Although the formal launch will be in the spring of 2014, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD already has a busy social calendar. At the moment, its been putting on its finishing touches for its public display at the LA International Auto Show. The RLX Sport Hybrid will have given auto show attendees a grand look at the first Acura vehicle to use Acura’s new three-motor hybrid powertrain technology.
At 377-horsepower, the 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is being described by Acura as its “most powerful and technologically advanced vehicle” to-date. The car maker says that the engine system in the RLX Sport Hybrid “combines a highly efficient, direct-injected V-6 engine with an all-new, Acura-designed, 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor and an electrically powered variant of Acura’s highly regarded torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)” (quoted from Acura to insure absolute accuracy). This enables the RLX Sport Hybrid to go from 0 to 60 in about the same time as the V8-powered vehicles of competitors. Yet, performance (28/32/30mpg – city/highway/combined) is comparable to that of 4-cylinder luxury sedans.
In addition to power, space is also more plentiful in the RLX Sport Hybrid. The wheelbase is longer and the greenhouse is wider than mid-luxury sedans in its class. Rear-seat legroom is now 38.8 inches. Shoulder room has been bumped up to 59.6 inches in the front and 57.0 inches at the rear. Acura says that these stats are the best in the mid-luxury class.
Body design has been given good attention. High-strength steel and aluminum are much in evidence. The “double-wishbone, lower double-joint front suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers” gives a superior handling agility, with increased confidence and security. This, in addition to the multi-link rear suspension, adds up to a smoother ride over a wide variety of road terrains.
Of course, the 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid has new technologies, too. There is an electronic gear selector as well as Acura’s Head-Up Display System – an “at-a-glance” information system which uses the windshield as its projection screen. The cloud-based connected car system is next-generation. There are also the safety features buyers have come to expect, such as “Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system”.
Not to be outdone by its automotive relative, the Acura RDX luxury crossover SUV has brought home some automotive honors. The first award is the 2014 ALG Residual Value Award. The RDX earned this honor for having the “highest projected three-year resale value of any vehicle in the Premium Compact Utility Vehicle category”. In addition, this award includes recognition of the superior quality, favored brand desirability, and overall reliability of the RDX. The second accolade is Consumer Guide’s “Best Buy” in the Premium Compact Crossover/SUV category. “Best Buys” are vehicles which, according to Consumer Reports, give outstanding design, engineering, and consumer satisfaction.
The Acura RDX luxury crossover SUV has been named a “Best Buy” by Consumer Guide. The award is given to vehicles that provide superior design and engineering, and deliver what consumers want better than their category competitors.
“The RDX continues to win accolades for its outstanding combination of exhilarating, performance, top-class fuel economy ratings, and outstanding value on a luxury scale,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of Auto Operations. “With the five-passenger RDX and new seven-passenger MDX, Acura has unquestionably the most powerful one-two punch in the luxury SUV category.”
Consumer Guide judges vehicles based on a variety of objective factors including price, features, performance, accommodations, fuel economy ratings, reliability records and resale value. The editors drive the vehicles the way consumers normally would, on highways, city streets, rural roads, long trips and for simple daily errands.
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*images courtesy of Acura