Revealed in ILX Concept form at Detroit, the full-production version of the 2013 Acura ILX showed in face in Chicago losing virtually nothing of note in the transition process. Aimed at Gen Y buyers wanting to move into an entry luxury vehicle but needing to do so on a budget, the new Acura ILX will offer an outstanding combination of standard and optional features at a price that will open "well below the $30,000 mark" when it goes on sale this spring as a de facto replacement for the current TSX model. It also will have the distinction of being the first Acura model to be available with an optional hybrid powertrain.

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Although based on a modified version of the Honda Civic platform, the new Acura ILX has its own unique chassis tuning and shares no exterior panels with its corporate cousin. Beneath the ILX's sleek, well-tailored bodywork, this compact front-drive four-door offers room for five in a spacious, well-finished and well-appointed cabin that features a full range of comfort/convenience touches as well as Keyless Access System with pushbutton start and a host of connectivity enhancers including SMS text-messaging functionality. The ILX also boasts a long list of safety standards headed by Vehicle Stability Assist, anti-lock disc brakes and front/side/side-curtain airbags.

Buyers seeking to add a bit more opulent appeal to the basic Acura ILX can opt for a pair of primary upgrades. The Premium Package includes leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a 360-watt premium audio system, a new multi-view rear view camera and an Active Sound Cancellation system that adds an extra measure of serenity to the car's cabin. One step beyond, the Technology Package builds on the Premium Package and brings Acura's primo ELS Surround audio, AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and a 60GB hard disc drive, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather with radar image maps.

The 2013 Acura ILX will offer a trio of powertain choices. On the conventional front, the base motivator is a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four cylinder that makes 150 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. Matched with a mandatory five-speed Sequential Sportshift automatic, it's expected to earn 24/32 mpg city/highway EPA ratings. The upline gas engine is a 2.4-liter i-VTEC four that makes 201 horses and 170 lb-ft of twist. Paired with an also-mandatory six-speed manual, it nets estimated 20/29 mpg numbers.

Those with a greener spirit can opt for the Acura ILX Hybrid. It uses the same drivetrain elements as the Honda Civic Hybrid, matching a 1.5-liter i-VTEC four engine and Honda's well-proven Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) package that here brings a 20 horsepower motor linked to a lithium-ion battery to turn out a total of 111 horses and 127 lb-ft of torque. Backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and working in consort with a start/stop system, it will earn the Acura ILX Hybrid impressive 35/38 mpg EPA marks.

All versions of the 2013 Acura ILX will be assembled in the U.S. at the award-winning Honda facility in Greensburg, Indiana. Final pricing on the ILX is expected to be released in the near future.


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