The 2013 Acura ILX will be the company's first entry into the compact sedan market since the Integra, but of most interest to GreenCarReports readers is the hybrid version.

Previewed in concept form at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the production ILX, Acura's first ever hybrid model, will make its debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show this week.

According to Bloomberg, Acura is estimating the ILX Hybrid will manage 38 MPG highway.

That's a little way off the 44 MPG highway achieved by the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, which donates its 1.5-liter engine and Integrated Motor Assist system to the ILX. City economy should be around 35 MPG. A combined 111-horsepower is sent through a continuously variable transmission, and 127 pounds-feet of torque is available between 1,000-3,000 rpm.

Acura expects a quarter of ILX sales to be for the hybrid, and aims to keep the price tag "well below" $30,000 when it hits the roads in the next few months.

The hybrid will be joined by a 2.0-liter model with an automatic transmission, and a sportier, 201-horsepower 2.4-liter, available with a manual gearbox. All models will be assembled at Honda's Greensburg plant in Indiana, and all feature keyless entry, Pandora internet radio and a host of safety features.

While the 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid may lose out to the 42 MPG-average 2012 Lexus CT200h on pure economy, the lower price should ensure Acura finds its own niche in the luxury compact hybrid market.


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