The refreshed model is getting a bold makeover.
Acura has a snazzy new look for its 2018 RLX sedan, which the automaker hopes will boost sales of its not-really-loved full-size four-door. Styling follows the edgy lines we saw some time ago on the Precision Concept, and more recently on the refreshed TLX.
The biggest change is obviously in the looks department, and we’ll say it certainly adds a bit of aggression to the RLX’s demeanor. The brand’s diamond pentagon grille is front and center, surrounded by a completely new front fascia and a sculpted hood. In the back, new LED taillights with dual exhaust exits down low are joined be a shiny black rear diffuser. It would seem Acura is quite serious about recasting this car with a bit more attitude.
With that in mind, one might expect to see something equally bold under the hood but that’s not quite the case. The 2018 RLX soldiers on with its 3.5-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower to the front wheels, though it does get a gearbox upgrade thanks to a new 10-speed automatic. It also features all-wheel steering, and with the extra cogs, Acura says acceleration and passing times are improved. All-wheel drive aficionados will continue to choose the Sport Hybrid, which offers the same 377 horsepower as last year's model courtesy of the V6 mated to a pair of electric motors.
Inside, Acura says the redressed RLX gets upgraded materials as well as redesigned seats. The company’s AcuraWatch suite of tech is also included as standard equipment, which includes tidbits such as auto braking, lane departure warnings, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Supplementing that is Traffic Jam Assist, which uses the aforementioned systems to help maintain safe distances during slow-speed situations. It should be noted, however, that the automaker stops short of calling it an autonomous system.
Acura sold less than 1,500 RLX sedans last year, so the company is certainly hoping this refresh will bring buyers back to dealerships. The official reveal for the new RLX will happen next week in Monterey, but we won’t know how buyers respond until November, when it officially goes on sale.
Gallery: 2018 Acura RLX
Acura Reveals Striking New Design for 2018 Acura RLX; Debut Set for Monterey Automotive Week
- 2018 Acura RLX adopts new Acura design direction including signature diamond pentagon grille
- Supercar inspired 377-horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ has been further optimized based on NSX learnings
- Standard AcuraWatch™ enhanced with Traffic Jam Assist, an Acura first
Acura today unveiled a redesigned 2018 Acura RLX reflecting the brand’s new Precision Crafted Performance design direction to create a more substantial presence for Acura’s top-of-the-line luxury sports sedan. The 2018 Acura RLX will make its public debut during the prestigious Monterey Automotive Week, August 15-19 on the Monterey peninsula. The new RLX incorporates design cues to showcase its performance capabilities, including Acura’s signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, new wheel designs, bold, newly designed LED taillights, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.
The 2018 Acura RLX is the most sophisticated and best performing Acura sedan ever, with Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD™) technology, shared with the NSX supercar, that creates a powerful and precise driving experience unmatched in the segment. Acura has simplified the RLX trim structure to make the brand’s innovative Sport Hybrid technology more desirable and accessible streamlining the offering to two well-equipped variants. The new 2018 Acura RLX will go on sale in November.
The 377 total system horsepowersup1 RLX Sport Hybrid seamlessly integrates a direct-injected V-6 with three electric motors and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ for instant acceleration, precise handling, outstanding all-weather performance and excellent fuel economy. Based on developments from the NSX, the RLX Sport Hybrid powertrain and dynamic handling has been further optimized.
The 310-horsepower RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer™ is now mated to a new 10-speed Automatic Transmission (10AT) delivering a more refined driving experience, as well as improved acceleration and passing times.
“This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager.
Standard features on the 2018 RLX Sport Hybrid include premium Krell Audio System, Surround View Camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel and more.
The 2018 RLX features the unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, as standard equipment, and has been enhanced with the addition of Traffic Jam Assist, a first for Acura. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist helps reduce driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle in its lane and a set interval behind a car detected ahead.
AcuraWatch™ also includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision.
The 2018 Acura RLX is complimented by three new exterior colors including two premium paint offerings – Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl. Inside, the 2018 Acura RLX receives upgraded materials and touchpoints including a completely redesigned seat featuring high-contrast piping and stitching, as well as a new Espresso interior option, which adds sophistication to an interior with class-leading space and comfort.
The 2018 Acura RLX will be featured at multiple events throughout Monterey Automotive Week including the Carmel-By-The Sea Concours on the Avenue on Tuesday, August 15 and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, on Friday, August 18.