By on November 20, 2013

2014 Acura RLX SH-AWD 01

Though fans of the NSX may need to wait until 2015 to throw down the hammer with Tony Stark and Thor, most Acura consumers will get a chance to utilize the automaker’s new SH-AWD hybrid powertrain anchoring the 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid to the road.

Debuting at this year’s LA Auto Show, the RLX Sport Hybrid is the first to use the new technology, which delivers power to the front wheels through conventional means while power to the rear comes from a trio of electric motors. Two motors individually drive their respective wheels while the third boosts torque already found up front, eliminating the need for a driveshaft and rear differential. Power is regenerated to all three rear motors through braking.

Speaking of power, the trinity’s 67 horsepower augments the main 3.5-liter direct-injected V6’s 310 ponies for a total of 377 on all corners. Honda won’t quite say how quickly their RLX will get to 60, though they say it’s comparable to similar cars with V8 firepower. On the other hand, they expect the hybrid powertrain will pull 28 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway for a combined score of 30 mpg.

Directing the power up front is a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with its own electric motor — controlled via an electronic gear selector that swaps the traditional stick for a set of buttons — that will match revs while downshifting in automatic mode, while manual mode shifting is done through paddle shifters.

Finally, a HUD display monitors and informs the driver of what the RLX’s many systems are doing at a moment’s glance, along with speed and direction. Expect to see the RLX Sport Hybrid in showrooms in spring of 2014.

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9 Comments on “Los Angeles 2013: 2014 Acura RLX Debuts New Hybrid Powertrain...”

  • avatar

    I’m quite puzzled by nothing in Acura line-up adopting Accord’s electric transmission in front. That one seemed like a very worthy design, allowing for major flexibility under the hood. But nope, it’s nowhere to be seen — unless I’m ignorant of some obscure 3-letter model name.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is more performance oriented.

      I am actually very curious to see how it drives. If they can perform some of the magic that Mercedes was pulling with their electric SLS, it could have some serious handling chops.

      The fact that the battery is up so high is a bit unfortunate though.

  • avatar

    Drive the RLX in reverse and you have the basic concept of Gen-2 NSX.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen a couple of the regular FWD version on the street lately. They don’t have much presence, and I’m continually annoyed by all the lights up front and the shiny beak.

    Also, this system is a very complex way to save on MPGs and get AWD. For the money (big German sedan money), I’d have a big German sedan. Or an AWD LS.

    The interior looks very cramped for the size of this car. I think all the angles and intersecting planes sort of draw the eye down toward the blobby center stack, making it seem smaller.

    Nice fake wood. But I’m glad they went back to SH-AWD from their PAWS thing.

  • avatar

    ..But I bet, just like the last RL, this RL will still putter around with 200,000 miles on the clock. I’d buy it new just so I can have it forever.

  • avatar

    I could see them putting a version of this powertrain in the Honda Odyssey Touring minivan and in another generation down to the lower-priced vans. If they could get the Odyssey up to 30/30 MPG without downsizing it, it would be a huge selling point.

  • avatar

    If this is the answer, what was the question?

  • avatar

    Acura needs to generate some excitement and release details about the revised TL. Apart form the NSX, of course, that’s what most Acura fans are waiting for that they can actually afford to buy.

  • avatar

    I’ll be genuinely curious to see what happens with sales of this. Definitely want to take a listen to the Krell branded stereo.

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