Acura took the wraps off its all-new 2014 RLX luxury-performance sedan - the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced Acura sedan, ever. In keeping with the Man-Machine Synergy direction of the Acura brand, the RLX utilizes an all-new direct-injection engine, lightweight body structure, and the first-ever application of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ to deliver a new and dynamic driving experience unlike that of any other luxury performance sedans. The next-generation AcuraLink® cloud-based connected car system makes its debut on the new Acura RLX, offering a broad range of convenience, entertainment and security features.
"The 2014 Acura RLX heralds the introduction of a number of new signature Acura technologies that provide the driver a feeling of connection to the product, to the road, and to the world from the very moment they enter the vehicle," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "The RLX embodies the Acura commitment to create vehicles with outstanding handling that truly respond to the will of the driver."
The 2014 Acura RLX is powered by an all-new 310-horsepower direct-injected SOHC 24-Valve i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management, and is expected to earn best-in-class estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/31/24 mpg (city/highway/combined). The new Acura RLX delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, mid-size luxury sedan package and boasts the best rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), longest tandem seating distance (36.4 inches), and best front and rear shoulder room in the mid-luxury class.
Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) is the world's first technology to feature independent and continuous control of the left and right rear-wheel steering (toe) angles to achieve new levels of handling agility, high- and low-speed maneuverability, and confident handling control for a two-wheel-drive luxury sedan.
As previously announced, a version of RLX featuring Acura's new Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD®) technology, producing 370 horsepower with expected fuel economy ratings of 30 city/30 highway/30 combined, will debut later in 2013.
The new Acura RLX will confidently compete in the high-end luxury sedan market with an incredible array of leading-edge technologies - including the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and all-new surface street conditions, the Lane Keeping Assist System and Forward Collision Warning safety systems, and new driver-assistive technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Agile Handling Assist dynamic braking technology and Jewel Eye™ LED headlights.
The 2014 Acura RLX is slated to go on-sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide in the spring of 2013 and will be available in five grades - the well-equipped RLX, the RLX with Navigation, the feature-packed RLX with Technology package, the Acura RLX with Krell Audio package, and the top-of-the-line RLX with Advance package. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.
Exterior Design and Function
The RLX follows an "aero-fused" exterior design motif with its wide and athletic stance, sharp upswept bodylines, aerodynamic greenhouse, and distinctive new Jewel-Eye™ LED headlights offering improved down-the-road illumination. The RLX's sleek upper body and numerous other aerodynamic features result in aerodynamic efficiency to best-in-class levels.
Seven spoke 18x8J aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/45 R18 all-weather tires are standard, while Technology, Krell and Advance grades feature 19x8J wheels and 245/40 R19 tires. The Acura RLX's alloy wheels also feature a noise-reducing design that lowers tire noise by 7 decibels across the audible frequency range.
Additional exterior features available on the RLX include an acoustic glass windshield and door glass, integrated power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, heated and auto-dimming side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Interior Design and Function
The Acura RLX interior features premium, soft touch materials throughout, with the tasteful application of premium metal and wood-grain accents. A stitched leather instrument panel, center console and steering wheel, along with available Milano perforated leather seats, communicate a new level of craftsmanship and refined luxury appeal in Acura's top-of-the-line sedan.
Luxury form and function are smartly integrated in the RLX's new center console, featuring dual screens - an 8-inch Navigation screen and a 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display™ touch screen - that provide easy and direct one-touch access to key functions, including audio, air conditioning, navigation and text-to-voice SMS text message function. The sliding, leather-trimmed armrest conceals a storage compartment with USB connectivity, 12-volt accessory power outlet and space to store a tablet device.
Additional interior comfort and convenience features include push-button start, power tilt and telescoping steering, power sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.
The standard 10-speaker ELS® audio system includes HD radio™, XM radio, Pandora® interface, USB connectivity, and an auxiliary jack. The RLX with Technology package is equipped with a 14-speaker Acura/ELS® Studio premium audio system. The Krell Audio and Advance grades receive an all-new Krell ultra-premium system that sets a new benchmark for high-fidelity sound in a luxury vehicle.
Whether on a serpentine mountain pass, congested city street, or cramped airport parking deck, and in all weather conditions, the Acura RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™), is designed to deliver an unprecedented level of handling precision and control.
