Acura Legend's Evolution
The Acura Legend was introduced to the U.S. in 1986. The Legend was first available as a sedan with a 151 horsepower, 2.5 liter, V-6 engine and was the first Honda with an SOHC V-6 sold on the world market. In 1987, the coupe model with a 161 horsepower, 2.7 liter engine was introduced to the U.S. market .
The North American models from 1986 to 1988 were similar to the prior generation with some engineering upgrades and slight modifications such as leather-trim available on L model, an upgraded engine on the coupe, suspension improvements (introduced in 1989), and a burled walnut console on the model year 1990 LS. Driver's side airbags became standard on all models in 1989.
The second generation models of the Acura Legend were introduced in 1990 following a significant redesign. From 1991 through 1995, the Legend was available as a sedan or coupe with a five-speed or six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Most models included a 202 horsepower, 3.2-liter, SOHC V-6 engine. The new generation was larger and offered many technological advancements including speed-sensitive steering, a hands-free telephone included in many models, automatic climate control, heated leather seats, and heated mirrors, and four-wheel anti-lock brake systems (ABS). The coupe models featured vacuum-operated soft close doors.
In 1991 and 1992, the Acura Legend was available in Base, L, and LS trims. Anti-lock brakes became standard on all models in 1992. In 1993, passenger airbags became available on all models with body-color side moldings became standard on the L. In 1994, the Legend GS was upgraded to a 230 horsepower, V-6 engine with six-speed manual and sport-tuned suspension, TCS traction control and body-colored grille, and revised front and rear styling. The base Legend model dropped that year and the four-speed automatic transmission was only available with the LS. The L offered simulated interior wood trim. An electric adjustable steering column became standard on all models.
The Acura Legend coupe remained available in L or LS for all of the second generation vehicles. In 1992, passenger airbags were available on the L. The 1993, the L and LS coupe trims were also upgraded to a 230 horsepower, V-6 engine with six-speed manual and sport-tuned suspension. The LS also had TCS traction control. Like the sedan, the 1994 coupes came with standard adjusting steering column and simulated wood trim was standard only on the L.
The 1995 versions of both all models were the last models sold under the name Acura Legend. In 1996, the Legend was renamed the Acura 3.5RL and was available as a sedan or a coupe equipped with in either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
Acura Legend Awards and Influences
The Acura Legend won Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year in 1987, and remained on the top ten best car list for three years in a row. From 1985 to 1991, the first generation Acura Legend inspired many other companies to create similar designs, especially the earlier Legend models. Some of the vehicles that were inspired by the Acura Legend include the Subaru Legacy and the Lincoln Continental