- Ingredient 1: 1997 Acura SLX.
- Ingredient 2: 2020 Acura RDX powertrain.
- Ingredient 3 : Time, resources, and little bit of madness.
- Result: A 350-horsepower SH-AWD 1997 Acura SLX and a serious hankering for more.
Whomever at Acura decided to pull this off, or okay-d it, deserves to get a promotion at the very least. If anything, this man or woman should be given the keys to the company. This decision taps into Acura’s glorious and spotted past and somehow reignites passion for this car company that has fallen out of favour with enthusiasts.
We, or I, have not been very kind to Honda’s luxury car brand over the last few years. Numerous bad decisions were made in the last dozen years which has left the company looking for a reason to exist. As harsh as that may seem, for a while, sales were dropping severely however the latest TLX, RDX and MDX are convincing a sufficient number of consumers to look away from the almighty German luxury brands to post gains.
Now however, in my opinion at least, all is forgiven. The just released video by Acura has lifted my spirits on this snowy Thursday. For the first time in forever, Acura has taken a plunge into a very obscure part of its past, brought it to the light and gave it a new life. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the SLX. Very few remember the deal Honda had with GM/Isuzu in the 90s where Isuzu provided Honda with SUVs (the original Passport (Rodeo) and the SLX (Trooper II) in exchange for a minivan (Oasis (Odyssey) and other considerations.
I honestly got goosebumps watching the video and think it’s the greatest Acura story along with the Acura ITR race car story. In a nutshell, Acura found a 1997 SLX SUV, grafted a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine from an RDX, increased its power, and mated it to a modern SH-AWD drivetrain. A nice paint-job and 17-inch 1552 Tarmacs later and we have the coolest retro Acura vehicle of all time.
As I said, I don’t know who came up with this idea but Acura needs to embrace this move and move forward from here. We 40-, 50- and 60-year old car enthusiast remember Acura’s glory years and they need to come back.