Today state officials in Indiana are taking part in a ceremony with Honda at its Greensburg plant to mark the production of the first Acura ILX.
This car, as we reported recently, will include Acura’s first hybrid iteration, and it is poised as an entry level car starting at less than $30,000, and it will be built exclusively at Greensburg, less than an hour southeast from Indianapolis
Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and Honda officials share respective hopes – the state is looking for a boon to employment and its economy, and Honda hopes to inject some life and enthusiasm into its weakened brand image.
The factory opened in 2008, added a second shift last year of nearly 1,000 additional employees, effectively doubling its work force, and the mild hybrid ILX and Civic Natural Gas are both being built there.
Utilizing Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist, the hybrid version makes most of its 111 horsepower and 127 pound-feet or torque from its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The electric side of things is the 20-horses contributed by a single electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack.
The five-passenger ILX Hybrid employs stop/start technology and regenerative braking, and combined with two gas-only variants, Honda has said it hopes to sell 40,000 units annually. Of these, we do not know its expectations for hybrid unit sales.
In any event, it all begins today with the first car having rolled off the line, and the Indiana workers ready to spool up the production for Acura’s first hybrid.