Rumor Mill: Acura Contemplates Getting Rid of “Underpowered” 2.0 ILX

Though sales for the new 2013 Acura ILX have been anything but stellar, reports suggest the Japanese automaker is plotting a major powertrain change that may help turn things around for the premium compact sedan.

Acura plans on dropping the 2.0-liter I-4 from the lineup, as John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president said it’s “underpowered, and consumers don’t see the value,” to Automotive News. This could mean the racier 201-hp 2.4-liter will replace the less-inspiring mill to further set the ILX apart from the 140-hp Civic. 

Currently, the more potent 2.4-liter unit is exclusively paired with a six-speed manual transmission, but Mendel also hints that a 2.4 automatic is in the works. Making such changes could help catapult ILX sales, which aren’t close to hitting the initial target of 30,000 units a year. “We’re hitting two-thirds of our expectations, but we’re growing every month and catching on more,” Mendel told Automotive News.

Acura spokesman Chuck Schifsky tells us a different story, however. “The ILX is slowly getting up to where we want it to be, and it’s taking quite a while to get the awareness built up, but the 2.0-liter isn’t going anywhere.” As for a 2.4 automatic, Schifsky says there’s no plan for that, either.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required).