At the recent Detroit show, Honda’s luxury brand Acura teased us all with the NSX Concept, but another showcar is much closer to the showroom than the supercar, the ILX Concept.

Billed as the precursor to an all-new compact sedan, the production version of this will roll off Honda’s Indiana plant and is scheduled for a spring 2012 launch. Acura doesn’t call it “the new TSX” but since it will be “positioned as the gateway to the Acura brand”, a position the Acura badged Honda Accord Euro (that’s what the TSX is) now sits on, it’s either that or a new entry level model. The latter scenario will leave Acura with four sedans in its range.

“The ILX Concept has a compact, yet formal proportion, targeting a very professional image. The Acura ILX delivers both, with a low and wide stance and a long nose and a short tail that are aerodynamically efficient, the ILX is immediately recognisable as an Acura,” said Jon Ikeda, head of the Acura Design Studio.

The ILX will feature three different powertrains, including Acura’s first-ever gas-electric hybrid. The range starts with a 2.0-litre inline four, then a high-performance model with a 2.4L engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. The hybrid in question is a 1.5-litre petrol engine plus electric motor combo. This should be largely similar to the 1.5 IMA with CVT pairing found in the Civic Hybrid.

New features include a smart entry keyless access system and push button start, along with Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text message function. Front, side and curtain airbags, 4-channel anti-lock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist will be standard, and Acura anticipates top ratings in both NHTSA and IIHS crash safety tests.

I see a bit of Lexus IS and a bit of Nissan Fuga in the rear three quarters shot. Like it?