It isn’t introduction, international, or Integra like people think.

The dawn of a new generation Integra marks an important change in Acura’s naming convention, the return of, for at least one model, actual model names.

But in that period between Integra generations, years 2002-2021, Acura only used 2-3 letters for its models, the meaning behind what those letters stood for up to potential buyers to look up for themselves.

One model name that there’s still some confusion about is Acura ILX, Acura’s current premium sport compact offering.

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Since the RSX bowed out in 2006, Acura knew they had a hole to fill in their lineup to cater to a growing number of 20-30 year olds (Gen-X and Y) looking for their first luxury car.

We saw an ILX prototype in 2012 and finally saw the ILX hit showroom floors the following year.

A read through of Acura’s press release gives no clues what ILX stands for although there are plenty of adjectives like luxury, performance, sporty, advanced, and efficient.

Thankfully, we have an answer.

Acura Connected’s Tyson Hugie published an interview he had with Vicki Poponi, Acura’s Assistant Vice President of Product planning at the time, shortly after the ILX prototype debuted.

According to Poponi, the I in ILX does a lot of heavy lifting.

The meaning behind “I-L-X” starts with the letter “I”. 

This car truly is designed with the driver in mind, complete with features that buyers in my demographic are asking for: Smart features! A car as intelligent as its driver. Let’s not forget individualistic and independent.

So, even though the ILX is “Incredible Looking” and “Impressively Luxurious,” the truth is that the I means it’s a car for the individual, the L ties it to Acura’s already great lineup of sedans, and the X rounds out the name as the ultimate center of luXury. 

There you have it.

ILX in Acura ILX stands for Individual, Acura’s “Lineup of sedans,” and Luxury.

Although Acura’s ILX had its best sales year in 2013 (20,430 sold) the ILXs value proposition and low price still drive thousands of sales a year (11,839 in 2021.)

The ILX will, as I blogged about earlier this year, soldier on for another year before it’s replaced with a “new compact sedan,” name unknown.

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