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The ILX Movement is Starting

  • Posted: 10-26-2012 12:26 PM
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There was a lot of excitement around here about the release of the Acura ILX. The main reason why is because of our love for the first generation TSX, and discontent with much of what Acura did to it for the second act. On paper, the ILX seems to be much like a successor to the first TSX, and we are only one of many who noticed. The dimensions are practically the same, the weight is up a tad but the tradeoff is a car packed with features and the availability of a 2.4L engine.

Unfortunately, Honda sort-of missed the mark a bit if the aim was to gain an audience of would-be TSX fans for this new iteration. For one, the ILX is based on the latest Civic platform which (in itself is not such a bad thing) forgoes a long lineage of double-wishbone front suspension in Honda's lineup. While it is attractive from certain angles and has a nice stance, the ILX is a bit blobish. The aggressive headlights and grille struggle to overcome a buck-toothed bumper. The aggressive rear haunches harken images of a wolf in sheepís clothing. And the confounding model/trim/pricing structure means that you cannot get a fully loaded manual-transmission model, and a loaded model comes in just a hair shy of the cost of a loaded TSX with a superior chassis and engine.

All that adds up distinctly to "not-a-first-gen-TSX;" a car which easily stood on its own feet well clear of the TL's shadow and even earning itself Car and Driver's Ten Best honors a time or two. But, it also adds up to an entry level car which was absent to Acura's lineup previously, and offers a model range selection not seen since the lamentably-lost Integra.

Yes, the ILX, for now, is the most promising Acura model for tuning in the 2013 model year. And recent developments from some of the best parts producers in the business support this. The main reason is because of the similarities this car has with the Civic Si, a car whose trim designation, with respect to hop-up parts, might as well stand for "Spend income."

Just yesterday it was announced that Hondata was releasing their Flashpro unit for the ILX November 5th. Likewise, Tein announced earlier in the week their bread-and-butter Street Basis and Street Advanced coilover suspension kits for the ILX. Lucky for us, the ILX is based on the Civic, or theses parts would probably not exist so soon after the car's release.

And there are a whole slew of other parts available or coming available soon that will offer a great opportunity to enhance the misgivings of the ILXís performance aspirations and turn it into another cult car with a Honda-Acura badge. You know; cars that donít sell in corporate stock-shifting numbers but the people that have them love them to death for some reason or another. There really is no such thing as a boring Honda, and when you have CT Engineering out there producing a super-charger for it you get a pretty spicy combination of power and, handling and efficiency.

I was extremely excited about the ILX in the past, and then grew a little bland on it. With the surge going on now just before SEMA, I am getting excited again. My hope is that the latest rear-wheel drive offering from Subaru/Scion doesnít render the ILX irrelevant at that venue, since those driving economic productivity might be more likely to purchase an ILX than a BRZ. Then again, if a car is an expression of oneís self, the dude in an FRS is a bit more likely to be on the football team and dating a cheerleader. Focusing on the ILX as a hot, tuner car is an uphill effort.

Let's see what unfolds in 2013! Good luck, ILX!

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