• Will the 2014 Acura RLX hybrid save Acura’s bacon?


    The 2014 Acura RLX has the makings of something special.

    Honda is attempting to revitalize their luxury brand Acura and the 2014 Acura RLX will be at the forefront of their strategy. The 2014 Acura RLX is a large, hybrid sedan that will make over 370 horsepower out of a 3.5-lither V6 combined with an electric motor that is capable of returning up to 30 mpg combined. It will be available with all-wheel drive and all wheel steering.

    The question is: can Acura reverse Honda’s fortunes? 

    In 1986, Honda took a big gamble by introducing us to their upscale vehicles via Acura. Nobody else had stepped up to the plate and Honda befitted big time. Sales skyrocketed and Acura was accepted with open arms. Soon, Toyota and Nissan responded with their luxury variants and the rest is history.

    Yep, that’s right – Acura was first.

    Acura has fought for an identity and a sales leader for quite some time. Even though the other Japanese luxury brands have bounced around with their design language, it seems that Acura has had the most polarizing designs. And, despite top-notch build quality, many  models have fallen off consumer’s radars. Lexus and Infiniti have surpassed Acura and continue to stay fresh with up-to-date designs.

    Fortunately for Acura, they have a dedicated customer base and have had a few hits on their hands. The Acura MDX is still a top recommended pick from nearly every automotive periodical. I love the Acura TL SHAWD with the manual – it’s a remarkably capable sports sedan.

    Still, Acura needs an injection of competitiveness. Enter the 2014 Acura RLX. Right when other luxury automakers are bragging about their hybrids that are rear drive and get mediocre mpg – the 2014 Acura RLX comes with some mighty numbers. OVER 370 horsepower with a combined 30 mpg? That’s damn impressive and a ballsy statement. 

    Here’s Acura’s take:

    “The production model of the all-new 2014 Acura RLX will debut on November 28, 2012, the first press day of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, it was announced today. The new Acura flagship sedan will employ an array of new technologies unique to Acura, including the Precision All Wheel Steer™ system, the next-generation AcuraLink® Communication System, and the all-new Jewel Eye™ LED headlamps to deliver an entirely new level of performance, sophistication and comfort.

    The front-wheel-drive version of the 2014 Acura RLX will utilize Acura’s new Precision All Wheel Steer™ system. This system automatically makes slight adjustments to the relative rear wheel (toe) angles by utilizing electrically controlled actuators to deliver an extraordinary level of cornering control and steering precision. The front-wheel-drive RLX will come equipped with an all-new 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC® V-6 engine producing 310 horsepower (SAE net).

    The RLX will feature the first application of the next-generation AcuraLink®, which incorporates built-in two-way cellular communication to deliver a variety of new convenience features, including airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, remote locking and unlocking, security alarm notification and concierge service. Acura’s exclusive Jewel Eye™ LED headlamps use a dual-stacked array of multiple 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 distinctive and bright-eyed look in both daytime and nighttime conditions.

    The Acura RLX will offer an extensive array of passive and active safety features. These include a Collision Mitigation Braking System™ 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 2014 Acura RLX also incorporates the second generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) 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 the new TOP SAFETY PICK PLUS status from IIHS.”

    Keep in mind: the 2014 Acura RLX gives us a sneak-peek into the powerplant that Acura will use on the next NSX… things are looking up indeed!

    Here’s Roman driving the all new Acura RDX!

    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    3 thoughts on “Will the 2014 Acura RLX hybrid save Acura’s bacon?

    1. Altho impressive, not sure if the RLX is impressive enough to sway luxury shoppers. They need something HUGE to make waves in the market.

    2. We never get to see Honda products on this site and channel. Why is that? Like all Honda products, this one looks uncomfortable and boring.

    3. “Lexus and Infiniti have surpassed Acura”

      Acura greatly outsells the Infiniti brand (115,773 vs 86,596 in YTD sales) and to my recollection, always has.

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