At the 2012 New York auto show, Acura showed off the RLX concept, and follows it up at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a complete production version, maintaining much of the look and all the technologies announced in the concept. And although we will have to wait for the hybrid version, Acura frosted the cake with a Krell audio system.
LED headlights, often shown on concepts, make it to the production RLX. Better yet, these low-power light sources come standard at every trim level. Another surprising standard technology featured on the RLX is what Acura calls Precision All-Wheel-Steer (P-AWS), which adds steering capability to the rear wheels to aid in cornering.
The RLX will launch as a front-wheel-drive sedan with a direct injection 3.5-liter engine, the powerplant part of Acura's new Earth Dreams drivetrain technology initiative. This engine produces 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. Later in 2013, Acura plans on offering a hybrid, all-wheel-drive version of the RLX that adds electric motive power to the rear wheels.
The RLX comes in at 2 inches longer than the outgoing RL. Acura will offer a number of driver assist features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, and a blind spot monitor.
Similar to the 2013 Honda Accord, the RLX shows up with two LCDs on the center stack. It seems that the upper LCD comes in cars with the navigation option, while the lower LCD serves as the main screen in cars without navigation. Acura also launches a smartphone integration feature called AcuraLink in the RLX, which is comparable to the HondaLink integration intro'd in the Honda Accord.
One showpiece of tech in the RLX is the Krell audio system, available at upper trim levels. Krell is a very high-end home audio system manufacturer. After being enlisted by Acura, Krell engineers spent four years developing the 14-speaker system for the RLX. Metal grilles for the door woofers give the system a custom look, but what really stands out is the sound quality, with incredible dynamic range for music reproduction.