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Acura Releases RLX Concept

Acura RLX at New York International Auto Show

Acura revealed its Acura RLX concept at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday. “Per Honda/Acura practice, the RLX is only a concept because its name says so,” writes Car and Driver. “It’s really a thinly veiled look at the next Acura flagship sedan, and the replacement for the excellent but ultimately forgettable RL.”

In a press release, Acura says one of the RLX’s highlights is its powertrain. A new 3.5-liter direct injection V6 engine and three electric motors will make 370 horsepower, and are paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. A 310-horsepower, front-wheel drive RLX will also be available.

The RLX will also have Acura’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system, which was first seen on the Acura NSX concept. “The ‘hybrid’ part of that title includes what Acura is calling a ‘unique dual electric motor drive unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system,’” says Autoblog. “Basically, it's a through-the-road electric all-wheel-drive setup with torque vectoring on the rear axle.”

Acura expects the RLX to get 30/30 mpg city/highway. Since it’s still a concept, the EPA hasn’t confirmed these estimates. However, if Acura is correct, the RLX will rank near the top of the class for fuel efficiency, as hybrid competitors like the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid get 27/32 mpg city/highway.

When it goes into production, Acura says that standard safety features will include forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems. Those features are usually optional. A collision mitigation braking system and a lane keep assist system will also be available, but Acura doesn’t mention if they’re standard or optional. The RLX will also have front, side and side curtain airbags, as well as a driver’s knee airbag.

The Acura RLX’s list of interior features is extensive. Its 7-inch LCD touch-screen infotainment system will house the stereo, climate, navigation and voice-to-text messaging systems. Two audio systems will be available: a 14-speaker stereo or an ELS Surround sound system. Both stereos will have HD radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, Pandora Internet Radio and Aha Radio. Many of these tech features are comparable to the ones available on luxury large cars like the Audi A7, Infiniti M and BMW 5-Series.

Acura hasn’t said how much the RLX will cost, but the 2012 Acura RL starts at $48,200. The RLX goes on sale in early 2013.

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