2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Ditches Rear Diff

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Acura just debuted the latest version of its RLX on the floor of the 2013 L.A. Auto Show: the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

It’s headed to showrooms in the spring of 2014 and when that happens it will be the first vehicle to use Acura’s three-motor hybrid powertrain. Both of the rear wheels are powered individually by electric motors while a third unit boosts torque already offered by the engine. The system also eliminates the need for a driveshaft and rear differential. The electric motors also recoup power for the hybrid system through regenerative braking.

2013 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

A 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 makes 310 hp and in total the system offers 377. As usual, Honda is playing coy about the 0-60 sprint time, but says it is comparable to similar cars powered by a V8. Even with that output, the car is supposed to be surprisingly fuel efficient with a rating of 28 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway or 30 combined.

Power is sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with a built-in electric motor and Acura says the car will rev-match its downshifts in automatic mode. Meanwhile, a manual mode will allow drivers to change gears with paddle shifters.

Other new items Acura is packaging with the Sport Hybrid version include an electronic gear selector that replaces the center-console mounted shift lever with a series of buttons used to select park, drive and reverse. Is Acura aping Lincoln? There’s also a head-up display that shows information including data related to the hybrid system, speed, direction and alerts from the car’s driver assistance systems.

GALLERY: 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Live Photos

Discuss this story at our Acura RLX forum.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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