A Day Late And A Dollar SH(AWD)ort

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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a day late and a dollar sh awd ort

Late breaking news from Los Angeles – this month’s LA Auto Show will herald the debut of the RLX Sport Hybrid All-Wheel Drive, nearly a year after the front-drive V6 RLX debuted.

As Alex Dykes discovered, the standard car’s buying proposition is about as strong as the Lincoln MKZ’s, which is to say, nearly non-existent. In such a hyper-competitive market, the RLX hasn’t made much of an impression, and will likely suffer the same fate as its predecessor – lingering in obscurity, despite being a pretty good car.

It’s a shame too, since the RLX SH-AWD is a very interesting proposition. With two-electric motors in the rear wheels servicing as an AWD-system-cum-hybrid-powertrain, the RLX is able to crank out 377 horsepower and achieve 30 mpg combined, according to Acura’s figures. If what they’re saying is true, then this car really does deliver on the “V8 power, 4-cylinder fuel economy” promise that so many others have failed to live up to.

Knowing Acura, it won’t be bad to drive either, but it fails to make any kind of visual statement despite its performance and eco-friendly credentials. In that sense, it’s the antithesis of the Tesla Model S, and for a car this advanced and this expensive, that’s the surest recipe for failure.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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5 of 19 comments
  • Carguy Carguy on Nov 02, 2013

    I'm sure it'll be an impressive feat of engineering but given how overpriced the current FWD RLX is, I fear that the extra expense of the hybrid power train will put it into a "fanbois only" niche market.

  • Ceipower Ceipower on Nov 02, 2013

    Probably not a bad car. Overpriced? Sure , Honda's always been pretty darn proud of their stuff , even when it misses the mark. Acura has certainly missed the mark for well over a decade now , however Honda's pride hasn't suffered any. The absolutely horrendous front end has been toned down. Still it reminds everyone of how ill conceived this mandated corporate face for Acura has been. Maybe in another 5 years they will have completely rid themselves of that boondoggled look? Until then , the showrooms will continue to be a good place to catch an afternoon nap.

    • Astigmatism Astigmatism on Nov 03, 2013

      Hey! They've completely missed the mark for a half-decade, thankyouverymuch. My '08 TL is still a d### good (and good-looking) car.

  • Darkwing Darkwing on Nov 03, 2013

    I've been waiting for this car as I decide what to do about my 2012 TL. But for the $70K they're likely to want for it, they're not making a compelling argument against a V8-powered German midsize.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Nov 13, 2013

    It's called PAWS now remember, not SH-AWD.