BY GERRY MILES
Everyone knows how tough it is to follow a legend. Ask Jay Leno about Johnny Carson, Carl Yastrzemski about following Ted Williams in left field for the Boston Red Sox, or anyone at Acura about the models that have had to follow their best flagship car – the Legend.
Since then there have been hits and misses, but the Legend stands out as the marque’s standard bearer. With a new 310 hp engine, more standard features that includes industry and Acura firsts and more, Acura hopes to quell the echoes and reminders that Legend was its best.
The model is offered in five different ways, begins at $48,450 and up to $60K with a raft of features that should make it quite desirable and certainly worth a look-see.
The official Acura presser with details follows below.
|Acura’s official press release|
|TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 15, 2013 – Acura announced today the all-new 2014 RLX is the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced sedan introduced by the luxury brand. Powered by an all-new 310-horsepower direct-injected V-6 engine, and featuring an array of Acura signature technologies, including Precision All-Wheel Steer™, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, and the next generation of the AcuraLink® connected car system, the RLX delivers new levels of technology-enhanced performance, comfort and convenience in Acura’s flagship sedan.Using smart packaging, advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight body design, along with fuel-saving i-VTEC with Variable Cylinder Management engine technology, the RLX delivers the most spacious five-passenger seating in its class along with a top-class EPA fuel economy rating of 20/31/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)1.With a longer wheelbase and wider greenhouse than competing mid-luxury sedans, the new RLX delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, mid-size luxury sedan package. The RLX boasts the longest rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), and best front (59.6 inches) and rear (57.0 inches) shoulder room in the mid-luxury class. The RLX advanced body design makes extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum, further aiding its outstanding fuel efficiency, straight-line performance, and superior handling agility.The new RLX reaches higher and farther into the high-end luxury sedan market with an incredible array of advanced safety, driver-assistive, and information and media technologies, including the standard next-generation AcuraLink™ connected car system, and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; along with available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system. Safety systems available on the RLX include technologies such as Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
Utilizing Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, along with seven airbags (including new driver’s knee airbag), the RLX is anticipated to earn top-level safety ratings – a 5-star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score, and IIHS “TOP SAFETY PICK+” rating, including a GOOD rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal collision test.
World technology firsts
U.S. Technology Firsts
Acura Technology Firsts
RLX MODEL RANGE – five grades:
Major RLX standard features by grade are as follows:
RLX with Navigation
RLX with Technology
RLX with Krell Audio
RLX with Advance
Rated at 310 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net), the V-6 powerplant in the RLX develops an additional 10 horsepower and 1 lb.-ft. of torque compared to the 3.7-liter engine equipped in the RL. For exceptional drivability, the RLX’s new 3.5-liter engine produces in excess of 90 percent of its peak torque over a very broad range of engine speeds, from 2,000 rpm to 6,600 rpm.
The new engine has impressive EPA- fuel economy ratings for a luxury sedan, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The 3.5-liter engine meets the stringent ULEV-2 California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions rating.
Static and dynamic rigidity and rear lateral stiffness are significantly improved. To increase stiffness and rigidity in key areas without increasing weight, 55 percent of the RLX body in white is made from high-strength steel. Hot-stamped high-strength steel is used in key areas for enhanced safety collision performance, with the added benefit of anticipated high scores in narrow offset, side impact, and roof strength tests. Extensive use of aluminum body components in key areas saves 76.1 pounds compared to traditional all-steel construction.
The 2014 RLX features the world’s first Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, which offer outstanding light distribution and excellent down-the-road illumination performance and light characteristics. The RLX taillights utilize periphery LED illumination that is both effective and highly distinctive.
In front, the RLX’s new double-wishbone, lower double-joint front suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers significantly improves handling agility, driver confidence and security, and ride sophistication. In back, the RLX’s multi-link rear suspension is optimized for a flat ride during cornering, confident turning capability, and a smooth ride in a variety of urban, highway and open road scenarios.
Available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a desired speed and a distance interval behind a vehicle detected ahead, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic. This system is combined with a new Low-Speed Follow capability, which extends the automatic following capability when traffic slows below the set speed. If the vehicle detected ahead is in range of the system and comes to a stop, the RLX will also come to a stop. When the vehicle ahead moves forward, the vehicle icon on the multi-information display will start to blink. With a press of a steering wheel-mounted button or a press of the accelerator pedal, the RLX will resume the prior set speed.
The RLX’s high-efficiency Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) enhances vehicle stability when cornering. If vehicle understeer or oversteer is detected, the system selectively reduces power and/or brakes individual wheels to help correct the condition and stabilize the vehicle.
Finally, the available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) scans the road ahead to actively assist the driver in driving in the middle of a detected lane.
The RLX and RLX with Navigation grades feature 7-spoke 18x8J noise-reducing alloy wheels while the Technology, Krell Audio and Advance grades feature larger 19x8J noise-reducing alloy wheels. The special noise-reducing design lowers tire noise by 7-decibels across the audible frequency range.
Passenger space has increased in key dimensions compared to the 2012 RL, with more shoulder room front and rear. Rear seat legroom has been increased a substantial 2.5-inches. Heated 12-way adjustable (8-way power plus 4-way power lumbar support) front seats are standard, offering all-day comfort along with abundant lateral support for aggressive driving.
Standard tri-zone climate control ensures passenger comfort throughout the cabin. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are standard in the Advance grade. Rich, luxurious stain-resistant Milano leather seating is standard in the RLX with Technology package and higher grades; the base grade has synthetic leather-trimmed seating.
With the expanded range of standard and available technology features built into the RLX, substantial engineering effort was put into making each feature intuitive and easy-to-use. The focal point of the new instrument panel is a large, 8-inch color audio/information screen that provides a range of useful information and access to an array of customizable features. When equipped with a navigation system, the screen positioned in this same location combines audio/information and navigation functions.
A 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen is positioned within easy reach controls the audio system and many other features. A secondary large, 8-inch color audio/information screen provides a range of useful information and access to an array of customizable features.
The RLX is equipped with the next-generation AcuraLink® cloud-based connected car system, delivering a comprehensive array of media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices. AcuraLink® leverages Pandora® interface for streaming audio and the Aha™ by Harman cloud-based interface to provide users with thousands of customizable cloud-based news, information and media feeds. The next-generation AcuraLink® also delivers an array of available, subscription-based, security and convenience features, such as AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and, for the first time, surface street traffic information.
The new generation of the system makes its debut in navigation-equipped trims of the 2014 Acura RLX, and will be available with three-tiers of service: the Standard Package, which is complimentary for three years, and the Connect and Premium Packages, which are subscriber-based services providing new levels of connectivity for the luxury customer.
Exceptional audio performance has long been an Acura hallmark, and in the RLX, three audio systems are offered, starting with an impressive Acura/ELS® 10-speaker sound system. In the RLX Technology grade, the Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System is standard, with an advanced 14-speaker array. In the Krell Audio and Advance grades, the 14-speaker Krell system — with speakers and amplifiers engineered over the last four years by one of the most respected audio companies in world — sets a new benchmark in automotive audio performance.
New Interior Technology
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Active safety technologies include Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Passive safety features include a next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors, driver’s knee airbag, front seat head restraints, and front seatbelt e-pretensioners.
The RLX is equipped with Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II(ACE™ II) body structure, which uses interconnected front frame members designed to absorb and redirect crash energy around the passenger cabin in a frontal collision.