Mike Stevens | Feb 8, 2012

Honda's luxury arm Acura has revealed its new entry-level ILX sedan at this week's Chicago Auto Show, along with the new RDX SUV.

Developed for the US market, the new models preview the next generation of Acura styling, retaining the familiar shield grille and bringing a more bespoke Acura-specific design language.

Based on the new Honda Civic sedan (launching here next month), the ILX will take on Audi's new A3 sedan and the Cruze-based Buick Verano small sedan.

The ILX will be offered with three powertrains, made up of two petrol options and one petrol-electric hybrid - all from the Civic range.

These include a 112kW/190Nm 2.0 litre, a 150kW/230Nm 2.4 litre, and the 82kW/172Nm hybrid model - the first hybrid in the Acura range.

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Like the Civic, all variants in the ILX range are front-wheel-drive and, depending on the model, transmissions include a five-speed automatic, a CVT automatic and a six-speed manual.

The new RDX drops its predecessor's turbocharged 2.3 litre four-cylinder engine in favour of Honda's 3.5 litre V6, developing 204kW - 25kW more than the outgoing engine.

Available in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, the new RDX is offered with a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission.

The Acura brand remains a stranger to Australian shores, with Honda's local up-market offerings filled out by the Accord Euro sedan and the larger Legend.

While Toyota has its Lexus marque and Nissan's Infiniti is set to launch in Australia this year, the Acura brand is unlikely to get a guernsey for the local market.

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