• 2013 ILX will become the new entry-level Acura
  • ILX will offer three engine choices, including Acura's first hybrid
  • More powerful V6 will replace the 4-cylinder in the completely redesigned RDX

Acura's display for the upcoming Chicago Auto Show will include two production vehicles, the ILX and RDX, both slated to arrive as 2013 models. Both appeared at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, but there the RDX was a prototype and the ILX was a concept. Their arrival at Chicago as production models means they are certain to be available in Acura showrooms soon.

The ILX will become the entry-level Acura, the luxury brand's least expensive vehicle. Three engine choices will be offered, including two conventional four-cylinder motors and a hybrid setup that pairs a small gasoline unit with an electric motor, an Acura first. Buyers will also have manual and automatic transmission options.

Aimed at young, first-time luxury car buyers, the ILX will include standard convenience and technology features like keyless access with push-button start, text messaging capability and a Pandora interface to stream music.

In the completely redesigned 2013 RDX headed for Chicago, a V6 will replace the turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the current, first-generation version. Acura says the new motor is more powerful, with a 33-horsepower bump compared with the current four. Still, Acura claims economy will remain competitive, with the 2013 RDX delivering segment-best fuel economy among comparable gas-powered luxury SUVs. Further, the new RDX will feature more accommodating interior space, with increased passenger and cargo room.

Both 2013 ILX and RDX models will be among the most accessible vehicles Acura offers when they hit showrooms later this year. Entry-level vehicles like these are important for luxury automakers. First-time luxury buyers impressed with the Acura ownership experience may be back for more luxurious - and more expensive - vehicles come replacement time. But car shoppers benefit, too. Each of these vehicles will offer a high level of comfort and equipment along with Acura's prestigious nameplate.

What it means to you: Acura will display two production vehicles at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. Both the ILX, an entry-level sedan available with a hybrid drivetrain, and the RDX, a five-passenger crossover, will arrive as 2013 models.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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