2014 Acura RLX Concept Previews Upcoming Hybrid Sedan

April 4, 2012
Acura's current top-of-the-line model, the RL, is growing a bit old--but fear not, Acura fans, for a new flagship sedan is coming: the RLX.

Previewed by a concept shown at this year's New York Auto Show, the RLX will offer a completely modern Acura exterior, a very high-tech interior, and, if the production car adheres to the concept car's specifications, a sporty hybrid drivetrain.

Called Acura Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, the system mates a gasoline V-6 engine with three electric motors (two powering the rear axle and a third in-line with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox). Electricity is stored in and supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack.

The upshot of the complex drivetrain layout is that several drive modes are possible: electric-only, gasoline-only, and through-the-road hybrid or even assisted mild-hybrid modes. It's also capable of enhancing the driving dynamics by using the electric motors on the rear wheels to improve cornering thrust.

In the concept, the RLX hybrid drivetrain is rated at a total of 370 horsepower and 30 mpg combined--with an even 30 mpg in both city and highway driving.

Dual LCD screens, a 14-speaker audio system, navigation, voice recognition, and a host of advanced safety systems like radar-based cruise and obstacle detection, are also fitted to the concept car.

Acura has yet to release final details on what to expect of the production model, but we expect that information to arrive soon--and we don't expect it to stray too far from the concept's equipment list.

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