Despite parent company Honda's green and friendly brand image, luxury marque Acura hasn't made a grand statement about electrifying their lineup. Even as brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley, and Infiniti pledge to entirely electrify their lineups in the coming decade, Acura has held back. The reason, according to Acura head honcho Jon Ikeda, is that it's focusing on reestablishing itself as a performance brand.
In a wide-ranging interview with Automotive News, Ikeda says Acura came out of the gate strong in 1986 and did well for the first 20 years, but when the bottom fell out of the market in 2008 the brand experienced "growing pains." That spawned a period of self-reflection and, as Ikeda puts it, "What are we about?" The decision was made to go back to Acura's roots as the performance division of Honda. "That's what Acura is. That's what I fell in love with," Ikeda says.
Ikeda joined Honda in 1989, but his promotion to Acura boss in 2015 was a surprise to many, including himself. That's because Honda had a tradition of putting engineers at the helm, and Ikeda was a designer, responsible for the looks of such cars as the FSX concept, 2001 Civic Coupe, and beloved 2004 Acura TL.