Acura’s 2018 RLX is the next in line to receive the automaker’s distinctive new grille, with the refreshed luxury sedan also getting performance changes under the sheet metal. The largest sedan in Acura‘s line-up, the RLX will now be offered in just two variations, cutting the number of options buyers need to consider. The two powertrains will give the choice of either gas or gas-hybrid.
If gas-only is your preference, there’s a 310 horsepower 2018 RLX with Acura’s all-wheel steering technology. Out goes the old 7-speed automatic that used to be paired with that engine, and in its place is a new 10-speed automatic. According to Acura, it’s a more refined gearbox, but also should improve on both acceleration and passing times.
Should you be swayed by electrification, though, there’s the RLX Sport Hybrid. That pairs a V6 direct injection gas engine with three electric motors, in a similar setup to Acura’s NSX supercar. Throw in the company’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system and you’re looking at 377 horsepower to play with.
AcuraWatch, the company’s suite of active safety tech, was standard on the old RLX and that’s carried over to the 2018 model too. However, it’s joined now with Traffic Jam Assist. Building on the adaptive cruise control, it can follow a car head and keep the sedan in the correct lane.
Inside, there are all-new seats with updated trim, and a new Espresso color option. Acura says the materials have been upgraded as well, particularly where you’ll commonly touch. Feature like ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, a Krell audio system, surround view camera, and remote engine start are all standard. Outside, there are three new color options, including a new Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl.
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They’ll contrast well with the “diamond pentagon” grille that Acura first previewed on the 2016 Acura Precision Concept. It’s flanked with LED lights, and there are new LED taillights too, together with dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser. The hood has been given a more sculpted finish, and the wheels are updated for the 2018 model year.
Pricing for the 2018 Acura RLX hasn’t been confirmed, but the current, model year 2017 car is priced from $54,450. Acura says the updated version will go on sale in November this year.