Acura Precision Concept previews a radical design future

Future Acura models could potentially look much different, if this concept on display at the Detroit auto show is any clue.

Jon Wong Former editor for CNET Cars
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Jon Wong
2 min read
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Watch this: Acura Precision Concept preview a bold new look for the brand

Acura has taken plenty of flak over the years for its designs. They've sometimes been seen as boring, while at other times certain signature design elements have taken heat, such as the early iterations of the beak grilles. Now comes the Acura Precision Concept to hopefully put an end to all the grumbling, getting its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show here in Detroit. Acura says the Precision Concept is a design study that previews a bolder and more distinctive design for its future vehicles. Whether that's a good thing or bad is down to personal preference, but it's safe to say that the concept's styling is definitely not boring.

In Acura lingo, the dramatic concept expresses "precision-crafted performance" with its wide stance, deeply sculpted surfaces, pronounced rear wheel arches, new diamond pentagon grille design, and massive 22-inch wheels. There's also a slightly different take on Acura's jewel LED headlights and floating LED taillights. There's a lot happening on the outside with a variety of surfaces meshing together, such as the large door rocker panels flowing into the side sills, missing B-pillars and rear brake lights that penetrate the rear glass and flow down to form the airfoil shape of the rear headrests.

Acura Precision Concept a design template for future models (pictures)

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For the cabin, there's a double-layer instrument panel, contrasting front seat surfaces, thin rear seats that appear to be floating, and other small touches like hand-crafted, wood speaker grilles. In front of the driver, there's a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters and controls for the integrated dynamics system to adjust vehicle performance characteristics, and a head-up display.

A new HMI interface features a wide, thin, curved center screen that's controlled by a floating touch pad. When passengers enter the cabin, the system can scan each person and select personalized settings to pull up preferred infotainment and vehicle performance settings.

Acura says the Precision Concept doesn't preview a particular production vehicle, with a wheelbase that measures 122 inches. That's substantially longer than any current production Acura sedan in showrooms now, with the biggest being the RLX's 112.2-inch wheelbase.

How will this new styling language and potential interior features translate over onto a future production vehicle? We'll have to wait and see.