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A dramatic new styling direction for the brand it might not be, but the Acura RLX concept is a look at the hi-tech future flagship of the Acura brand.
Looking much like a larger version of the new ILX small sedan, the RLX is in some ways a backwards version of the upcoming NSX supercar, using a hybrid V6 engine and twin electric wheel motors, but with the engine in the front and the electric power in the rear.
To find out more about the upcoming RLX, unveiled at the New York Auto Show, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura RLX
With its flagship RL never much of a rival to traditional luxury saloons and its once hi-tech SH-AWD system now more commonplace in the industry, it’s no surprise that the car was a certifiable failure.
Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, Acura has switched nomenclature to RLX for it’s big sedan, hoping to wow audiences with a purposeful hybrid system that works in tandem with a next-generation electric SH-AWD system.
Making “more than” 370 hp, Acura has mated a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine with three electric motors. One motor works in unison with the V6 engine as a conventional hybrid drive, while two others power the rear wheels. As a result, the RLX now gets what Acura calls Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, allowing power to be distributed left to right in the rear to help the car rotate. A similar system, though with the gasoline in the rear, will be fitted to the next-generation NSX.
Though details are light on the new RLX, we can confirm that it will feature the automaker’s new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. A V6 hybrid engine will power the front wheels while the system will take advantage of a pair of electric motors individually powering each rear wheel. The entire setup will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and will result in the performance of a V8, with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder.
So far Acura hasn’t revealed exactly what V6 powerplant will be in the RL, but it did mention that the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will not be standard on the new RLX. We’ll be reporting live at the upcoming New York Auto Show, bringing you the latest coverage.