than the NSX and, more critically, nearly 10 inches wider than the RLX, the current top dog of Acura production sedans. The profile view features deeply sculpted side surfaces, a low stance, and almost rear-wheel-drive dash-to-axle proportions, although no powertrain details have been revealed as of this writing.

Given the concept’s quoted length of 204 inches and a wheelbase of 122, it’s clear the designers worked hard to keep the wheels pushed out to the corners. Height measures 52 inches*—four more than the NSX but roughly 5.5 inches fewer than the RLX. The greenhouse follows the trendy four-door-coupe ethos—notice the lack of a pronounced B-pillar—similar to the Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz CLS, and BMW 6-series Gran Coupe, but the large fenders and pointy trailing edge of the taillights and the fastback-like rake of the backlight ensure a bit more surface drama. The Precision concept also debuts the brand’s aggressive “Diamond Pentagon” front grille. A welcome relief from the Acura beak, it nicely complements the rest of the fascia’s sharp geometric elements, including the “Jewel Constellation” LED headlamps and the lower air dam.

Acura designers wanted to create a “seamless transition of materials and structure from the exterior to the interior,” an example of which is the way the rocker panel flows into the doorsill and then transitions into a cantilever for the ultrathin rear seats. A racing-inspired steering wheel with paddle shifters, controls for Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), a floating center meter, “high-contrast” front-seat surfaces, and speaker grilles crafted from wood continue the clean and modern motif.

Tech features include an ultrawide and curved center screen, which is operated by a floating touchpad on the angular center stack. Acura’s “digital human-machine interface” (HMI) is said to be capable of recognizing each occupant when they enter the car and loading personalized features and functions, including maps, audio preferences, and vehicle performance settings. Sounds interesting, but we’d prefer Acura to hold off on the gee-whiz gimmickry until it has some brand-defining powertrain and chassis developments in the bag.

Ultimately, the Acura Precision concept represents a bold styling step for a brand that has been teetering on irrelevancy for far too long. Let’s hope the attractive Precision follows the Honda/Acura tradition of appearing as a little-changed, genuine production vehicle soon after its show-circuit debut.
 

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A7 hatch profile

FT-1 Tail lights

Mazda & Lexus grill mashup

Designers love to push the lines, and I think we can all agree its just a concept...

Far better then the nasty shit that is coming out of Nissan and Lexus though!
 

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I find myself conflicted by this design....I want to like it and do like some elements of it overall.
However, perhaps because it is such a radical concept, I have a hard time imagining them offering this as a serious 7/S competitor.

Part of that also may be because in the back of my mind, I keep thinking this thing is going to transform into an Autobot.
 
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