Acura RLX gets new safety tech and a nose job


Well, the 2018 Acura RLX has landed and it really wants you to take this "Sport Hybrid" thing seriously.

Inside, the 2018 RLX gets more soft-touch surfaces, new front seats with contrast piping all around, as well as a new interior colour, which Acura calls 'Espresso'. While not all new, there's a host of changes both inside and out, through the two powertrains carry over unchanged.

Now, Acura is hoping a new look will boost sales.

You can have the Acura RLX one of two ways. The base (nonhybrid) RLX now comes standard with Acura's Technology package, and the Sport Hybrid comes standard with the Advance package. That's a lot of acronyms, but there's a lot of tech behind those names. This is powered by a similar V6 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission and Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer, a steering system that turns the rear wheels slightly in cornering and parking to improve maneuverability.

2018 Acura RLX refresh packs a new face and NSX DNA

Fuel economy numbers and performance metrics for the 2018 Acura RLX and RLX Sport Hybrid are not yet released.

As the division's flagship sedan, the 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is equipped with a 3-motor hybrid powertrain that incorporates a 3.5-liter V6 to put out a combined 377 horsepower driving all four wheels. Acura says the materials have been upgraded as well, particularly where you'll commonly touch. The vehicle has edgy lines which were previewed on the Precision Concept and refreshed TLX model. Among those elements are the new grille, which Acura describes as a "diamond pentagon", a more sculpted hood, new LED taillights, and a gloss black rear diffuser.

Every RLX will come with the AcuraWatch suite of active safety features. A new addition to AcuraWatch is traffic jam assist which is a sort of modification to adaptive cruise control specifically for congested traffic. These include adaptive cruise control, low speed following assistance, and a newly-added traffic jam assist. 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. This is the first Acura application of this new system, which can essentially follow a vehicle ahead at lower speeds by combining adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist in a fashion similar to Volvo's Pilot Assist system.

Look for more photos and pricing later this year.