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Acura Aims to Redefine Itself with RLX Flagship

Luxury maker counting on new design and advanced technology to lure in new buyers.

by on Nov.30, 2012

Acura loses the peak but gains a new LED lighting system with the 2014 RLX flagship.

It was the brand that proved Japanese automakers could compete in the luxury segment but in recent years Acura has been little more than an after-thought, lost behind mainstream high-line marques like Lexus and German giants Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

But Acura is hoping to redefine itself with the launch of its all-new flagship model, the RLX.  Larger and more lavish than the existing Acura line-up, the maker gave a hint of what it had in mind with a concept version at last April’s New York Auto Show. The production version of the Acura RLX is now on display at the LA Auto Show.

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A casual viewer might first notice what executive Jeff Conrad demurely described as a “redesigned Acura grille.” That addresses what may have been the single most controversial aspect of recent Acura design, the massive chromed “beak,” as critics derisively called it.

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Acura Unveils New RLX “Flagship” Concept

Offers new hybrid torque-vectoring technology.

by on Apr.05, 2012

The new Acura RLX flagship will be offered with a high-tech torque vectoring system.

Acura continues its efforts to reposition itself as a major luxury player, rather than an upscale also-ran, with the NY Auto Show unveiling of the all-new RLX “flagship.”

The new model  compliments several other recent product roll-outs, acting as the top-line counterpart to the new Acura ILX entry-luxury sedan.  The RLX, which upgrades the aging RL model, largely abandons the Acura brand’s much-maligned “beak” grille while introducing a more powerful engine family that includes a high-tech way of shifting torque to help steer through corners.

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The new model is the centerpiece of a design and engineering strategy that American Honda calls “human-centered engineering,” or as CEO Tetsuo Iwamura puts it, “man-maximum/machine-minimum.”

Though roughly the same size, the styling of the new RLX is more sporty and up-market than the outgoing RL – as well as most other recent Acura entries with the exception of the NSX supercar concept the maker previewed at the Detroit Auto Show last January.

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