Acura’s Future EV Designs Are All About Using Light
The design offers a clue as to the company’s direction in the electrified era of cars.
Concept designs can range from the profoundly silly to the industry-changing, but among the more important prototypes are the ones that dictate a company's future design language. Think of it as a blueprint from which all future models will derive inspiration from. Acura's newest design concept unveiled Thursday, the Precision EV, suggests a future where lighting establishes design just as much as the sheet metal itself.
The concept offers a handsome enough vision of future Acuras to come, with a long hood despite its battery-driven nature, paired with sharp creases defining both the front and rear of the concept. I especially appreciate the decision to define the brand-defining "grille" area with flush-fitted lights, rather than simply giving the SUV a completely faceless front bumper or more glossy black plastic. Unfortunately, I'm significantly less excited about an interior also fully defined with LEDs glowing directly in the driver's face and a steering yoke instead of a wheel, as wheels have been a solved problem for about 114 years now.
It should be noted that none of this is coming to a dealer near you. The Precision EV is never going to be any more than a concept, but it does provide a preview of what the company's first electric car will draw inspiration from. That first electric car, yet to be seen, will similarly be a large electric SUV built off the same GM-derived platform Honda's Prologue will be built on, and is coming in 2024; until then, we'll have to make do with this to tide us over.
It's worth noting that Acura's previous design concept bearing the Precision moniker, the 2016 Precision sedan, didn't end up paving the way for any production sedans that looked half as wild; really, all that ended up in production off that car was the company's now-ubiquitous five-pointed diamond grille. On the other hand, the most recent design language concept the company debuted at Monterey, the 2019 Type S preview, does however bear a fairly strong resemblance to the TLX Type S currently on sale, so it's hard to gauge exactly how much of the Precision EV's style we'll actually see on the roads someday.
Right: 2006 Acura Advanced Sedan Concept / Acura
Suffice it to say, however, I expect to see more cues from the Precision make it to production than some of Acura's even earlier, completely absurd concepts of the early-00s; it's a lot less clear what, exactly, they were doing back then.