1990 saw the first generation Acura Legend launch as an inaugural model year in 1990. The new generation model offered extremely contemporary styling for its age, both inside and out, with the influence of the super-performance, Acura's mainstream flagship, the NSX, being most evident in many elements of the design of this car, including the raked wraparound rear glass, the premium 5 spoke alloy wheels and black interior upholstery.
For this first model year, Acura added three distinct styling features to their classic styling – the front bumper was now bigger, with wider air vents, the hood became more integrated and extended, and the side mirrors were larger and sleeker. The engine configuration, for this first generation Legend, was a twin turbocharged 2.4-litre V6 with four-speed manual transmission and a sports exhaust system with a dual resonator, or two rear pipes to be used in the case of a drag racing situation. The production version was slightly different to the first generation; it featured a sportier design and an optional racing kit that gave the car a more powerful, faster and more aggressive look.
The new Acura Legend was a hit at the time with the general public as it was more modern, sporty looking than the more utilitarian models of the past. The interior of this new model was sporty and modern looking, complete with black leather with black trim, along with sporty dashboard and shifter, and black vinyl sports seats that had no upholstery. The overall design and appearance of this new generation Acura Legend was a direct result of the new and innovative style adopted by the company.
The production model of this first generation Acura Legend also featured a very small trunk, with no room to put any luggage, but the rear hatch was fitted with a tool storage area where a spare wheel, a fuel container and other minor accessories were stored. This was typical for this first generation model and was soon rectified by the introduction of a much larger trunk in the third generation model.
Despite the smaller size of the production model, this first generation model received a great deal of good reviews from its users. It was said that the car was comfortable to drive, with a smooth ride and handling characteristics that were unmatched by its contemporary competitors, such as the Mercedes E-class. and Nissan 300ZX.
Although the Acura Legend was a relatively slow to develop car, it quickly became popular amongst the car enthusiast community. It was a highly sought after model in various racing events, owing in part to its sporty styling and the fact that the car was one of the first to be fitted with the Acura NSX powertrain.
The Legend's popularity continued into the late 1990s, when it was a regular competitor in various auto shows throughout the United States and Canada. In these competitions, it finished runners-up to the Honda Odyssey, although the Odyssey was the better car in the race for the performance crown. At this point, the Acura Legend became the second best selling vehicle in the US. With its popularity growing, many companies started selling Acuras in Japan, where the Japanese market was dominated by the Nissan 300ZX.
The second generation Acura legend, the third generation, was launched in 2020, this time with a much larger and more powerful 2.3-liter V6 engine, now joined by a turbocharged and fuel-efficient three-cylinder petrol engine. This new generation Legend received more positive reviews in comparison to the previous model, particularly in terms of power and performance.
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