Honda’s luxury brand Acura is showcasing at the Los Angeles Auto Show for the first time its 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. It was first brought to light as a concept in New York last year, and now looks as if it will go on sale this coming spring for an as yet undisclosed price.
This new Acura hybrid will sport a powerful hybrid drivetrain, combining a direct-injected V-6 engine with an all-new 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor and an electrically powered variant of the auto brand’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. These are joined by two rear electric motors, all supported by a 260-volt lithium-ion battery pack, that all total gives the RLX impressive specifications of a 0-60 mph time comparable with “competitor’s V8-powered machines” and fuel economy ratings of 28/32/30mpg (city/highway/combined).
Key drivetrain related features include manual paddle shifters to give the driver gear selection control and regenerative braking to help return otherwise wasted energy to the vehicle’s battery system.
There’s a whole bunch of technology built into the RLX Sport Hybrid which will keep drivers busy both when driving and not when driving. It sports, for example, an electronic gear selector that “replaces the conventional, center console-mounted shift lever with an efficiently packaged push-button array that allows the driver to easily select the desired drive mode—Park, Drive and Reverse, as well as Sport and Normal driving modes.” Also of note is a heads-up display system that
provides the driver with at-a-glance access to key driving information projected on the windshield. Display modes include Sport Hybrid system operation, turn-by-turn navigation, speedometer and compass, as well as alerts from various driver-assistive systems.
Joining this mix of high tech are some impressive infotainment offerings, including a 14-speaker system and a cloud-based connected car system that provides an “array of media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices.”