Acura continues to reinvent itself and as a result it revealed today at the 2012 New York Auto Show the RLX Concept. Set to make its debut on the market at the beginning of 2013, the new RLX Concept will be the company’s new flagship sedan. According to Acura, the RLX Concept is powered by a new 3.5L direct-injected VTEC V-6 engine and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system, with three electric motors which deliver a combined 370 hp.
The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and makes the car capable to deliver V8 performances with four-cylinder fuel economy (the RLX has an estimated EPA rating of 30/30/30 mpg city/highway/combined). The production RLX will be offered in a 310-horsepower, front-wheel-drive version.
Regarding the design, the car looks good but we can’t say it let us speechless. It features Acura signature Jewel Eye headlamps, new front and rear bumpers but also a new set of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in 255/35 R20 high-performance tires. Acura says that the front-wheel-drive versions of the RLX will use its all-new 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. This system works in tandem with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering to deliver an extraordinary level of cornering control and steering precision.
The all-wheel-drive RLX models will receive Acura's highly advanced Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive) introduced at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show on the NSX Concept. In terms of safety, the Acura RLX will offer Collision Mitigation Braking System and the first application of Acura's Lane Keep Assist System, but also the Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. Passive safety features will include front, side and side-curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger, and a driver's knee airbag.
To make sure that the Acura RLX continues to follow the human-centered synergy principle, inside is one of the most advanced communications, infotainment, and navigation systems that come with controls that are both easy and intuitive. It offers dual LCD screens, with one having an 8-inch display and the other a 7-inch unit with touch screen capability.
The one-touch access ensures direct and easy management of important function that includes, among others, heating and cooling, navigation, and audio. This even allows access to the voice-to-text SMS function. A highlight in this model is that it has the latest AcuraLink Communication System. Through the two-way cellular communication built in, it manages to deliver a wide range of features aimed at convenience.
Features include airbag deployment notification, concierge service, remote locking and unlocking, and stolen vehicle tracking. That said, the Acura RLX also has a host of active and passive safety system equipped into it. It has the Collision Mitigation Braking System as well as the Lane Departure Warning and the Forward Collision Warning. The latter two in particular will be fitted as standard.
The RLX will also be the first time the Lane Keep Assist System will be included. Examples of the passive safety systems are the front and side airbags for the driver and the passenger sitting in the front. There will also be side-curtain airbags offered for these two and additionally, the driver will have the knee airbag as well.
As part of the safety systems, the Acura RLX will have the brand’s very own second generation of the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. Through these different safety systems, Acura believes that the RLX will be able to get the TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the IIHS and likely even the 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA.