“Acura Introduces New Acura RLX Flagship for 2014”
Acura just debuted their new 2014 Acura RLX flagship, which will replace the RL model lineup. The RLX is the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced Acura sedan ever, and it will be available in 5 levels of trim: the base RLX which will start at $48,450; the RLX Navi starting at $50,950; the Tech RLX priced at $54,450; the RLX Krell model which starts at $56,950; and the top-of-the-liner flagship RLX Advance model beginning at $60,450. Add $895 for all models to cover Destination and Handling charges. An RLX Sport Hybrid is scheduled to bow in the not-too-distant future.
The base RLX will come standard with: Precision All-Wheel Steering, Jewel Eye LED headlights, 18-inch noise-reducing alloy wheels, Michelin 245/45 R18 M+S all-season tires, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, an expanded view driver?s mirror, a multi-angle rearview camera, an electric parking brake, Smart Entry (front doors and trunk) with Push Button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob,?heated 12-way adjustable (8-way power
plus 4-way power lumbar support) front seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, an 8-inch color audio/information screen, a 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display with audible and tactile feedback, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Acura’s ELS 10-speaker audio system, XM Radio, HD radio, a USB port, an AUX jack, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power tilt/slide moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, HomeLink, power door lock/unlock, power heated side mirrors with reverse interlocking autotilt down, one-touch turn signals and capless fueling.
The RLX Navi adds: Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, Next-generation AcuraLink and Color Multi-Information Display. RLX Tech adds: 19-inch noise-reducing alloy wheels,?Michelin 245/40 R19 M+S all-season tires, Premium Milano leather seats Blind Spot?Michelin 245/40 R19 M+S all-season tires, Premium Milano leather seats Blind Spot?Information system, Acura’s ELS 14-speakerStudio Premium?Audio System, acoustic glass (windshield, front and rear door windows), rain sensing
windshield wipers, power retractable side mirrors and Smart Entry (all four doors and trunk) with Push Button start.
The RLX Krell adds: the Krell ultra-premium 14-speaker audio system, an expanded rear door sunshade and a power operated rear window sunshade, and the top-of-the-line RLX Advance adds: Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist System, parking sensors (2 front/4 rear), ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a rear seat foot light and an auto-dimming side mirror.
The all-new Acura RLX is positioned in the luxury sedan category and is based on the grand concept of “Takaburi”, which translates as Exhilaration packaging and focuses on Smart Exhilarating luxury. The RLX fathers a longer wheelbase than the outgoing RL and is also longer overall, wider and taller than the RL. It reaches higher and farther into the high-end luxury sedan market with an array of advanced safety, driver-assistive, and infotainment technologies. The performance philosophy subscribes to “Inomama” which translates to “At the will of the driver”.
Power for all RLX models is provided by a transversely mounted 3.5-liter,SOHC, 24-valve, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Direct Injection, Earth Dreams Technology, Variable Cylinder Management and drive-by-wire throttle. The engine develops 310 horsepower at 6,500 rpm along with 272 pound feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. A?6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle
shifters, Sport mode and Grade Logic Control gears motive force to the front wheels with Precision All-Wheel Steer, featuring Agile Handling Assist.
Visually, the all-new Acura RLX blends a sleek overall shape, an ?aero-fused? cabin silhouette, and close tolerances for the wheel wells and body-panel gaps for heightened elegance and aerodynamics. The styling begins with a dynamic front-end featuring the RLX?s signature Jewel Eye LED headlights, a substantial presence that imparts a look of power and confidence, while also proving highly aerodynamically efficient, providing powerful down the road illumination and even encompassing advanced pedestrian safety features. Decisive character lines begin alongside the hood, sweeping over the front wheel arches, then along the body sides, which feature lines that subtly rise along the lower body sides, changing the light reflections and creating a visual signature for the RLX.
The cabin is wide and aerodynamic, allowing for a roomy interior and a quiet ride quality as air slips smoothly over the cabin?s flush-mounted available acoustic glass and other drag- and turbulence-reducing design details. Wheel-arches use a much smaller gap to the tire than on the RL, resulting in a poised, integrated and finished look for the profile.
The rear of the RLX body is also dynamic, where the cabin is noticeably wider than that of either the outgoing RL or the RLX?s primary competitors, lending a look of solidity. The wider overall width and wider track, trunk space is also significantly enhanced compared to the outgoing RL model.
My test 2014 Acura RLX Advance was a production ready model that sported a metallic Black exterior finish and a Charcoal and Gray interior with polished wood trim accents. The base price was set at $60,450 which came to $61,345 after adding for the Destination and Handling charge.
SUMMARY: Acura portrays the all-new RLX as the epitome of Smart Luxury, but the term seems to lack substance and doesn’t really reflect the car’s true intended image. Essentially, it is a spirited, luxury sedan that performs well, is comfortable, and given the content of the Advance model, certainly justifies the price tag, which is lower than some luxury sedan competitors.
Actually driving the RLX defines its place in the segment, though the styling could and should reflect a higher level of emotional response from onlookers. It is not unattractive, mind you, but its flagship status would benefit from a greater styling differentiation, setting it apart from its stablemates.
The press launch driving experience began in Calistoga, CA and took in several scenic and challenging backroads in Napa and Sonoma counties, with some freeway driving thrown in for good measure, and wound up at Sonoma Raceway (formerly Infineon and before that, Sears Point Raceway) where autocross comparisons were set up between luxury models from both BMW and Mercedes Benz, as well as on track exercises. In an Active Cruise Controi system comparison with Lexus’ GS model, the RTLX proved superior.
In the final analysis, the 2014 Acura RLX Advance delivered better than satisfactory acceleration, precise handling characteristics and a comfortable ride quality, regardless of driving scenarios. The 3.5-liter Direct Injection V-6 delivers more power, with greater efficiency than the RL’s 3.7-liter port injection that it replaces. I only piloted the Advance RLX, but the basic mechanicals are the same for all other trim levels. Certainly, one can pay less for an RLX, but you also get less in terms of feature and equipment content. Let your budget be your guide.
SPECIFICATIONS: Acura RLX Advance-’14
|Price as Tested:||$61,345|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.5-liter,SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V-6 with Direct Injection, Earth Dreams Technology, Variable Cylinder Management and drive-by- wire throttle|
|Horsepower (bhp):||310 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||272 @ 4,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters, Sport mode and Grade Logic Control|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front Wheel Drive with Precision All-Wheel Steer, featuring Agile Handling Assist|
|Suspension:||Front – Independent double-wishbone with telescopic, gas-filled Amplitude Reactive Dampers and 33 mm diameter solid stabilizer bar.Rear – Independent multi-link Telescopic, gas-filled Amplitude Reactive Dampers and 23 mm diameter solid stabilizer bar|
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) 4-wheel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, VSA with Traction Control system|
|Tires:||Michelin Primacy MXM4 245/40R-19 all-season tires mounted on 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels|
|Length Overall:||196.1 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,997 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||20 mpg city / 31 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|