VIDEO: The Acura Legend was aptly named

You have to admire the cojones on Acura. Legends usually take a while to establish themselves as such,  but they named their debut luxury flagship the Legend from day one. It was a class unto itself upon launch, but by the time the second-generation was due, the Japanese premium sedan segment had serious competition from Lexus and Infiniti.

Acura made the 1991 Legend bigger and more powerful, replacing the first-gen’s 2.7-liter, 160-horsepower V6 with a 3.2-liter, 200-horsepower mill churning out 210 lb-ft of torque. In an strange move, they mounted it longitundinally even though the car was front-wheel-drive.

This allowed for better handling, though it still exhibited significant body roll and was not as tight as a BMW 5er or Infiniti Q45. In their 1991 review Motorweek clocked a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds with the 4-speed automatic. That was good enough to split the difference between the Q45 and a Lexus LS400, despite the fact that both rivals came with V8s. The 6-speed manual would have probably shaved at least half a second off that time.

Still, it returned a better performance than the outgoing model, despite being six inches longer and 300 pounds heavier. It also managed 19 city, 23 highway mpg, which was a few ticks better than a Lexus straight six at the time.

Prices started at $26,800. There was utter shock from the average consumer that a Japanese carmaker dare charge more than $25,000 when the first-gen came out, but Motorweek says that by 1991 most Acura shoppers were springing for the $34,200 fully loaded LS.

Ultimately, they really dug the Legend, calling it “one of the finest cars in the world today.” Looks like the name was appropriate after all.

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6 Responses to VIDEO: The Acura Legend was aptly named

  1. Mark F Newton-John said:

    And when they ditched names in favor of Euro-vague letters, that was it for the Legend.
    “I have an Acura RL.” “And what is that?” people will ask.
    Honda felt that the Legend name was overshadowing the Acura name, so they dropped it. RLs are a has been now.

  2. mel said:

    Excellent car. Honda Legend overhere. Pity they discontinued it.

  3. Brett said:

    In Australia it was sold as the Honda Legend, and I bought a new Coupe in 1989. It was a remarkable car for its time, and I have very fond memories of it. The 2.7 V6 was a great engine.

  4. Styles said:

    I had a ’91 Honda Legend coupe. It was a great car. A bit of an odd fit for a guy who was 21 at the time, but it had plenty of room, was no problem to pack up and go camping with, went fast enough, and could eat up the highway miles.

  5. F31roger said:

    My old team/ car club had 5 Legends.

    My friend Zol was big on the Legend forums (.com and .org). One of our team members also did an S15 headlight conversion.

    I, on the other hand, picked up an Acura Vigor.

    Both Legend and Vigor are awesome cars IMO.

  6. Frank Cooper said:

    I was in Germany when the Legend came out. There it was called a Honda Legend. No Acura!

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