The engine for all RLX models is a 3.5-liter, 310-horsepower V-6 engine that features Direct Gas Injection, Variable Cylinder Management™ and the Acura i-VTEC® system.
- Intelligent Variable Timing and lift Control (i-VTEC®) increases horsepower by advancing valve timing relative to engine rpm. High-rpm airflow is enhanced by opening intake valves longer and deeper at approximately 4500 rpm.
- Variable Cylinder Management™ significantly improves highway fuel efficiency by automatically changing the V-6 engine to run on six or three cylinders, depending on driving conditions. The cylinder activation is seamless and not felt by driver or passengers.
- Direct Gas Injection injects fuel directly into each cylinder with a multi-hole injector for a more precise and effective air fuel mixture. It also uses significantly less fuel when the engine is being started.
- Fuel that is injected directly into the cylinder also has a cooling effect, which allows the power-increasing effects of a higher compression ratio without engine knocking.
- The Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system varies throttle sensitivity to provide the appropriate throttle response and feel to different driving conditions.
- For front-drive models, the net result is an engine that produces 310 horsepower at 6500 rpm, 272 lbs.-ft. of torque (both SAE net) at 4500 rpm (both SAE net) while having an EPA Fuel Economy Ratings27 of 20 / 31 / 24 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Sport Hybrid 3-Motor System
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Feature
The RLX Sport Hybrid uses a modified version of the 3.5-liter, V-6 engine found in the front-drive RLX. It is also rated at 310 horsepower. Joining the engine in powering the front wheels is a 47 horsepower electric motor located in the transmission housing. There are two additional 36 horsepower motors mounted side by side between the rear wheels. Each rear motor powers a single rear wheel and they operate independently of each other. A lithium-ion battery powers the three motors. When the vehicle is decelerating, the motors charge the battery.
- During hard acceleration, the engine and three motors combine to produce 377 horsepower66.
- The EPA Fuel Economy Ratings27 are 28 / 32 / 30 mpg (city /highway/combined).
- A Power Distribution Unit located under the center console monitors driving inputs, load levels and vehicle status to determine the necessary power requirements from the engine and three electric motors and distribute the power to the front and reach rear wheel.
- Generally, starts from a stop use just the rear motors. Continued acceleration brings in engine power, though low speed cruising can continue to use electricity only.
- For highway efficiency, high speed, steady cruising generally has the front wheels driven by the engine, which is likely running on just three cylinders due to the Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) system. Acceleration from a highway speed adds three more cylinders and/or the power from the motors depending on conditions.
- A start-stop system can automatically shut the engine down when the vehicle is stopped and then seamlessly restart it when the acceleration pedal is engaged.
- All transitions between engine and motor power use are transparent to the driver and passengers.
6-Speed Sequential SportShift Automatic
Standard Front-Wheel Drive Feature
The 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters gives you the best of both worlds by providing the convenience of precise and intuitive automatic shifting as well as shift-for-yourself control.
- Set the transmission to "Drive" for smooth gear changes with an emphasis on fuel efficiency. Select "Sport" for quicker acceleration, as the transmission allows the engine to rev higher before up-shifting.
- The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters deliver quick, precise shifts at your fingertips.
- Tapping a paddle shifter while in "Drive" brings a quick gear change with automatic operation returning when reaching a steady speed. This allows you to make quick gear changes without changing in and out of manual mode.
- Using a paddle shifter in "Sport" puts the transmission into full manual mode, where you'll have complete control in instances such as high-performance or hilly driving.
- For better climbing or increased downhill engine braking, Grade Logic Control instructs the transmission to hold a lower gear when encountering a steep uphill or downhill grade.
Motor Integrated 7-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Feature
An integral part of the Sport Hybrid drivetrain is the 7-Speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters transmission. Originally developed for racing, the dual clutch design shifts faster, smoother and with greater efficiency than conventional automatic transmissions.
- The transmission has one clutch for odd numbered forward gears (1, 3, 5, 7) and a second for even (2, 4, 6).
- While one clutch is engaged with the currently operating gear, sensors predict if the next gear change will be an upshift or a downshift. The second clutch then prepares the next gear ratio for engagement. When the shift occurs, it is instant with negligible loss of engine torque occurring during the transition.
- The transmission is controlled “by wire” and operated through the Electronic Gear Selector in the center console. After pushing “drive” any manual gear changing is done with the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
- Tapping a paddle shifter while in “Drive” brings a quick gear change with automatic operation returning when reaching a steady speed. This allows you to make quick gear changes without changing in and out of manual mode.
- Using a paddle shifter in “Sport” puts the transmission into full manual mode, where you’ll have complete control in instances such as high-performance or hilly driving.
The remarkable handling performance of the RLX is a result of double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspensions.
- The front design incorporates a dual lower arm that creates a virtual kingpin at the center of the front wheel's width to reduce torque steer.
- Anti-dive properties keep the body stable during braking.
- To maintain composure in hard cornering, the rear multi-link design features anti-squat geometry to reduce pitching under acceleration and also isolates springs and dampers from lateral forces.
- All four corners are fitted with exclusive Amplitude Reactive Dampers, which feature two piston valves per damper (a.k.a. shock absorber) rather than one. The main valve helps absorb minor road vibration, while the second one is stiffer, reigning in a larger suspension motion for improved stability.
- Thick front and rear stabilizer bars control body roll for flatter cornering.
- Agile Handling Assist® uses the active braking components of the Variable Stability Assist system to help the driver maneuver through the desired line of a curve.
Precision All-Wheel Steer
Standard Front Wheel Drive Feature
Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS®) is designed to deliver an unprecedented level of handling precision and control. It's the first system that enables the rear wheels to adjust toe angles independently of each other. Working in concert with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)12 and the Agile Handling Assist®, P-AWS® helps enhance vehicle stability, maneuverability, and control.
- The rear wheels can pivot as much as 1.8 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels for smooth, stable and quick lane changes.
- When cornering, the rear wheels angle slightly in the opposite direction from the front wheels (reverse-phase) to help rotate the car into the turn.
- At low speeds, reverse-phase steering helps the RLX maneuver in tight areas.
- In high-speed braking, each rear wheel angles inward, increasing braking ability and stability.
Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)
Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Feature
The original Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system by Acura stunned the world with its ability to direct engine power from the front to rear and side to side. The industry even coined the term “torque vectoring” to describe its unique abilities. The rear electric motors of the hybrid system are a major advancement to this leading edge handling system.
- When the RLX Sport Hybrid enters a curve, the rear outside motor spins its wheel slightly faster to help rotate the RLX through the turn. In addition, the rear motor on the inside of the curve creates electrically-generated drag on its wheel, further contributing to the rotating motion (called “Yaw”).
- With the front tires no longer bearing the full load of changing the car’s direction, the sharp turn-in response makes the RLX shockingly nimble and responsive, particularly for a car its size.
- Power generated by the rear inside wheel, is directed to the rear outside wheel, allowing the handling benefits with little draw from the battery.
- The electrically-driven rear wheels perform these actions in a curve automatically and do not require the driver to accelerate through the turn to create the yaw effect, unlike past SH-AWD models.
- The system is just as effective in poor weather where the power can be directed to tires with more traction and away from those with very little.
Agile Handling Assist
Agile Handling Assist® uses the components of the Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)12 system to help improve handling. While VSA® steps in to brake individual wheels to avoid oversteer or understeer, the Agile Handling Assist® uses active braking, usually on an inside wheel to help the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line through a curve with smaller steering inputs.