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Acura's Precision Concept looks nothing like an Acura

And that might be a good thing

Few automakers need a breath of fresh, creative air as much Acura does. Sure, the upcoming NSX helps — but the rest of the lineup (read: the part that normal people can afford), peppered with boring blocks of angular metal, just doesn't inspire much emotion.

That's where the Precision Concept comes into play, introduced at NAIAS in Detroit today. It looks almost nothing like an Acura, and there are very, very few design elements that evoke any Acuras that are currently on the road. As the name implies, this isn't a real car — rather, it's a design study that gestures toward "a bolder, more distinctive future" for the brand's upcoming models. Basically, it's a near guarantee that you're going to see bits and pieces of the Precision Concept in the next several cars that Acura introduces.

acura precision concept

In addition to the strong, squared-off lines of the exterior, the Precision Concept features an updated version of Acura's infotainment system with a curved screen (not the only automaker to go that route — Audi is demonstrating a curved display concept, too). The car "scans each occupant and selects personalized features and functions," though it's not clear how that works; it could be anything from a fingerprint scan to facial recognition. As with the exterior design language, it's easy to guess that elements of this new user interface will make it into Acura's coming production models.

There are many ways that this could go wrong in the inevitable translation of concept to production, but for Acura's middle-of-the-road portfolio, it's a strong — and desperately needed — start.