Acura’s Precision EV concept is a crossover with an F1-inspired dashboard
From the Honda division that resurrected the NSX and Integra nameplates, Acura hopes to pique the interest of new buyers with the Precision EV concept, a large crossover that foreshadows the company’s electric future. Unveiled at this year’s Monterey Car Week and re-introduced even more recently to guests in New York, the Precision EV features a sleek surface and a reimagining of the brand’s iconic design cues.
“This is the first look at our design direction toward an electrified future,” said Dave Marek, Acura’s Executive Creative Director. “As a performance brand in the age of electrification, how do you communicate performance details when you don’t have the traditional tools like quad exhausts etc?”
To that end, the designers, many of whom worked on Acura’s new LMDh race car set to compete next year at Daytona and Le Mans, stuck to more traditional, sporty proportions, including the wheelbase long and the longer dash-to-axle configuration, with the wheels pushed far into the corners.
Like all automakers wondering what to do with a front fascia in an era when large grille openings were no longer needed, Acura designers retained many of their signature styling cues, such as the Pentagon. This is complemented by a slightly raised diamond pattern illuminated from behind and featuring a large illuminated “A” logo front and center. The car also stands out with an intricate 3D-printed pattern that Marek calls the “glitch”, accenting the lower front and rear bumpers, as well as the wheels. “We wanted to create what you see digitally on a screen into a 3D form,” he says. “Like when pixels slide, then focus.”
Unlike many electric show cars that envision the interior as just a lounge space, Marek and the design studio have created a two-pronged approach, with a driver-focused cockpit that uses a yoke-style steering wheel and an inspired driver display. Formula 1 cars. A relaxation mode would, in theory, allow the car to take over autonomously. But, Marek points out, “We’re a performance brand, so if the wheel doesn’t go away, it’s not the end of the world.”
While the Precision EV concept is a design study only and is not built on a platform that will go into production, Acura (and parent company Honda) are forming crucial partnerships that will enable the upgradability of its electric vehicles to the future. Recently, Acura announced that it would build its next ZDX EV on the General Motors Ultium platform, shared with the Cadillac Lyriq. Acura executives say the company is also developing its own proprietary electrified platform, with specific product details yet to be announced. Honda has also teamed up with Korean electronics maker LG to build a $4.4 billion plant in the United States to supply its future electric vehicles with solid-state batteries.
“As the engines die down, it’s going to be an interesting time,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and brand agent for Acura. “With this car we have the potential to break the rules a bit and challenge our engineers. Yet we are also talking about a business here. It takes time to grow.”
Click here to see more photos of the Acura Precision EV concept.