ILX is Acura's new compact sedan

  • 08-Feb-2012 01:05 EST
2013 Acura ILX 2.4L.jpg

The all-new production 2013 Acura ILX world premiered at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show during a press preview on Feb. 7. It differs from the concept version (shown at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit) primarily in terms of the front and rear fascias as well as the wheels and tires.

The all-new 2013 ILX will be the first production Acura offered with a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain.

A specially tuned version of the 1.5-L i-VTEC four-cylinder with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) that currently powers the Honda Civic hybrid will be used on the Acura ILX hybrid, according to Lee DaSilva, the ILX's Product Planner.

The 1.5-L engine and its integrated electric motor mate to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), another Acura first application. A Li-ion battery pack is used for capturing and storing electricity for the 15-kW electric motor.

"Together the gasoline engine and the electric motor team to produce 111 hp at 5500 rpm and 127 lb·ft of torque between 1000 and 3000 rpm," DaSilva said.

During braking, the gasoline engine deactivates and the electric motor functions as a generator to recharge the battery pack. At a stop, the 1.5-L engine is in idle-stop mode until the brake pedal is released.

Estimated U.S. EPA mpg fuel economy for the hybrid-powered ILX is 35 city/38 highway.

The ILX is also available as a gasoline-only powered sedan via a 2.0-L four, which provides 150 hp (112 kW) at 6500 rpm and 140 lb·ft (190 N·m) at 4300 rpm, or via a 2.4-L four, which produces 201 hp (150 kW) at 7000 rpm and 170 lb·ft (230 N·m) at 4300 rpm.

"As the first use for Acura, the 2.0-L makes its debut in the ILX. The 2.4-L is essentially the same engine—with minor tuning differences—as the engine that's used with the current (Acura) TSX," noted DaSilva.

A five-speed automatic transmission mates to the 2.0-L engine, while the 2.4-L will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Estimated mpg fuel economy for the 2.0-L engine is 24 city/32 highway; for the 2.4-L, it's 20 city/29 highway.

The ILX will employ MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension systems and will use new amplitude reactive dampers. Those dampers operate in two distinct settings for ride comfort and precision handling.

Other new features on the ILX include motion adaptive electric power steering, Pandora Internet radio, and SMS text messaging.

The 105.1-in (2670-mm) wheelbase sedan will have an aluminum hood, aluminum front bumper beam, and aluminum rear bumper beam (on the hybrid model), while 59% of the ILX body structure is high-strength steel.

Using a modified version of the automaker's global compact car platform, the ILX will launch in North American markets "with other countries coming later," according to DaSilva.

The car will be assembled exclusively in Honda's Greensburg, IN, plant with the start of production slated for the spring.

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