Acura, the luxury line from Honda (NYSE:HMC), has come a long way over the past two and a half decades to become one of the world’s most recognizable brands.
The company has produced massively popular cars like the Integra, and has gained notoriety through different media channels, including film (The Fast and the Furious series) and music, in which rapper the Notorious B.I.G. wrote lyrics calling out the brand’s name. With time, Acura vehicles have only become more refined, and sales have grown. Today, it’s difficult to pull into a parking lot in America without seeing the logo adorning the grill of at least one vehicle.
From sporty little coupes to spacious SUVs, Acura has broadened its scope over the years to become more accessible to consumers. The company’s products aren’t typically known for setting speed records or getting off the beaten path. That doesn’t mean that Acura vehicles aren’t some of the more capable and efficient around, though. Next year, a new variant of the company’s NSX model is slated to hit dealerships, and it will immediately become one its the fastest vehicles available. Until then, there are still several models that can hit impressive speeds.
Here are the 10 fastest Acura models of all time. These models are ranked according to their top speed, and also take into account factors like quickness and power. Read on to see the list.
The RDX is a highly popular luxury SUV that constantly ranks well among consumers and critics alike. The vehicle comes with an efficient and powerful V6 engine that can achieve up to 25 miles per gallon combined, yet also produces 273 horsepower. The 3.5-liter aluminum alloy V6 can also rocket the RDX to impressive speeds, especially for an SUV. The RDX has proven true up to a top speed of 135 miles per hour. One knock that consumers have against the RDX is the handling: steering can feel numb and unresponsive. Other than that, the RDX is a fast and fun luxury vehicle that is both capable and speedy.
Like its sibling the RDX, the MDX is a luxury SUV that can hit a limited top speed of 135 miles per hour. A bit more suped-up than the RDX, the MDX comes with a starting price about $10,000 above the other SUV, as well. Similar in engine power, the MDX comes equipped with a Direct Injection 3.5-liter V6, which can make 290 horsepower and up to 267 pound-feet of torque. If you ever wanted a stylish SUV that is fast and has the power to haul a boat or trailer, this is it. The MDX can also bring the quickness, reaching 60 miles per hour from zero in just 6.5 seconds.
Acura must have had some foresight when the company named this car the Legend, because it is still living up to that moniker to this day. The Legend is now an older model, produced between 1986 and 1996. Even almost 20 years after its discontinuation, the Legend ranks highly among all other Acura models, with a top speed of 135 miles per hour. The final generation used a 3.2-liter V6 engine to jet down the road behind 230 horsepower. The Legend gained notoriety in its heyday by being a favorite of rap artists, even being shown off by Ludacris in an episode of MTV Cribs.
The RLX can also hit a top speed of 135 miles per hour, much like several of the company’s other models. However, the RLX has a bit more quickness to it, giving it an edge in the rankings. The RLX can hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.3 seconds, behind 310 horsepower. Outfitted with a 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddles, the RLX can provide one of the more fun driving experiences available. Revealed in 2012 as the eventual replacement for the popular RL, the 2014 model year is the RLX’s first on the market.
Topping out at 137 miles per hour is Acura’s TSX, one of the company’s sportier cars. Although it’s not quite as quick as some of its siblings, the TSX gets the job done over the long haul. The car’s 0-60 time comes in at 7.8 seconds, and a 2.4-liter inline four engine produces around 201 horsepower. Those performance stats should put it behind other models in the rankings, namely the RLX, but the TSX is able to climb to a slightly higher top speed if given the opportunity; the TSX also faces a lot of competition from other manufacturers, which is where it ultimately falls short in aesthetics and performance. The TSX is by no means a bad car, but a redesign in the near future wouldn’t hurt.
Possibly the best-known of all Acura models, the Integra cracks the company’s top five speediest vehicles list. The Integra, much like the Honda Civic, is a favorite of modification enthusiasts, and it was met with much disappointment when it was announced that Acura would be discontinuing it in 2006, after a 20-year run. It would eventually turn into the precursor to the RSX in 2001. Later model years were equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four engine, producing around 200 horsepower. The Integra could hit a top speed of 140 miles per hour in the right conditions, and also go from 0-60 miles per hour in around 8 seconds.
4. RSX Type-S
Emerging from the Integra’s ashes, the RSX hit the streets in the 2000s but was unable to climb to the levels of popularity of its predecessor. The RSX Type-S variant is the speediest version of the model (show above in its racing kit), topping out at 140 miles per hour, same as the Integra. The RSX-S put a 16-valve, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to work, achieving around 200 horsepower. The RSX Type-S is a bit quicker than the Integra, hitting 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. For a sporty luxury car, the RSX-S comes with a price tag that won’t make you wince, either. The asking price was around $23,500, quite fair for an Acura model.
Acura really stepped up its game when designing the TL, crafting a car that can hit a top speed of 150 miles per hour, well above the other vehicles on this list so far. A 3.5-liter V6 engine creates 280 horsepower and gets from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. The TL comes with a long list of standard features to help the driving experience and smooth the ascent to 150 miles per hour, like fine-tuned suspension and steering systems, but an outdated design slows things down a bit. A performance package is available with a slightly bigger engine, but doesn’t improve on the top speed.
Another older Acura model, the CL was produced in two generations, from 1997 to 1999, and again from 2001 to 2003. The CL was created originally as a replacement in the lineup for the discontinued Legend, but it never gained traction with consumers like the Legend or Integra did. Still, the CL was the second-fastest car Acura built, topping out at speeds of 153 miles per hour. The second generation was loaded with a 3.2-liter V6 engine, along with a choice of a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. The Type S variant put out 260 horsepower, as opposed to 225 horses for the standard version. Regardless, after a decade out of the game, the CL still holds up as one of the fastest vehicles Acura ever developed.
Taking the crown as Acura’s fastest car is the NSX, which was capable of speeds up to 190 miles per hour. Like previously mentioned, the NSX is being reintroduced for the 2015 model year with a slick redesign that will probably drop a lot of jaws. Produced between 1990 and 2005, the NSX was outfitted with an all-aluminum V6 engine that produced 290 horsepower and 224 pound-feet of torque. The next-generation NSX is expected to incorporate an all-wheel drive drivetrain into the mix, delivering even more performance and capability. By the end of its production run, Acura and Honda had only sold around 18,000 NSX units during a 15-year stretch, ultimately dooming it to discontinuation. However, critics are salivating over the car’s reintroduction, so we’ll have to wait and see if the NSX gets a better reception over the next couple of years than it did previously.