Japanese Cars From Day 2 of the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Today is the second day of the Detroit Auto Show, and it has been a particularly eventful one for Japanese car enthusiasts all over the world. Today we finally saw brand-new concept cars from both Acura and Nissan, and we even whet our racing appetite with an awesome-looking racecar from Mazda. Read more below:

Acura / Honda NSX

The last time we saw the Acura (Honda) NSX was at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, so the Honda-based Japanese manufacturer has had a whole year to test and tweak their NSX concept. Even though the car won’t actually see production for at least two more years, Acura’s American-based development team is carefully absorbing customer feedback. Even though many will complain about the overly-extended amount of time Acura is putting into this high-performance vehicle, you can’t fault them for seeking perfection.

Acura (Honda) NSX Concept

Today is the first time that we’ve seen the interior of the to-be-released Acura NSX concept. The vehicle unveiled at the auto show featured a seductive maroon-red interior with prominent carbon-fiber struts running along the center console. Jon Ikeda (head of Acura design) said this about the interior: “The key is that the interior design complements the vehicle, creating that link between man and machine.”

Acura MDX

Also from Acura, we got to see a preview for the third-generation of the Acura MDX luxury SUV crossover. Even though Acura claims that the vehicle is 99% ready for production, we still didn’t get to see anything from the interior. However, we did get a clear picture of the new crossover’s exterior design. The next generation MDX features the new “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, a slightly longer chassis, more linearly defined body design, and a lower roofline. Jon Ikeda confidently explained that the new technologies, designs and features of the MDX “will further improve the already great functionality in the cabin and cargo area while really ramping up luxury, comfort and quiet.”

Acura also informed us that for the first time ever, the 2014 MDX will have a front-wheel drive option available. Also, apparently starting with the new model to be released at the end of 2013, production of the MDX will be relocated into the US, presumably as the US is likely to be its major market and by producing the cars locally, Acura will avoid problems with the strong Yen.

Nissan Resonance

Last week Nissan released teasers for a new Resonance SUV concept, and today we finally confirmed what the previews foretold. It turns out that speculations about the next Murano were mostly right – Nissan says that the Resonance represents approximately 70% of what we can expect from the new Murano in 2014. However, the Resonance also has features that Nissan says we will definitely see in the next Qashqai, so the concept is almost a dual preview.

Speaking on behalf of Nissan, corporate vice president Andy Palmer says “we want to maintain our global leadership in crossover sales, and this concept showcases our plans to redefine the sector [yet] again.” After seeing the stunning “floating roof” on the Resonance concept – an uninterrupted pane of glass extending the windshield into the roof – ‘redefining the sector’ seems like an understatement.

Lexus IS

Going into the first week of the Detroit Auto Show, we knew that we should be excited about the new Lexus IS, and finally seeing the luxury sedan today thoroughly confirmed that outlook. It was clear from the teasers that Lexus has published over the past few weeks that their new entry-level sedan was intended to lure in both the daredevil and the executive alike. Seeing how great the car looks in a non-artistic rendering, it’s obvious that the Lexus IS will be alluring not just to daredevils and executives, but anyone in the market for a high-value luxury sedan.

Lexus unleashed their executives to talk up the IS even more, and so today we learned about several new performance tweaks in the more powerful versions of the IS and IS F-Sport. For example, the Fuji Speedway/Nurburgring tuned version of the IS350 is promised to generate 300hp+.

Lexus also unveiled a Lexus IS 300h hybrid that will only be sold in Japanese and European markets.

Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar

Last, but not least, Mazda got our mouth watering with their new Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar that will be proving its worth at the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona less than two weeks from now. According to a press release, the Mazda6 will be racing in the new Grand-Am GX class, and will be driven by Speedsource’s race team, Speedsource being Mazda Motorsports’ engineering partner of choice.

Mazda6 Skyactiv D Diesel Racing Car -- Detroit 2013

All in all, day 2 of the Detroit motor show was a good showing for Japanese car manufacturers and enthusiasts. Check back tomorrow for more Japanese car related news and updates on the first big automotive event of the year!

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