Acura Drops Another Hint of a U.S.-bound CDX
Officially, there is no word. Unofficially, Acura seems plenty content with the idea of bringing the Chinese-market CDX subcompact crossover to North America, so long as there’s a business case for it.
“It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president of American Honda’s Acura division, last April.
Is an American design patent granted to Honda proof that the company’s braintrust have made up their minds?
It’s not a confirmation that U.S. buyers can soon choose from three Acura utility models, but it’s a significant piece of groundwork on behalf of the company. The patent, granted yesterday, shows what’s undoubtedly a CDX, a locally-produced model launched solely for Chinese buyers in 2016.
The diminutive vehicle, which borrows the Honda HR-V’s platform, doubled Acura’s China sales volume last year. As we posited earlier this year, success of the Acura brand in China would allow the company to invest in its American operations — and its products.
How it would fare in the U.S., however, is anyone’s guess. There’s no shortage of larger, more prestigious utility vehicles on the market, and the subcompact crossover segment isn’t exactly on fire. Still, some premium brands — BMW, for example — have recently eked out sales gains in a market that’s starting to slump. A CDX would also add some measure of extra sales to Acura’s U.S. ledger, plus serve as a new entry point for buyers.
Nor can Acura be seen with only two utility vehicles in its lineup. This isn’t 2002. Thanks to some help from Mercedes-Benz, rival Infiniti already has its own subcompact utility offering, and Lexus is reportedly weighing its own entry into the pint-sized segment. Acura wants to be competitive and, while a subcompact crossover isn’t a vehicle that makes a company, it isn’t good optics for a mainstream brand to ignore a segment inhabited by every last one of its competitors.
In China, CDX buyers have a choice of one engine and one transmission. So, no choice. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder provides the grunt, channelling its 182 horses through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
H/T to Bozi Tatarevic!
[Images: Acura, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]
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