Introduced under the tagline, “Precision Crafted Performance”, Acura is the oldest Japanese luxury brand in the U.S. Debuting in 1986, as the upscale division of Honda Motor Company, Acura was introduced with two models: Legend and Integra.
Back then, anyone who wanted a serious mainstream imported luxury car pretty much went with a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or an Audi. The Acura Legend was an all-new front-wheel drive luxury sedan offering many of the same features as an Audi and a Mercedes-Benz. Meanwhile, the Integra was based on a Japan-market Honda model called the Quint. Where the Legend was more luxury oriented with an edge of performance like Audi and Mercedes, the Integra was more performance oriented with a hint of luxury in the vein of BMW.
These attributes, along with Honda’s reputation for reliability, affordability, value, and low cost of ownership made the new Acura cars an immediate hit. By the way, for you trivia buffs out there, if you look closely, you’ll see the Acura logo is in actuality the Honda logo inverted and pinched at the top.
The first Legend was a front-drive V6-powered automobile, as has been every one of largest of the new Acura cars. Many in the automotive industry have derided Honda for the lack of a rear-drive, V8-powered full-size luxury Acura model. Interestingly though, the evolution of the auto industry has seemingly proven Honda's strategy to be correct in this regard. Ultimately, every luxury manufacturer came to offer a V6-powered version of its flagship sedan—just as Acura has done since the brand was founded.
Today, Acura offers a full range of performance-oriented luxury automobiles including sport sedans, a sport coupe, and a brace of SUVs.