Acura Unveils a Redesigned RLX for 2018

Acura’s flagship ditches the dreaded beak.

byEric Brandt|
Acura Unveils a Redesigned RLX for 2018

Acura revealed a fully-redesigned 2018 model of its flagship RLX sedan Wednesday. The refreshed sedan is in line with the new design language at Acura, most notably the adoption of a “diamond pentagon grille”, a new signature that’s a very welcome replacement for the hideous chrome beak that’s been plaguing otherwise good looking Acuras for almost a decade.

“This redesign of the 2018 Acura RLX is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Acura vice president and general manager John Ikeda.

The new body is sculpted into a distinguished design that exudes the presence of both luxury and performance that Acura is going for. Nobody will mistake this car for an NSX, but a few borrowed design cues from the supercar went a long way.

Speaking of which, the new RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD shares hybrid and AWD tech with the NSX. It will make 377 horsepower thanks to a V6 and three electric motors. Acura’s excellent torque-vectoring all-wheel drive should make for sure-footed performance for a full-size sedan.

The non-hybrid RLX will have 310 horsepower and come standard with precision all-wheel steer. It will have with a 10-speed automatic transmission that Acura promises will provide refined driving experience with smooth shifts and better acceleration.

The new interior isn’t anything revolutionary, but it looks like a roomy, comfortable place to be. It’s not much different from the current RLX with two screens in the center stack, tasteful wood interior accents, and lots of curves.

Like the current model, the AcuraWatch suite of safety tech is standard which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and other tech you’d expect to find in a car in this class. A new addition to AcuraWatch is traffic jam assist which is a sort of modification to adaptive cruise control specifically for congested traffic. It keeps you in your lane and at a safe distance from the car in front of you theoretically making traffic jams less stressful.

The new Acura RLX will make its debut in the flesh at Monterey Automotive Week August 15-19.