On the eve of the Chicago Auto Show, Acura has revealed the newest addition to its lineup, the ILX. A compact premium model, it shares its chassis and powertrains with the Civic, though little else.
Looking nothing like a Civic, with a sleek Acura design, it's actually significantly larger, measuring 2-inches more end-to-end and almost half a foot more in width. The wheelbase, however, remains the same.
Powering the ILX are a choice of three engines, starting with an entry-level 2.0-liter 4-cylinder – essentially an up-sized version of the 1.8-liter found in the Civic. It makes a total of 150 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque and with a 5-speed automatic will get modest, but not exactly shocking, 24 city and 32 highway mpg rating.
Those in search of fuel economy can opt for the ILX Hybrid – the first time Acura has even offered a hybrid model. Using a similar setup to that found in the Civic Hybrid it makes 111 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque using a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder mated to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. A rudimentary hybrid setup, it does make use of a lithium-ion battery pack and gets 35/38 mpg, significantly less than the 44/44 mpg rating in the Civic Hybrid.
Performance aficionados will appreciate the 2.4-liter model, available with a six-speed manual transmission. Borrowing the engine from the Civic Si, it makes 201 hp.
Notable standard featured include a dynamic suspension system, "motion adaptive" electric power steering and a keyless access system with push-button ignition.
Available options include a Premium Package with leather, heated front seats, a rear view camera, an active noise cancellation system and an upgraded 360 watt audio system. A Technology Package then adds Acura’s ELS surround sound audio system and navigation with voice recognition.
Acura has confirmed the ILX will not replace the TSX, but will be the brand’s new entry-level offering, starting at "well below" $30,000.
More: 2013 Acura ILX Production Model Unveiled on Autoguide.com