New York 2012: Acura RLX Concept – Honda Brings Back 4WS!

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
new york 2012 acura rlx concept 8211 honda brings back 4ws

We all know that the new Acura RLX will have a V6 and a neat SH-AWD system using electric motors and such – but how about the budget model, that revives the long-dormant four-wheel steering system from the Prelude, once known as 4WS!

The all-new direct injection V6 displaces 3.5L and makes in excess of 370 horsepower. While one electric motor provides a hybrid system linked to the V6, two others, one at each rear wheel, act as an all-wheel drive system. Similar to the NSX, the system can add power to the wheels independently, helping the car rotate through turns by applying varying amounts of torque.

A standard model without the SH-AWD system can be had with 310 horsepower and the aforementioned 4WS system, now dubbed “Precision All-Wheel Steer”. This system electronically adjusts the toe angle of the rear wheels. Two screens will feature in the cabin, a 7-inch touch screen that controls vehicle functions, as well as an 8-inch display screen.

Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System and lane-keeping assist all help on the gadget front, while an AcuraLink telematics system with stolen vehicle tracking will be standard.

And yes, this concept is 100 percent accurate; imagine it with the rims from the current RL, and you’ll have the car that I saw back at Honda HQ in January.

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8 of 45 comments
  • EspressoBMW EspressoBMW on Apr 05, 2012

    Who chose those wheels for this car's debut? They're fugly and distracting from the car's better design elements! When I look at all the photos released yesterday, all I see are the wheels! They jump off the page and blind me!

  • Speed Spaniel Speed Spaniel on Apr 05, 2012

    DannyZ - There is nothing simple and elegant about any add on mechanical system. Simple and elegant starts when the vehicle is done right from the get go like using RWD on a luxury/performance car. But when a car company like Honda/Acura calfs out half baked styled abortions all the simple and elegant technology in the world can't save you. This company is in a 10,000 foot tail spin, but there are Honda loyalists like you stuck in the late 80s/early 90s who still think Honda is the latest and greatest. I hope you have lots of fun tooling around in your sexy vtec Accord. Yawn.

    • See 3 previous
    • Speed Spaniel Speed Spaniel on Apr 10, 2012

      @DannyZRC 1. A copy in styling - yes. 2. Is an auto slush box Toyota 6 cylinder better than a 4 cylinder Accord? A matter of opinion and depends what you like. I could care less about economy and I like power down low and immediate off the line. I'm not a fan of peaky performing Honda 4 cylinder engines. For refinement and power the 6 cylinder wins, a smooth torquey 8 cylinder is even better. 3. I would accept a noisey cooling fan in a $14,000 Kia, but not a $36,000 "performance" "luxury" crossover. Gotta love Acura resale though for getting me out of that pile of junk. 4. No comment whether the new design is simpler or better until I drive the new RDX which I have no intention of. My point is the SH-AWD is gone in the RDX as is the crapoid 4 cylinder turbo engine and accompanying cooling fan. If it was so successful what happened to it?

  • Stuki Stuki on Sep 21, 2012

    Looks fine enough to me. At least the beltline isn't too obnoxiously high, which is the biggest faux pas of many late model cars. Stuntmonkey's 7 space in 5 package comment, does present one heck of a case for a car like this. Still, while Honda has a tradition for clever technology, this often comes with a bit of a disregard for the fundamentals. As in, making up for stoooopid displacement with excessively fancy valvetrains, making up for lack of sound deadening with various stereo system tricks, making up for FWD handling compromises with all manners of torque vectoring schemes, etc., etc. Nothing fundamentally wrong with that approach, but unless the tech meats or beats the old school approach, it doesn't really appeal to the vast majority of non geeks, who just wants a good car.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on Sep 21, 2012

    have u ever backed a car with 4ws... real interesting!