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Old 18 Apr 2012, 06:27 am
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Default Acura RLX Concept looks to kickstart Honda's premium brand from the top [w/video]

From AB

NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 – Acura today held the world debut of the
Acura RLX Concept at the New York International Auto Show, providing
luxury buyers with a first look at the design and engineering
direction for its all-new Acura RLX flagship sedan, slated for launch
at the beginning of 2013.

The RLX Concept employs an extraordinary array of new Acura
technologies, including the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, in
combination with sophisticated styling and smart packaging to deliver
an entirely new level of performance, sophistication and comfort.

Utilizing highly efficient packaging, the RLX Concept delivers the
interior space of a large luxury sedan with the footprint and agility
of a midsize luxury sedan. The RLX Concept's all-new 3.5L
direct-injected VTEC® V-6 engine and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system
combine to generate more than 370-horsepower, and are paired with a
7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and lightweight body to deliver
V-8 acceleration with four-cylinder fuel economy-with an estimated EPA
(city/highway/combined) rating of 30/30/30 mpg.

"We have created a true luxury sedan based on our Acura
DNA," said American Honda president & CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura.
"This means achieving advanced performance through engineering
efficiency to create a unique synergy between the vehicle and its
driver. Inside and out, on the open road or city streets, the
sophisticated and elegant Acura RLX will offer a level of
connectivity, comfort and advanced performance demanded by today's
luxury buyers."
Acura also announced that the production RLX will be offered in a
310-horsepower, front-wheel-drive version, which will also deliver
superior handling performance through the application of another new
Acura technology- Precision All Wheel Steer™.

The RLX Concept styling builds on Acura's 'Keen Edge' design motif
with its taut and aerodynamic shape, carefully tailored proportions,
and sophisticated and distinctive detailing. Its athletic stance is
accented by 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and 255/35 R20
high-performance tires. Dimensionally, the RLX Concept is
approximately the same length as the current RL, but with a two-inch
longer wheelbase and two-inch shorter front overhang. Both the track
and vehicle width increase by approximately two inches.

Acura's exclusive new Jewel Eye™ LED headlamps debut on the RLX
Concept. The Acura signature Jewel Eye™ headlamps use a dual-stacked
array with a total of eight separate high-intensity LED lamps, with
ultra-reflective optical lenses and high-gloss trim, to provide
powerful down-the-road illumination while simultaneously giving the
RLX a highly distinctive and bright-eyed look in both daytime and
nighttime conditions.

Body and Chassis
Through engineering efficiency, including substantial use of
high-strength steel and aluminum, the RLX Concept achieves an
ultra-rigid and light body design, with the front wheel drive version
to weigh in at well under 4,000 pounds. An all-new double wishbone
front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, Amplitude Reactive
Dampers and electronic power steering with a variable gear ratio team
to provide the foundation for the RLX's precise and intuitive handling
control - termed by Acura as "Inomama" or "at the will
of the driver."

Front-wheel-drive versions of RLX will utilize Acura's all-new
Precision All Wheel Steer™ system. This system provides for
independent control of the steering (toe) angle of the right and left
rear wheels by utilizing electrically controlled actuators. Precision
All Wheel Steer™ works in tandem with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)
and Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) steering to deliver an extraordinary
level of cornering control and steering precision.

All-wheel-drive RLX models add even more handling performance with
Acura's highly advanced Sport-Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super-Handling All-Wheel
Drive), recently introduced at the 2012 North American International
Auto Show on the NSX Concept. The performance hybrid system utilizes a
unique dual electric motor drive unit with a bilateral torque
adjustable control system to instantly generate negative or positive
torque to the rear wheels during cornering. This provides a new level
of agility and confidence to create an
"on-the-rails-cornering" experience.

The Acura RLX will offer an extensive array of passive and active
safety features. These include a Collision Mitigation Braking System™
and the first application of Acura's Lane Keep Assist System. In
addition, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning will be
offered as standard equipment on the RLX.

Passive safety features will include front, side and side-curtain
airbags for the driver and front passenger, and a driver's knee
airbag. The RLX also incorporates the second generation of Acura's
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, with
reinforced front frame members for further enhanced frontal crash
energy management. The RLX is expected to achieve a 5-Star Overall
Vehicle Score from NHTSA and TOP SAFETY PICK status from IIHS.

Advanced Telematics
In keeping with the 'human-centered synergy' focus of Acura, the RLX
will feature state-of-the-art communications, navigation and
infotainment technologies with intuitive and easy-to-operate controls.
Dual LCD screens (8-inch display and 7-inch touch screen) will provide
easy and direct one-touch access to key functions - including audio,
heating and cooling, navigation and voice-to-text SMS text message

The RLX will also feature the first application of the next-generation
AcuraLink® Communication System, which incorporates built-in two-way
cellular communication to deliver an array of new convenience
features, including airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle
tracking, remote locking and unlocking, security alarm notification
and concierge service.

An all-new, 14-speaker ultra premium audio system will be offered in
addition to Acura's award winning ELS Surround® sound system. Both
audio systems provide MP3 connectivity via USB along with integration
of HD radio™, Pandora® internet radio interface and Aha Radio®
interface via Bluetooth® smart phone pairing. Using Aha Radio®, RLX
drivers can create personalized web-based radio stations and receive
audio updates from Facebook and Twitter. In addition, a new
Acura-exclusive smart phone application integrates smart phone
functions (such as email, text messaging and contacts) into the RLX's
on-demand touch screen functions. Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® calling
and pre-loaded text message replies provide for easy two-way

The RLX also will be available with Acura Navigation System with Voice
Recognition™. This innovative system offers the driver a wide range of
search options including Bing™ search functionality and the option for
an AcuraLink® concierge to send a destination to the vehicle's
navigation system. In addition, the RLX navigation system will feature
AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ for both highways and surface streets.

Acura Brand
With a focus on 'human-centered synergy,' Acura is embarking on its
next 25 years as a pioneering and innovative performance-luxury
nameplate and is undertaking an aggressive revitalization of its Acura
product and technology portfolio.

The RLX Concept is Acura's fourth new model debut since January 2012,
when Acura took the wraps of its redesigned RDX Protoype crossover
SUV, all-new Acura ILX Concept sedan, and next-generation Acura NSX
Concept supercar, at the North American International Auto Show in

Following the introduction of the production versions of the more
powerful and fuel-efficient 2013 RDX in March, and the all-new 2013
Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid sedans in May, the production RLX will launch
in early 2013. The next-generation Acura NSX, being developed by Honda
R&D Americas in the U.S., will be produced in Ohio using
domestically and globally sourced parts and launched within the next
three years.

Acura is projecting annual an annual sales volume of 180,000 vehicles
for the brand in 2012, which would represent a nearly 50 percent
increase over 2011 sales results.
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