Acura’s RLX flagship hybrid sedan unchanged for 2017
I went out on a limb last year and voted 2016 Acura RLX my “Torque News Best Car of The Year.” It wasn’t for lack of competition battling for supremacy in the premium full size sedan class. In fact, I found RLX to be exceptional not only in ride quality and standard featured value, but as somewhat of an electrification auto junky, I appreciate Acura’s 1 engine, 3 motor gasoline/electric hybrid for it’s instant-on drive-by-wire throttle response, and very smart torque vectoring full time all-wheel-drive.
Acura’s last remaining “made in Japan” offering
RLX is a limousine-class executive car in Japan where the majority of new cars are electrified in one form or another. Last Winter while on an extended drive review through northern California, I discovered not only the most comfortable cabin in Acura’s stable, but also exceptional active safety features; an incredible concert-hall-like sound system, and fuel efficiency generally exclusive to much smaller and less powerful compact hybrids. Love it!
In this case hybrid equals high performance
Sharing a 1 engine, 3-electric motor propulsion system with Acura NSX supercar, 2017 Acura RLX brings very smart torque vectoring all-wheel-drive to the full size luxury segment with unsurpassed “driving on rails” all weather road traction, pedal ready 377 peak horsepower and exceptional combined midrange to top end torque.
Driving RLX messes with your head a tad, with a much smaller car like handling dynamic, followed through by a very quiet, comfortable drive and ride environment. Read my RLX on the road adventure here. His car is fun to drive.
Acura’s rarest offering comes back for one more year
I’m anticipating a major shift in Acura’s marketing strategy with the launch of the “Precision Dynamic Performance” design directive. I further believe that the Acura “Precision Concept Car,” a sedan in coupe disguise, points to a fantastic future for Acura Division design and performance. The RLX in its present form will be no more. So, with that in mind, to my fellow RLX fans interested in securing the most advanced 4-door in Acura’s stable, now is the time to deal.
*A detail or two
MSRP: $59950 to $65,590
MPG: 29 City/30 Highway
The RLX Sport Hybrid offers the most spacious five-passenger seating in its class, with a powertrain that combines V8-like performance and 4-cylinder-like fuel efficiency along with precise 'on rails' handling feel, courtesy of its electrically-powered torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.
Featuring a direct-injected V-6 engine with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with built-in motor-generator powering the front wheels, and two rear electric motors for the rear wheels, the RLX Sport Hybrid generates a combined system rating of 377 horsepower3.
Anchoring the powertrain, the 3.5-liter, 310-horsepower, 24-valve SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) in the RLX Sport Hybrid sports a broad torque band, augmented by the instant torque of the three electric motors. The surprisingly quick, yet efficient Sport Hybrid also features an automatic idle-stop system to further maximize fuel efficiency, helping it to receive a top-class EPA rating of 29/30/29 mpg (city/highway/combined).
In addition, the RLX Sport Hybrid delivers a host of signature and premium Acura technologies as standard, including Acura's distinctive Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, 19-inch bright-finished wheels and next generation AcuraLink® connected car system and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.
The RLX Sport Hybrid also features AcuraWatch™, a comprehensive suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, as standard equipment on all trims. The AcuraWatch™ suite includes:
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF)
Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS)
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
Blind Spot Information (BSI)
Cross Traffic Monitor
*Acura Division 2016