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by Adam Lynton
Acura has previewed the new RLX by bringing a thinly-veiled hybrid concept to the New York Auto Show.
The RLX will replace the RL as Honda's premium brand's flagship model, and the production model is slated for launch in North America at the beginning of 2013. Acura's full-size sedan is around the same length as the current RL, with a two-inch longer wheelbase and two-inch shorter front overhang. Track and vehicle width increase by around two inches. As seen on the smaller ILX, the so-called concept's styling evolves the 'Keen Edge' design language, which is based on taut and aerodynamic shapes and proportions.
The stance is enhanced by 20-inch forged alloys, although these aren't expected to feature on the production model. Under the hood, the RLX concept packs an all-new 3.5-liter V6 mater to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, as well as featuring an advanced Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system that helps boost overall power to 370p. Acura predicts V8-performance with an estimated combined fuel economy of 30mpg. The production 2013 RLX will also be offered sans electric-AWD system, with the 3.5-liter V6 producing 310hp.
The FWD variant will come with plenty of handling-improving technology including a new double-wishbone front suspension, Amplitude Reactive Dampers, and a multi-link rear suspension. Handling should be further improved thanks to a curb weight of "well under 4,000 pounds (1800kg)." "We have created a true luxury sedan based on our Acura DNA," commented Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda CEO. "This means achieving advanced performance through engineering efficiency to create a unique synergy between the vehicle and its driver," he added.