Acura RLX concept unveiled in New York [video]

Production model coming early next year

The New York Auto Show continues as Acura has taken the wraps off the RLX concept.

Designed to preview the production model that will be launched early next year, the concept has an angular grille, LED headlights and 20-inch alloy wheels. Overall, the sedan is about the same size as the RL but has a two-inch longer wheelbase and a two-inch shorter front overhang.

The cabin is slated to feature "state-of-the-art communications, navigation and infotainment technologies." Notable highlights include dual LCD screens (an 8-inch display and a 7-inch touch screen), a next-generation AcuraLink communications system and a premium audio system with Bluetooth/USB connectivity.

Power comes from a Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive System (SH-AWD) which consists of a 3.5-liter V6 engine, three electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Boasting a combined output in excess of 370 hp (276 kW / 375 PS), the RLX has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 30 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined.

If that sounds like overkill, an entry-level model will also be available with front-wheel-drive and a 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) engine. While it lacks the sure-footedness of all-wheel drive, the car will be equipped with a Precision All-Wheel Steer system which "provides for independent control of the steering (toe) angle of the right and left rear wheels by utilizing electrically controlled actuators."

Acura RLX Concept Makes World Debut in New York

Acura flagship features first application of Acura Sport Hybrid SH-AWD®, more than 370-horsepower and 30 mpg combined fuel economy rating, with top-class seating comfort and next-generation Acura connectivity

Acura today held the world debut of the Acura RLX Concept at the New York International Auto Show, providing luxury buyers with a first look at the design and engineering direction for its all-new Acura RLX flagship sedan, slated for launch at the beginning of 2013.

The RLX Concept employs an extraordinary array of new Acura technologies, including the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, in combination with sophisticated styling and smart packaging to deliver an entirely new level of performance, sophistication and comfort.

Utilizing highly efficient packaging, the RLX Concept delivers the interior space of a large luxury sedan with the footprint and agility of a midsize luxury sedan. The RLX Concept's all-new 3.5L direct-injected VTEC® V-6 engine and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, with three electric motors, combine to generate more than 370-horsepower, and are paired with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and lightweight body to deliver V-8 acceleration with four-cylinder fuel economy-with an estimated EPA (city/highway/combined) rating of 30/30/30 mpg.

"We have created a true luxury sedan based on our Acura DNA," said American Honda president & CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura. "This means achieving advanced performance through engineering efficiency to create a unique synergy between the vehicle and its driver. Inside and out, on the open road or city streets, the sophisticated and elegant Acura RLX will offer a level of connectivity, comfort and advanced performance demanded by today's luxury buyers."

Acura also announced that the production RLX will be offered in a 310-horsepower, front-wheel-drive version, which will also deliver superior handling performance through the application of another new Acura technology- Precision All Wheel SteerTM.

The RLX Concept styling builds on Acura's 'Keen Edge' design motif with its taut and aerodynamic shape, carefully tailored proportions, and sophisticated and distinctive detailing. Its athletic stance is accented by 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and 255/35 R20 high-performance tires. Dimensionally, the RLX Concept is approximately the same length as the current RL, but with a two-inch longer wheelbase and two-inch shorter front overhang. Both the track and vehicle width increase by approximately two inches.
Acura's exclusive new Jewel EyeTM LED headlamps debut on the RLX Concept. The Acura signature Jewel EyeTM headlamps use a dual-stacked array with a total of ten separate high-intensity LED lamps, with ultra-reflective optical lenses and high-gloss trim, to provide powerful down-the-road illumination while simultaneously giving the RLX a highly distinctive and bright-eyed look in both daytime and nighttime conditions.

Body and Chassis
Through engineering efficiency, including substantial use of high-strength steel and aluminum, the RLX Concept achieves an ultra-rigid and light body design, with the front wheel drive version to weigh in at well under 4,000 pounds. An all-new double wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, Amplitude Reactive Dampers and electronic power steering with a variable gear ratio team to provide the foundation for the RLX's precise and intuitive handling control - termed by Acura as "Inomama" or "at the will of the driver."

