Honda's luxury division ups its game with a new sedan to rival the likes of the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus GS.
If you're looking for a full-size luxury sedan, your choices are mostly limited to Europeans. Japan's sole contender is the Lexus LS. But one step down from there, the market is thick with competitors. Challenging the German benchmarks are Japanese rivals like the Lexus GS, Infiniti M and the Acura RL. The latter has stood as a technologically advanced but rather lackluster entry in the segment, but now Honda's luxury division has stepped in with the new RLX that could be a real game-changer for Acura.
Showcased in concept form in New York, the 2014 Acura RLX has now made its production debut at the LA Auto Show, packing the latest technologies into an more attractive form adorned with intricate bejeweled LED lamps at both ends of an elegant flagship luxury sedan. For starters, the RLX features a new Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system that individually and electronically adjust the angle of the rear wheels to optimize handling. There's also an adaptive cruise control system, Agile Handling Assist, multi-angle rear camera and a Krell sound system that uses the new AcuraLink cloud connectivity network.
All that tech is packed into a chassis made of aluminum and high-strength steel to trim 275 pounds from the previous RL's curb weight, motivated by 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection and cylinder deactivation to deliver 310 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid version with 370 horsepower is also in the cards for later next year.