NY Show 2012 Highlights: Acura RLX Concept

Who says Honda—and by extension its luxury arm, Acura—is off the pace technologically? A big pile of evidence, for starters, among it the late adoption of direct injection and six-speed automatics, as well as decade-old infotainment systems. Attempting to push that pile into the dustbin is the Acura RLX concept, which makes its debut at the 2012 New York auto show.

Per Honda/Acura practice, the RLX is only a concept because its name says so. It’s really a thinly veiled look at the next Acura flagship sedan, and the replacement for the excellent but ultimately forgettable RL. As you might imagine, the RLX shares much with the RL, including a basic architecture (the suspension mounting points are largely the same, for example). They also share the letters R and L. Both cars have V-6 power. And both feature SH-AWD—Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive—systems.

Here’s where they differ: The RLX has an X in its name. It has a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission on all-wheel-drive models. Its V-6 is a bit smaller (3.5 liters versus 3.7) and boasts, yes, direct injection to increase output and efficiency. And its SH-AWD setup is now officially called Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, on account of its two electric motors at the rear axle. The skinny on the new system: Rather than a more complicated mechanical differential and driveshaft, the RLX uses electricity to spin the rear wheels and provide torque-vectoring capabilities. Acura also will apply a similar concept to the 2015 NSX, although the motors will be placed at the supercar’s front wheels.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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