Speculation

Here are the 6 models Acura will introduce by 2022 according to a leaked dealer slideshow

Someone leaked photos of slides from the Acura dealers association meetings.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Fan forum AcuraZine reports to have slideshow images from an Acura dealership presentation that was given earlier this month. As part of the presentation, the premium vehicle arm of Honda detailed its moves for the next two years, including the introduction of six new models.

Acura has been on a teaser tear lately as it looks to ramp up the speed at which it's working to differentiate itself not just from Honda cars and SUVs but also from the rest of the field. Company employees have not been shy about vocalizing their desire to bring the company back into focus with performance as an intended key attribute to success.

Let's take a closer look.

2021 Acura TLX

2021 Acura TLX

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura is upping the power, even on the base version, for the 2021 model year. Read more about the redesigned TLX here.

2021 Acura TLX Type S

2021 Acura TLX Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has debuted a redesigned TLX for the 2021 model year. With it, a sportier model will debut called the TLX Type S. You can read more about both models here.

Acura MDX

The next generation of the Acura MDX is coming. It's expected to have looks that are in line with the RDX while giving buyers a well-appointed cabin that is full of premium features and seating across three rows. Look for the MDX to debut later this year.

Acura MDX Type S

The Acura MDX Type S might just be a new sleeper car. Poised to have a dramatic looking exterior (think RDX + MDX + TLX Type S), there's reason to believe that this SUV might just haul more than luggage. Fingers are crossed.

"New Compact Sedan"

There's a good chance that Acura is bringing back the Integra name for its new compact car, which will replace the ILX in the automaker's lineup. The ILX originally replaced the Acura CSX, which was only sold in Canada and was the first compact car Acura sold after the RSX was discontinued. With or without Integra badging, it's coming.

"New Compact Sedan" Type S

By now you're probably figuring out the trend. Acura will be offering performance-focused variants of all of its upcoming models, giving them the "Type S" badge with purchase. Think of it as the Acura equivalent of the Audi A3 vs S3 vs RS 3 nomenclature where the S3 is sportier than the A3, but not track-focused like RS 3.


2019 Acura RDX Acura hasn't said what is happening to the RDX other than that it will continue to be offered. Photo courtesy of Acura

The leaked images are also notable for what they don't show. There's no RDX Type S on the roster, nor are there any added variants of the NSX or a successor the RLX.

The Acura RDX is currently built on its own platform, which means that it's likely just a matter of timing before a Type S variant becomes available. Will it be part of a mid-cycle refresh? Will we be waiting until a full redesign around 2025? Only time will tell.

The exclusion of plans for the NSX isn't a surprise. The car recently went through a sold design refresh and it's more likely that Acura would tune the model and update the interior more than rushing a generational redesign for the halo car.

Likewise, the lack of RLX or its successor is indicative of the market today. Most automakers are killing off their large cars, with the exception of the German car companies, as buyers move toward midsize and larger SUVs instead. The RLX says goodbye after the 2020 model year. Given that the company sold, on average, less than 100 of them a month for the last few years, it's not likely many in the U.S. will notice its absence.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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