Working in concert with Vehicle Stability Assist® (VSA®) with Traction Control and Agile Handling Assist dynamic braking system, P-AWS™ provides enhanced vehicle stability, maneuverability, and control. The RLX's handling performance is further elevated by its new double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension system with Amplitude Reactive Dampers, and new high-output, belt-type electronic power steering.
All RLX models have 4-wheel disc brakes with high-friction pads and a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), along with new Hydraulic Brake Boost that improves brake pedal feel. New Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, and high-efficiency Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) are additional firsts for Acura.
New Direct Injected VTEC® V-6 with VCM
The 2014 RLX is powered by an all-new 3.5-liter direct-injected SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management. Rated at 310 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine delivers exceptional drivability, with more than 90-percent of its peak torque produced from 2000 rpm to 6600 rpm. Variable Cylinder Management™ with 3-cylinder and 6-cylinder operation works in concert with the VTEC valvetrain to deliver superb cruising efficiency. The engine is mounted to a lightweight and rigid aluminum front subframe using a vibration-canceling Active Control engine Mount (ACM) system.
The new engine is mated to a reengineered Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission with revised gearing, an intuitive selector and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A driver-selectable Sport mode provides more aggressive shift points and more pronounced engine braking during deceleration, along with manual operation.
AcuraLink® Connectivity System
The Acura RLX is equipped with the next-generation of the AcuraLink® connectivity system, delivering a bevy of new information, media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices. AcuraLink® leverages the Aha™ by Harman cloud-based interface to provide users with thousands of customizable media and connectivity choices. Next-generation AcuraLink® also delivers an array of available security and convenience features, such as AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and all-new surface street traffic, airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, remote locking and unlocking, security alarm notification and 24-hour personalized concierge services for restaurant reservations and more.
Advanced Safety, Visibility, and Driver Assistive Technology
The Acura RLX offers a comprehensive list of leading-edge technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist system, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Brake system safety technologies, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow driver assist system, and Blind Spot Information and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines enhanced visibility systems.
Featuring Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, the RLX is anticipated to earn top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score, and IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' rating as well as a GOOD rating in the new IIHS small overlap frontal crash test.
Additional details on key advances and technologies for the all-new 2014 RLX:
Class leading interior space based on the Acura RLX's longer wheelbase and efficient packaging. At 196.1 inches, the RLX is similar in length to the outgoing RL, but it has a two-inch longer wheelbase and is nearly two inches wider, placing the new RLX well above the norm in the mid-luxury class. The flagship RLX sedan has up to three inches more rear legroom than competing models, including the BMW 535i, Lexus GS350 and Audi A6.
Extensive use of lightweight materials includes the application of high-strength steel to 55 percent of the body, and the intensive use of aluminum—for the front fenders, hood, steering hangar beam, front and rear bumper beams, front subframe, and front and rear door outer panels (mated to steel inner panels). The RLX weighs in at 3,933 pounds. Static bending and torsional body rigidity are up 52 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
Jewel-Eye LED headlights (an Acura first) LED lamps enhance the Acura RLX's modern and distinctive appearance while providing outstanding light distribution and improved down-the-road illumination.
Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ offers a wide range of search options including local search functionality and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ for both highways and surface streets.
Agile Handling Assist (an Acura first) uses active braking to help the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line through a curve with smaller steering inputs.
Electric Parking Brake (an Acura first) provides one-touch parking brake activation.
Automatic Brake Hold (an Acura first) maintains the vehicle's position when the driving or parking brake are released until the throttle is depressed.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (an Acura first), allows the RLX to independently maintain a set following distance in low-speed traffic situations, including stop and go traffic, and to initiate vehicle braking when necessary.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses a camera mounted in the upper portion of the windshield to detect vehicles ahead of the Acura RLX and audibly and visually alert the driver when it determines a frontal collision with a detected vehicle is possible.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) uses the same windshield-mounted camera to detect lane markings on the road and alerts the driver if the vehicle is wandering from a detected lane.
Front seatbelt e-pretensioners use electronic control to reduce belt tension under normal driving conditions, while also enabling automatic belt tensioning in hard cornering maneuvers or in the event of a collision.
Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines uses guidelines that reflect steering wheel inputs on the display to aid in backup maneuvers.
Capless fueling (an Acura first) eliminates the fuel cap and improves ease of fueling.