2014 Acura RLX Sedan - FROM $
With plenty of power from a unique hybrid powertrain, plus leading-edge technology and comforts, the 2014 Acura RLX should make Acura relevant to luxury buyers again.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Acura RLX is an all-new model.
No one honestly expected Acura to develop a V8 for its successor to the flagship RL luxury sedan. Still, we hoped. If Acura seriously wanted to woo luxury buyers, it would need to match the weaponry of its European and Asian competitors. And that, went the reasoning, meant a V8 and all-wheel drive.
The 2014 Acura RLX won't offer a V8, but it does get a new twist on the automaker's all-wheel-drive platform. The front-wheel-drive base RLX gets a 3.5-liter V6 making 310 horsepower, but also offers a four-wheel steering system that can adjust the angle of the rear wheels. The "Precision All Wheel Steer" system works in conjunction with the stability control system and variable-ratio steering for improved cornering and control, Acura says.
The RLX Sport Hybrid model gets the same 3.5-liter V6, but with dual electric motors integrated into an all-wheel-drive system that distribute additional power to both front and rear wheels. Acura rates the hybrid combination at 370 hp and projects that the system -- which could include a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission -- will achieve 30 mpg city/30 mpg highway fuel economy. Acura plans a similar hybrid powertrain for the next-generation NSX.
Acura showed off its RLX concept shown at this year's New York auto show, revealing a body marked by sharp creases and channels. It's certainly more contemporary than before, but without much visual distinction. Despite riding atop what looks like a longer wheelbase, the RLX uses shorter overhangs, a wider stance and LED headlights to achieve a more compact, athletic look than its RL predecessor.
A new suspension design and variable-ratio steering promise more dynamic ability, and given Acura's track record, the RLX will likely offer all modern tech conveniences including dual LCD displays, smartphone connectivity, hands-free audio, climate control and text messaging, as well as the next generation of AcuraLink telematics service. Safety features should include lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking.
Acura hasn't announced pricing for the 2014 RLX. The current RL starts at $47,200, so figure the new revamped model to start from between $52,000 and $55,000. That sets up the RLX to compete among cars like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Cadillac XTS. The RLX goes on sale early next year. Check back for a full review of the 2014 Acura RLX, including driving impressions, specs and buying advice as it becomes available.