Acura Takes Wraps off Powerful RLX Sport Hybrid Performance Sedan

Acura recently unveiled the performance version of its new 2014 RLX midsize premium sedan--the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD--at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The RLX Sport Hybrid produces the equivalent of more than 370 horsepower. It will reach Acura dealer showrooms later this year. The 2014 RLX, which went on sale this year in March, is the successor to Acura's RL flagship sedan.

The new 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid Super Handling-AWD model is a prototype for the most powerful and technologically advanced sedan ever produced by Acura, according to the automaker. The premium model is powered by a hybrid system that delivers close to 377 horsepower with what Acura calls "V-8 power and 4-cylinder fuel economy."

A 3.5-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine is mated with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and three high-output electric motors. Each rear wheel is powered by a separate electric motor. A front electric motor recaptures braking energy to recharge the RLX's Lithium-ion battery, and the car also features an auto start/stop system for added fuel efficiency. Acura estimates that the RLX Sport Hybrid will average 30 mpg in combined highway and city driving.

The RLX Sport Hybrid sedan also features a head-up display with driver information on the windshield. LED headlamps and special audio systems also are special features, including a premium ELS Studio system or a Krell audio system. Both include 14 speakers.

Although pricing has not been announced, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will likely be several thousand dollars more expensive than the 2014 front-wheel-drive model, which can reach upwards of $61,000 for the top trim level.

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