Acura brings refreshed 2018 RLX to Monterey Car Week

The 2018 Acura RLX receives the brand's new face

With the Monterey Car Week set to take place real soon, Acura has lifted the wraps off of the 2018 RLX.

Inside, the 2018 Acura RLX receives upgraded materials and a completely redesigned seat featuring high-contrast piping and stitching, as well as a new Espresso interior option. The two powertrains will give the choice of either gas or gas-hybrid.

Leading the changes is a new front end - gone is the so-called beak, in favour of a front end largely inspired by the Acura Precision Concept. It's not much different from the current RLX with two screens in the center stack, tasteful wood interior accents, and lots of curves.

Acura's top-of-the-line sedan features Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH SH-AWD) technology that is shared with the NSX supercar and the MDX SH SH-AWD SUV. The base model will come mated to a 10-speed auto transmission.

Should you be swayed by electrification, though, there's the RLX Sport Hybrid. Apparently the wait continues for Acura's redesigned infotainment interface, first previewed past year.

I have been accused of being the only person under 50 who gets excited by late-model Acuras, and that may be, but I think anybody can appreciate the potential coolness of an all-wheel drive 377 horsepower direct-injection-V6-plus-three-electric-motor luxury sedan. It's handsome and sure to be less divisive than before.

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The RLX Sport Hybrid sits atop the Acura sedan range.

Key styling changes include the addition of the brand's new diamond pentagon grille highlighted by a massive Acura badge, a sculpted hood and jagged LEDs running along the headlights and taillights.

AcuraWatch, the company's suite of active safety tech, was standard on the old RLX and that's carried over to the 2018 model too.

Other standard features include a premium Krell Audio System, Surround View Camera, parking sensors, LED fog lights, remote engine start, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel and more. These include forward collision mitigation and emergency braking, lane departure warning and keeping, road departure mitigation, and others.

Like the current model, the AcuraWatch suite of safety tech is standard which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and other tech you'd expect to find in a vehicle in this class. However, it's joined now with Traffic Jam Assist.

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