You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2018 Acura RLX: Powering Ahead, Sans Beak

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 8/10/2017 JOSEPH CAPPARELLA

2018 Acura RLX 2018 Acura RLX: Powering Ahead, Sans Beak - Official Photos and Info Like the TLX and MDX before it, the Acura RLX has received a full beak-ectomy for its 2018 refresh. Acura’s largest sedan now wears the company’s new and geometrically impossible diamond pentagon grille, and we’re not sure the design is better for it. At least there are some mechanical and tech upgrades to go along with the questionable new look.

The most notable change to the dirty bits is a new 10-speed automatic transmission that mates to the standard 310-hp 3.5-liter V-6. This marks the first Acura application of this new Honda-developed transmission; it’s already in use in the 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan and soon will be installed in the redesigned 2018 Honda Accord. Front-wheel drive remains standard with this engine, as does Acura’s rear-wheel-steering system called Precision All-Wheel Steer. The company claims the new transmission will improve the RLX’s acceleration; for reference, a front-drive RLX with a six-speed automatic ran from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds in our testing.

Unchanged is the RLX Sport Hybrid’s drivetrain, which continues to use a 3.5-liter V-6 and three electric motors to create torque-vectoring all-wheel drive (called SH-AWD in Acura-speak). Acura brags that this driveline shares componentry from the NSX supercar’s hybrid setup, but it produces less power than that mid-engined stunner does—196 horsepower and 135 lb-ft less, to be specific, for totals of 377 horsepower and 341 lb-ft of torque.

2018 Acura RLX: Powering Ahead, Sans Beak© JOSEPH CAPPARELLA 2018 Acura RLX: Powering Ahead, Sans Beak

The RLX’s hood also has been reshaped, and its rear end gets new LED taillights and a black lower diffuser with two large exhaust tips. There are new wheel designs and two new paint colors, too, including the Brilliant Red Metallic pictured here and Majestic Black Pearl.

Inside, new front seats get contrasting piping and stitching, while certain materials and touchpoints are said to be richer than before. An Espresso interior color is a fresh option. Strangely, the revised RLX doesn’t receive the 2018 TLX’s updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a notable omission these days. Apparently the wait continues for Acura’s redesigned infotainment interface, first previewed last year.

A new Traffic Jam Assist feature is a significant addition to the RLX’s standard AcuraWatch bundle of active-safety features. This is the first Acura application of this new system, which can essentially follow a car ahead at low speeds by combining adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist in a fashion similar to Volvo’s Pilot Assist system.

When it goes on sale in November, the 2018 RLX should carry a starting price similar to the $55,400 and $60,900 it commands today for the standard V-6 and Sport Hybrid versions.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Car and Driver

Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon