2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Ups Hybrid Ante
- The 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, complete with a three-motor hybrid system and a price tag over $61,000, will debut on Tuesday at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
- The RLX Sport Hybrid returns an estimated 28 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway, according to Honda.
- It becomes the new top-of-the-line model in the Acura lineup and will be priced above the 2014 Acura RLX with Advance package, which starts at $61,435.
The RLX Sport Hybrid returns an estimated 28 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway, according to Honda, beating earlier estimates that the hybrid would return 30 mpg on the highway. The non-hybrid version of the 2014 Acura RLX returns 20 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
The 377-horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid becomes the new top-of-the-line model in the Acura lineup and will be priced above the 2014 Acura RLX with Advance package, which starts at $61,435, including a $985 destination charge. The RLX Sport Hybrid will go on sale in the spring. Formal pricing will be announced closer to launch.
The new Acura RLX model is the first vehicle in the lineup to use the new three-motor hybrid powertrain. The system bundles a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a built-in electric motor.
The electric SH-AWD system on the RLX Sport Hybrid eliminates the conventional driveshaft and rear differential, replacing them with two high-output 27-kilowatt electric rear motors. The system also gets a 35-kW front electric motor that supplements engine torque to the front wheels. A 260-volt lithium-ion battery pack rounds out the powertrain package.
The high-tech RLX also features the first use of Acura's electronic gear selector. It replaces the traditional center-console-mounted shift lever with a push-button setup that lets the driver pick the desired drive mode — Park, Drive and Reverse — along with Sport and Normal.
A new Acura head-up display system projects key driving information onto the windshield.
The RLX Hybrid gets LED headlights and two audio systems. They include an Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system with 14 speakers or a 14-speaker Krell system.
Edmunds says: The RLX Sport Hybrid will be more expensive than its chief rival, the 2014 Lexus GS 450h, which starts at $60,510. But all that amazing technology should be enough to convince technophiles to pry loose a few more dollars.