Acura RLX Gets Fresh Looks, New 10-Speed Automatic for 2018

The 2018 Acura RLX receives the brand's new face

You can have the Acura RLX one of two ways. The RLX P-AWS now sends power to the front wheels through a new 10-speed automatic.

Underneath the new bodywork is a hybrid system for the RLX Sport Hybrid that is based on an all-wheel drive chassis and Acura's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD propulsion technology. Well, the 2018 Acura RLX has landed and it really wants you to take this "Sport Hybrid" thing seriously.

I'm skeptically excited, and I'm really happy Acura found a corporate grille that doesn't suck with that new down-pointing pentagon.

"This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle", Acura vice president and general manager, Jon Ikeda, said in a statement. Front-wheel drive remains standard with this engine, as does Acura's rear-wheel-steering system called Precision All-Wheel Steer.

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Acura has been giving their models a design upgrade and the next to get the upgrade will be the 2018 Acura RLX.

For 2018, the RLX will be available in two flavours. Both models use a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6, though the Sport Hybrid backs that up with three electric motors. Acura says that developments from the NSX have meant better all-weather and dynamic handling in the 2018 RLX. The newest feature is Traffic Jam Assist that works in conjunction with the adaptive cruise control's low-speed follow function to keep the auto in its lane and at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. The 377-hp Sport Hybrid version gets tuning upgrades to its powertrain and handling. A new Traffic Jam Assist feature will extend the adaptive cruise's functionality to stop-and-go driving.

In addition to a high level of standard equipment (the Sport Hybrid includes premium Krell Audio, surround view camera, heated/ventilated front seats for starters), the RLX also benefits from the AcuraWatch suite of driver assists. It includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation.

Hopefully, the stylish new looks and NSX supercar-derived tech will help the RLX drum up more interest in the showroom and among enthusiasts. The 2018 RLX will make its public debut at the upcoming Monterey Automotive Week in California on August 15-19, showcasing the complete redesign of the vehicle.

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