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Acura RLX Sport Hybrid: A Surprise Sleeper?

There aren’t many sleepers produced right from the factory anymore. Everyone knows when you’re packing a solid amount of horsepower these days. We managed to find one though, and it’s arrived in the form of the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid.

It looks like a mild-mannered premium sedan on the outside. Under the skin, however, it’s packing a combined power output of 377 horsepower. Additionally, it’s making use of three electric motors to help send torque to exactly where it’s needed. It’s the first production use of an all-electric Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive-System, otherwise known as SH-AWD.

That’s damn near supercar tech… in a car that’s going under the radar for all the wrong reasons. Say hello to a true sleeper.

[Disclaimer: Acura tossed us the keys to the RLX Sport Hybrid and included a tank of gas. We proceeded to drive the car in a fairly un-hybrid like manner yet still saw nearly 30 miles per gallon being returned.]

  • CraigSu

    Glad to see Acura has finally figured out its front-end look. That beak looks downright attractive now.

    Krell is primarily well-known among audiophiles for insanely expensive built-like-a-tank amplifiers that produce incredibly accurate sound. I didn’t realize they already did it but your description sounds dead-on for what I would expect if they built a car audio system.

    • Jeff Glucker

      Interesting… yeah the sound system in this car was pretty amazing.

    • I really didn’t notice the grille area until you mentioned it. And then I realized that’s a huge recommendation because this was the first Acura in a while that didn’t make me immediately go, “Gah! That grille!”

      It really does look good.

  • Kiefmo

    I watched this yesterday and was unsure what to think. I like it, but my mind was mostly set to fantasizing where that powertrain could trickle down next. Could it be sufficiently beefed up to be added to a mid-gen refresh Ridgeline and Pilot to make a truck/SUV with V8-like power (let’s be real, 380hp/tq IS V8 power, especially when it’s got the low-down grunt of electric motors helping out) that hits 30 mpg on regular AND, thanks to aforementioned electric grunt, is more efficient while towing AND/OR gets better mpg while towing?

    Could we finally see an AWD Odyssey option that gets north of 30mpg? Maybe even paired with Honda’s forthcoming 2.0T instead of the V6 for [potentially] greater efficiency while being “quick enough for a minivan”?

    Could it be downsized sufficiently to make an ILX sport hybrid that uses a 2.0L iteration of the earth dreams K-series?

    I suddenly want this tech everywhere in the range. Everywhere.

  • And for those of us wanting a dull-to-mildly-unattractive Acura sleeper on 1/10th the budget, there’s the 3.2CL Type-S.


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