Acura RLX is a flagship for the road, literally

Tatsuo Iwamura and Acura RLXAcura wants its new RLX sedan to be a road going Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The term “flagships” is often used to describe a company’s top model, but American Honda President Tatsuo Iwamura compared the RLX to the real thing. The biggest ship in Acura’s fleet was christened Wednesday at the New York Auto Show.

Like a naval flagship, Iwamura said a flagship car should be the most powerful and advanced vehicle in a company’s lineup. Acura’s old flagship, the RL, got that title from its size, not from any class-leading technologies or impressive performance numbers. Iwamura wants the RLX to be a leader for the Acura brand, introducing new technologies that will trickle down to other models. It works for Mercedes (think S-Class), so it should work for Acura.

The RLX’s biggest selling point is the all-wheel drive system it borrows from the NSX supercar. The second generation NSX was shown as a concept at the North American International Auto Show, featuring a hybrid powertrain with all-wheel drive. The NSX sat on the stage opposite the RLX, which is fitting because the sedan has the same setup. Acura calls the system Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All-Wheel Drive; it uses the hybrid drivetrain’s electric motors to shift power front-to-rear, or side-to-side, for better handling. The Sport Hybrid SH-AWD model will get most of its grunt from a 3.5-liter, direct-injected V6. Acura says the new engine will make over 370 horsepower, and get 30 mpg in all three EPA categories (city, highway, combined).

A base model with front wheel drive will also be offered. The non-hybrid powertrain in that RLX will only have 310 hp, but it will come with Precision All Wheel Steer four wheel steering.

In terms of styling, the RLX does what most big sedans do: look handsome and subtle. The crisper, more define lines are a huge improvement over the RL, but the new car does not set the world on fire. Iwamura joked that Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld will fighting over the RLX, just like in the NSX Super Bowl ad, but that probably won’t happen. Still, most luxury sedan buyers prefer a but of discretion, so the RLX might suit them perfectly.

The RLX is officially a conceot car, which is another way of saying that Acura didn’t want to divulge specifics like price. If Acura wants to compete with established luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW, the RLX will have to take on their flagships: the S-Class and 7 Series. The old RL was not in the same league as those cars, so it will be interesting to see how Acura tries to place the RLX in the luxury segment.

Cars

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.
Cars

The best minivans you can buy aren’t just for soccer moms

It may be hard for some buyers to accept, but the best minivans are incredibly versatile vehicles. They were developed specifically to haul people, and the best ones on the market don't feel like a penalty box. Check our list and see for…
Cars

We found the best trucks for everyone (including truck haters)

Pickup trucks have evolved to meet the demands of a shifting marketplace. They now have to compete with cars and crossovers, as well as other trucks. Here are the best trucks currently on the market.
Cars

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.
Cars

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Cars

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Business

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.
Cars

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.
Cars

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.
Cars

In Moab, Jeep isn’t just having fun off-road; it’s planning its future

Every year, Jeep travels to the Moab Easter Safari to unveil a handful of concept cars. Some are based on production models, while others are classic rigs upgraded with modern components. It's fun, but the company is also planning its…
Cars

What car wouldn’t be better with this 1,000-horsepower Hellephant engine?

The "Hellephant" is a 1,000-horsepower Hemi V8 "crate engine" that can be dropped into any pre-1976 car. It references one of the greatest muscle car engines in history, but incorporates modern tech from Dodge's Hellcat motor.