Acura RLX Revealed Ahead of Monterey Car Week Debut

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Acura says the updated version will go on sale in November this year.

The 2018 Acura RLX will be offered in three new colors and has upgraded cabin materials and touchpoints, including redesigned seats with contrast piping and stitching and a new Espresso color scheme. While not all new, there's a host of changes both inside and out, through the two powertrains carry over unchanged.

The new sheet metal will see Acura's flagship sedan do away with its controversial front grille affectionately known as the "chrome beak".

Underneath the new bodywork is a hybrid system for the RLX Sport Hybrid that is based on an all-wheel drive chassis and Acura's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD propulsion technology.

The first Acura RLX debuted in 2013 as a replacement for the range-topping RL sedan.

I have been accused of being the only person under 50 who gets excited by late-model Acuras, and that may be, but I think anybody can appreciate the potential coolness of an all-wheel drive 377 horsepower direct-injection-V6-plus-three-electric-motor luxury sedan.

Should you be swayed by electrification, though, there's the RLX Sport Hybrid. It's handsome and sure to be less divisive than before.

2018 Acura RLX
2018 Acura RLXEnlarge

Starting at the front, the new RLX features a new pentagon grille inspired by the 2016 Precision Concept, flanked by redesigned Jewel Eye headlamps that better accentuate their shape.

The other Acura RLX model is the 310-hp (231-kW) non-hybrid option.

Standard features include a Krell audio system, surround view camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The RLX is available with the AcuraWatch suite of active safety technology.

AcuraWatch is available and includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and Road Departure Mitigation. These include adaptive cruise control, low speed following assistance, and a newly-added traffic jam assist. This is the first Acura application of this new system, which can essentially follow a auto ahead at lower speeds by combining adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist in a fashion similar to Volvo's Pilot Assist system.

Hopefully, the stylish new looks and NSX supercar-derived tech will help the RLX drum up more interest in the showroom and among enthusiasts.

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