Front-wheel-drive versions of RLX will utilize Acura's all-new Precision All Wheel SteerTM system. This system provides for independent control of the steering (toe) angle of the right and left rear wheels by utilizing electrically controlled actuators. Precision All Wheel SteerTM works in tandem with Vehicle Stability AssistTM (VSA®) and Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering to deliver an extraordinary level of cornering control and steering precision.

All-wheel-drive RLX models add even more handling performance with Acura's highly advanced Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive), recently introduced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show on the NSX Concept. The performance hybrid system utilizes a front-mounted electric motor, located within the dual clutch transmission, and a unique dual electric motor drive unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system to instantly generate negative or positive torque to the rear wheels during cornering. This provides a new level of agility and confidence to create an "on-the-rails-cornering" experience.

The Acura RLX will offer an extensive array of passive and active safety features. These include a Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM and the first application of Acura's Lane Keep Assist System. In addition, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning will be offered as standard equipment on the RLX.

Passive safety features will include front, side and side-curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger, and a driver's knee airbag. The RLX also incorporates the second generation of Acura's Advanced Compatibility EngineeringTM (ACETM) body structure, with reinforced front frame members for further enhanced frontal crash energy management. The RLX is expected to achieve a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA and TOP SAFETY PICK status from IIHS.

Advanced Telematics
In keeping with the 'human-centered synergy' focus of Acura, the RLX will feature state-of-the-art communications, navigation and infotainment technologies with intuitive and easy-to-operate controls. Dual LCD screens (8-inch display and 7-inch touch screen) will provide easy and direct one-touch access to key functions - including audio, heating and cooling, navigation and voice-to-text SMS text message function.

The RLX will also feature the first application of the next-generation AcuraLink® Communication System, which incorporates built-in two-way cellular communication to deliver an array of new convenience features, including airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, remote locking and unlocking, security alarm notification and concierge service.

An all-new, 14-speaker ultra premium audio system will be offered in addition to Acura's award winning ELS Surround® sound system. Both audio systems provide MP3 connectivity via USB along with integration of HD radioTM, Pandora® internet radio interface and Aha Radio® interface via Bluetooth® smart phone pairing. Using Aha, RLX drivers can choose from thousands of web-based audio stations, including music, live news, podcasts, audio books, personalized points of interest, and audio newsfeeds from Facebook and Twitter. In addition, a new Acura-exclusive smart phone application integrates smart phone functions (such as email, text messaging and contacts) into the RLX's on-demand touch screen functions. Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® calling and pre-loaded text message replies provide for easy two-way communication.

The RLX also will be available with Acura Navigation System with Voice RecognitionTM. This innovative system offers the driver a wide range of search options including BingTM search functionality and the option for an AcuraLink® concierge to send a destination to the vehicle's navigation system. In addition, the RLX navigation system will feature AcuraLink Real-Time TrafficTM for both highways and surface streets.

Acura Brand
With a focus on 'human-centered synergy,' Acura is embarking on its next 25 years as a pioneering and innovative performance-luxury nameplate and is undertaking an aggressive revitalization of its Acura product and technology portfolio.

The RLX Concept is Acura's fourth new model debut since January 2012, when Acura took the wraps off its redesigned RDX Protoype crossover SUV, all-new Acura ILX Concept sedan, and next-generation Acura NSX Concept supercar, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Following the introduction of the production versions of the more powerful and fuel-efficient 2013 RDX in March, and the all-new 2013 Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid sedans in May, the production RLX will launch in early 2013. The next-generation Acura NSX, being developed by Honda R&D Americas in the U.S., will be produced in Ohio using domestically and globally sourced parts and launched within the next three years.

Acura is projecting an annual sales volume of 180,000 vehicles for the brand in 2012, which would represent a nearly 50 percent increase over 2011 sales results.


