As an Acura owner, I would agree that Acura does NOT overshadow Lexus/BMW. The thing about it is that Acura is not trying to overshadow them. Acura was the first Japanese luxury brand. Once the competition heated up Acura settled for a niche market, affordable well equipped luxury. If Acura was trying to beat out the others I'm sure they would have a V8 by now, RWD, and would have updated the NSX more than once in the last 10 years. As you know Acura only exists in North America. With such a limited scope of customers, why would Acura spend so much money in R&D to build custom cars to compete with BMW/LEX/MB and so on. It makes a whole lot more business sense to expand on current models to meet your needs. Stop referring to the TL and CL as "beefed up Accords". All three are based on the golbal midsize platform that is universal around the globe. Acuras are great at what they do, they offer very powerful and eco friendly V6's, with lots of standard goodies, at a very respectable price point.
Luxury Sports Sedans are going to be the next wave in riceboy customization. As the price of older Luxury autos comes down, more and more younger owners are buying them up and modding them out. The Legend was Acura flagship 6 years ago, listing for over 40K. Now you can pick up that same car for 13-18K and it will still run like new. Same story with older Lexus. Perhaps the ricers will learn to be more tasteful with the more prestiegeous autos. Sorry for the long post but this one piqued my intrest.