Acura’s 377-horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD luxury-performance sedan will be on public display for the first time this week at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, showcasing Acura’s dynamic new three-motor hybrid system.
Acura said the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, which is expected to launch next spring, is the first vehicle to deploy Acura’s new three-motor hybrid powertrain technology. The system combines a direct-injected V-6 engine with an all-new, Acura-designed, 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor and an electrically powered variant of Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).
This advanced new hybrid powertrain is said by Acura to deliver exhilarating driving performance with incredibly responsive power delivery and precise, sure-footed handling. Acura added the RLX Sport Hybrid runs a 0-60 mph time comparable with competitor’s V8-powered machines.
This performance, however, is said by Acura to be coupled with a 28/32/30mpg (city/highway/combined) EPA fuel economy rating, which is in the range of 4-cylinder-powered luxury sedans.
The RLX Sport Hybrid’s 3.5-litre, 310-horsepower, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) includes an idle-stop feature to help maximize fuel efficiency. In automatic mode, the seven-speed transmission provides highly responsive and intuitive gear selection, including matching engine revs during downshifts, in manual mode, the Sequential SportShift paddle shifters give the driver gear selection control to make virtually seamless ratio changes.
Acura explained the electric SH-AWD system on the RLX Sport Hybrid eliminates the conventional drive shaft and rear differential, replacing them with two high-output 27-kilowatt electric motors. The rear motors dynamically distribute both positive (drive) and negative (regenerative braking) electric-motor torque, depending on driving conditions, and which torque vectoring assists in cornering. The system is further aided by a 35-kilowatt front electric motor that supplements engine torque to the front wheels and provides regenerative brake torque to charge the vehicle’s 260-volt lithium-ion battery pack.