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Comments (19)

Acura seriously needs to step up there game, (RLX)WT.... no, (RL), and just upgrade, bigger body, better design, powerful engine, improved specs, like.... get it together.
Nov 20, 2012 9:22 am
0 0
yea in form of design there`s big ? but for performance i readied in Wikipedia it will have 609 nm and that`s very impressive torque and it has legroom like 7 series at same time handles better than 5 series
Apr 6, 2012 4:30 pm
0 0
Acura when are you guys going to give us something like the original Legend and the last gen Legend, before you fools killed it with the RL name? You need a major overhaul at Acura... or do you guys just hire automotive rejects? Grow some balls like Hyundai.
Apr 5, 2012 11:14 am
1 0
Han Solo
Yap...those were the days...the Legend was truely a Legend. Remember the Honda Vigor, now that is what I call a car...I love the way Honda drives...but they need a major facelift...
Apr 6, 2012 5:00 am
0 0
Toyota, Honda, Acura, Lexus (oops wait Lexus has a weird grille without which it will also look like this) Hyundai, Kia, Chevy, all look like this. What's the point of designing at all. Build one car, change logo, DONE! Asians need some redbull or something.
Apr 5, 2012 6:09 am
1 0
Surely, Honda has borrowed a page from Lexus' design book. Clearly, it's now wrangling with identity issues.
Apr 5, 2012 12:05 am
3 0
Yawn! IMHO it's as if Acura/Honda isn't even trying with their "flagship" at all. Of course it's in silver, one of the 4 colors that Acura's are available in. Compare that to other luxury flagship models with their numerous exterior/interior/trim combinations. Other than the "trendy" LED headlights, there's nothing "noteworthy" about this car - including it's V6 with hybrid features and all.
Apr 4, 2012 11:13 pm
2 0
August Horch
Exterior looks leave much to be desired, especially in this car's likely price range. I'm seeing a some Ford Taurus up front and Suzuki Kizashi on steroids in the back.
Apr 4, 2012 10:40 pm
2 0
Is it just me that's feeling that Honda doesn't really want the design and aesthetics side of their cars to be too aggresive like some of their rivals ? I mean, by all means this car looks good, but somehow...hmm......
Apr 4, 2012 10:21 pm
0 0
I don't recall an "aggressive" looking Acura ever. Maybe the Integra, or Acura Vigor if any could be called aggressive...at least for Acura. Oh wait, the NSX!! Love that car!! But yeah, they look decent for the most part, aside from that ugly chrome bar on the grill, but don't stir up anything.
Apr 5, 2012 12:15 pm
1 0
does anyone see the rear 3/4 pics the rims are going backwards and in all the other pics they are going in catching the air..... or is my head playing w. me
Apr 4, 2012 10:00 pm
1 0
yep that's true...
Apr 5, 2012 6:05 am
0 0
I think this looks awesome!! But I thought it was gonna be bigger than the last generation.
Apr 4, 2012 9:56 pm
0 3
Dayday...it should be Day by Day ur losing ur eye sight...if you think copying a design is awesome... even last model was ugly including the TL
Apr 14, 2012 12:29 pm
0 0
From the article preview thumbnail pics i thought it was the new Camry from the nose shot. ummm am I the only person seeing this... the tail light looks like an exact copy of the 7-series hideous tail light??? If they are going to copy other cars' features pick good ones off good looking cars yeeesh Acura! Nevertheless it's alot better to look at than the out going RL uggggh
Apr 4, 2012 9:17 pm
2 0
Seriously!! Are you mocking the Toyota Avalon?
Apr 4, 2012 8:07 pm
4 1
Apr 4, 2012 9:04 pm
0 0
You are SOOOO Right....lol
Apr 14, 2012 12:24 pm
0 1
To be honest, at first I was skeptical on the styling, but after watching the video, and seeing the pictures over and over again, It grew on me quickly and looks awesome. The interior looks great, and ALL the technological innovations whether it be the features on the interior or even the powertrain, a great flagship this will be!
Apr 4, 2012 5:42 pm
1 2