7. Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
If not groundbreaking in its merely attractive exterior design, Acura’s new flagship sports hybrid is off-the-front with its three-motor hybrid system and all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring.
The 377-horsepower sedan uses a new technologically innovative gas-electric powertrain, and a system sharing this design will be adopted in the reprise of the NSX supercar in 2015.
The three-motor hybrid system combines a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine with a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The electric motors facilitate an electrically powered variant of Acura’s highly regarded torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).
The RLX Sport Hybrid runs 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds, competitive with V8s, but its EPA rating is 28 city, 32 highway, 30 combined, or more like a four-cylinder.
Priced from the 60s, it’s kind of high, so ranked last for this reason and also because it’s not yet being sold, but dealers are expected to be getting them around now or soon.
Its market acceptance needs to be seen, but it sends a message that Honda/Acura is back in the driver’s seat with hybridization.