2006 New York International Auto Show Remarks by John Mendel

Good morning. Welcome to the Acura press conference, and thank you all for coming. These are exciting times for Acura, driven by a stable of great Acura products. Products like this all-new Acura RDX. While you've seen concepts and prototypes in the past, this is the actual production version of the RDX, which we'll be launching this summer. As Acura's premium entry-level SUV, it has everything it takes to go head-to-head with the competition. And that includes plenty of performance. RDX is powered by Acura's first turbocharged engine. A 2.3-liter, four-cylinder featuring revolutionary i-VTEC turbo technology that's exclusive to Acura. Thanks to its variable flow turbocharger, it not only generates high output, it also dramatically reduces turbo lag, while generating outstanding torque even at low rpm. With 240 horsepower and 260 lbs-ft of torque, RDX delivers more power than many V-6 SUVs, while at the same time providing excellent fuel economy. RDX is also equipped with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, to dramatically enhance handling and stability during both sporty driving and in inclement weather. Also helping to ensure maximum performance are the RDX's steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which provide F1-style shifting and immediate response.

Acura's commitment to cutting edge, customer-relevant technology can be found everywhere you look. For example, while the RDX is well-appointed, an available "technology package" adds a virtual world of advanced, easy-to-use features, including an 8" DVD navigation system with Real Time Traffic and rearview camera, HandsFreeLink, the ELS DVD-Audio surround system and more.

RDX also delivers plenty of comfort and convenience, with seating for five, and lots of cargo space, including a secure compartment in the large center console which provides enough space to even store a laptop computer.

Built on an all-new global light truck platform, RDX features the energy-dispersing ACE body structure, along with Acura's vehicle stability assist system to help enhance safety. And that's just a short list! We don't have enough time to go into all the details this morning, but you'll find a full RDX story in your press kits. As for the sales picture, RDX will go on sale this summer and we expect to sell approximately 40,000 in its first full year of production. Pricing will be announced when we get closer to the on-sale date.

And now, let's turn our attention to another Acura SUV that's going to be generating a lot of excitement this year: the MDX. Originally launched in 2000 as a 2001 model, the Acura MDX hit its mark right out of the gate, capturing Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year, and North American Truck of the Year, and it has been a top seller ever since. Building on this success will be the next-generation MDX scheduled to launch in the fall. While the actual production version is still under wraps, this MD-X Concept provides a very good idea of where we're going. Aggressive and dynamic, the MD-X Concept embodies the key attributes that have made MDX a huge success while at the same time moving in a direction that will be even more appealing to affluent, performance-oriented buyers. Every aspect of the MD-X Concept design conveys performance and attitude while still retaining SUV functionality. They styling signifies a bold direction for the next generation MDX, both in appearance and substance. With its low, wide stance and chiseled lines, its creates a powerful and dynamic feeling of forward movement. Everything about the Concept vehicle says performance. The new MDX will deliver plenty of power and vehicle dynamics, which were track-tuned on the famous Nurburgring in Germany- one of the most demanding circuits in the world. The MD-X Concept provides a perfect example of Acura's customer-driven, forward-thinking approach to product design.

At Acura, we are committed to creating products which are ahead of the curve and which take full advantage of cutting edge technologies. And while we have emphasized Acura's technology, it has never been about technology itself. Instead, it's about creating more functionality through the use of customer relevant technology. Technology like HandsFreeLink which gives you Bluetooth connectivity; Real Time Traffic helping you get where you're going faster and easier; DVD-Audio for the ultimate listening experience; Super Handling All-Wheel Drive for greater control; and the Collision Mitigation Braking System for the ultimate in safety.

At Acura, we're committed to providing our buyers with a luxury experience that isn't about putting them above their friends, but putting them ahead. Ahead. That's where Acura is today, and that's the direction we will continue to move with the development of all of our future products. Products like this MD-X Concept which does an excellent job of pointing the way for the production version of the 2007 MDX- a vehicle while will be designed, engineered and built in North America and is scheduled to launch this fall.

With the launch of the both the new RDX this summer and the next-generation MDX later this year, Acura is continuing to build on our success and enhance our reputation for performance. And as you're about to see, Acura performance is on its way to a whole new level. You're looking at the hottest, fastest Acura ever built- and it's built to race. Our company has a long history in racing, which helps us push the envelope and learn from the experience. Said differently, we race to learn. As you know, we're committed to open-wheel racing in North America and that commitment is solid. This Acura is designed to complement those efforts. ALMS racing includes premiere competitors such as Aston Martin, Porsche, Audi and Ferrari. It's great company. The series provides the perfect setting to showcase Acura's advanced technology and performance, and we will be competing in the 2007 American LeMans Series.

The Acura ALMS program will feature the first racing engine completely designed and delivered in-house by our performance development team in Santa Clarita, California. The Series itself draws on the heritage of long-distance endurance sports car racing in both Europe and the United States as personified by the historic 24 Hours of LeMans. The 10-race North American series includes the 12 Hours of Sebring, plus events at nine other premier road circuits. It's exciting racing that demands the utmost of both car and driver, and we look forward to competing.

Add up everything we shared with you this morning. It's clear that Acura is on the move as we continue to strengthen and expand our product line, set new standards and seek new challenges. Before we close, I would like to introduce some special guests here with us today. The founder of ALMS, Dan Penoz; the president of the ALMS, Scott Atherton; and Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. Also with us today are the project leaders for the RDX and MDX, Gary Evert and Frank Paluch. All of them will be here to answer your questions.

I want to thank you all for coming and I want to invite you to come to the stage and take a closer look these great new vehicles.