2016 Acura ILX
When the Acura ILX arrived for 2013, even we had a hard time not dwelling too much on its civic-minded origins. Fortunately for Acura, the ILX did appeal to buyers; more importantly, to that holy grail of demographics, elusive younger buyers. So, let’s see if that group might find a new ILX even more appealing.
While the 2016 Acura ILX is not all-new, as far as mid-cycle re-freshing goes, this one is quite thorough.
Now assembled in Honda’s Marysville, Ohio plant right alongside the recently introduced mid-size TLX. And, much like it, the compact ILX takes the majority of its design cues from Acura’s flagship RLX, yet also adds enough sporty elements to keep those 20 and 30-somethings interested.
So understandably Acura’s Jewel-Eye headlights are now standard; as well as an aggressive looking front fascia with large air intakes down below.
ILX wheelbase is unchanged at 105.1-inches, as are most exterior dimensions, save for overall length which grows by almost 3-inches. A-SPEC trim adds a rear spoiler, sweet-looking 10-spoke 18-inch machined-finished alloy wheels with 225/40 tires, fog lights, and some tacked-on rocker trim.
Inside, it augments the seats with Luxe-suede coverings, and adds sport pedals to what has become a very roomy and increasingly premium feeling interior. Other highlights include adopting the familiar Honda/Acura dual screen center stack, and making a multitude of additional AcuraWatch radar and camera-based safety systems, like Collision Mitigation and Lane Keeping, available.
Push button ignition and a Multi-View rear camera are standard. The Tech Plus package adds navigation with AcuraLink, as well as a color Multi-Information Display in the sporty looking gauge panel and 415-watt ELS premium audio with 10-speakers.
The front seating area is indeed spacious, and surprisingly luxurious in feel; very reminiscent of the TLX and RLX. The seats are quite comfortable in back as well; but head and knee room are both insufficient for full-size adults. Cargo space is unchanged at 12.3 cubic-ft. and the area is well-finished.
A folding rear seatback is standard, but it’s a single piece, not split; and the only release is located in the trunk. It’s probably the only remaining real reminder of this ride’s economy car roots.
Perhaps because of the shorter attention span of all of those younger buyers, engine options have been simplified; with now just a 2.4-liter I4 available. The direct-injected piece outputs 201–horsepower and 180 lb-ft. of torque. Gone, are the base 2.0-liter I4 and, at least for now, the ILX Hybrid.
Attached to the 2.4 is an 8-speed DCT, but unlike most dual-clutch units; there’s a slushbox-style torque converter to maintain the feel of a traditional automatic, particularly when accelerating from a stop.
Most of our drivers had good things to say about the trans, and the overall surprisingly sporty driving experience as well; though like many 8-speeds, it can at times be in a hurry to find higher gears.
Of course you can learn a lot more about a car on the track, and here we were equally impressed with how nicely the ILX handled our slalom test. Accurate turn-ins without a peep of understeer, and a well-balanced chassis had us scooting through the cones with ease.
The body structure has been stiffened; and the MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear suspension re-tuned.
But, there’s not really enough power to get you into too much trouble; as we found out when doing straight-line runs.
It took us a leisurely - for a sporty sedan - 7.1-seconds to hit 60, and 14.7 to finish out the ¼ at 93 miles-per-hour. There was zero torque steer at launch, and not a lot of grunt either. But the engine does rev quickly, and like most 4’s pulls strongest in the upper rev ranges. Shifts were quick and firm.
Braking from 60 averaged a good 121-feet. Stability was excellent and fade minimal.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 25-City, 36-Highway, and 29-Combined. We averaged a very good 31.6 miles-per-gallon on Premium fuel. So, the Energy Impact Score is much better than average with 11.4-barrels of oil ingested yearly, while expelling 5.0-tons of CO2.
Pricing for the ILX starts at a very sensible $28,820. And even the top line A-SPECs starts at just $35,810.
It’s an unfortunate truism that the more successful you become, the harder it is to become more successful. But we think Acura is certainly heading in a great direction now. And injecting the 2016 Acura ILX with both more performance and more prestige will ensure that it not only stays appealing to those hip, young trendsetters, but it will become a whole lot more appealing to a broader spectrum of sport-luxury sedan buyers.
- Engine: 2.4 liter
- Horsepower: 201
- Torque: 180 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 14.7 seconds @ 93 mph
- EPA: 25 mpg city/ 36 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.0 tons/yr
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph