Posts Tagged ‘RLX’

2016 Acura RLX Gets AcuraWatch & Reduced Trims

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package

Acura is looking to simultaneously simplify and revitalize their lineup. They’ve been systematically revamping some of their low-performing models like the ILX and TLX, both of which have done quite well since their respective upgrades. The 2016 Acura RLX is next on the list with under 200 sales in January of this year. But, Acura believes they can boost performance by injecting more bang-for-your-buck into their flagship sedan.

The biggest upgrade Acura is adding to the RLX is the addition of their new AcuraWatch safety suite. AcuraWatch is, as the name implies, a collection of electronic driver aids including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warnings
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring
  • Road Departure Mitigation (which will also debut in the new 2016 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot)
  • Surround-view monitor, which gives you a birds-eye view of your RLX (Advance trim only)

As you can see, that’s quite an extensive range of safety features! It should be noted that AcuraWatch is available on all trims, but only included as standard on Technology and Advance RLX models.

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package Slate Silver

The other change that will apply to all trims is a slightly re-tuned suspension. The 2016 Acura RLX will run on a softer rear stabilizer bar, lower spring rates, new front and rear shocks and new spring mounts. All in all, these changes are aimed at improving overall ride quality with lower levels of road noise nad vibration.

Under the hood, the 2016 Acura RLX remains exactly the same. That means you’ll get a 3.5L V6 that outputs a very decent 310 horsies paired with a FWD 6-speed automatic. Or, you can opt for the RLX Sport Hybrid and get an AWD 7-speed dual-clutch transmission hooked up to three extra electric motors – one in the front, two in the rear – which together increase total system output to 377 hp.

Note: This is the same type of hybrid system as used in the new Acura NSX supercar.

2016 Acura RLX Technology Package

Despite all of this, the biggest change that most average consumers will notice is the removal of last year’s base trim, since navigation is now standard on all models. Acura has gone the minimal route with just three trims for 2016, down from five for the previous model year.

2016 Acura RLX interior

On sale now, the starting price is $50,950 for the Acura RLX, then $54,450 for the Technology Package and $60,450 for the Advance Package. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid will start at $60,450 when it hits showroom floors later this spring.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

Now here is a car from Honda which needs no updating. It’s one of Honda’s newest models, having been on the market for a mere three years since its launch near the end of 2013.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ rear

Under that pearl white hood you’ll find Honda’s next-gen sport hybrid i-DCD system that combines a 130 hp 1.5L direct-injection engine with a 30 hp motor and Honda Real Time AWD. That mouth-full of technology gets you a staggering 63.5 mpg by US standards.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ interior

We love the sporty black accents that dot the car’s exterior, and it’s hard to argue with those eye-catching gunmetal alloys. Learn more about this pristine Japanese car auction find below the official auction sheet:

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, exterior condition A, FAT, AAC, safety package, LED headlights, DVD video, CD, Bluetooth, SD audio, USB, auxilliary at front and rear, rear view reversing camera, power steering, power windows, original AWs, ABS, airbags, marks as per map”

5th Generation Honda Legend Unveiled for JDM

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Honda has just revealed the newest version of their JDM Honda Legend flagship sedan. Our more seasoned readers will recall a time when the Honda Legend was a US nameplate some 30 years ago, but these days it’s restricted to Japanese shores. Still, this newest model, which will be the fifth-generation of the nameplate to see production in Japan, may look familiar to our US readers…

2015 Honda Legend JDM

Ring any bells?

It should – it looks almost exactly like the new-for-this-year 2014 Acura RLX. In fact, the only difference is the Honda badging; the JDM Honda Legend is a rebadged Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. Honda doesn’t use the Acura nameplate in Japan, which explains the different nomenclature. Even though it’s under a different name, though, it’s still the same impressive sedan that we haven’t written nearly enough about, so we jumped at the chance to showcase the new model. Plus, “Legend” has a much more awe-inspiring ring to it than “RLX”.

Japan’s new Honda Legend will feature all the breakthrough technologies that have made the Acura RLX such a noteworthy premium model. In particular, drivers will enjoy Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steering (PAWS) paired with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), both of which are essential to make the most of Honda’s advanced hybrid powertrain.

Speaking of powertrains, the new Legend will ride on a 3.5L V6 direct-injection i-VTEC engine with Honda’s seven-speed DCT (dual clutch transmission).

In addition to the advanced performance technologies discussed above, the new Honda legend will also get Sensing – Honda’s newest suite of driver assistive technologies. They include:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Honda LaneWatch

You can learn more about each of those on the official Honda Sensing page.

According to the JCO8 test standards used in Japan, the 2015 Honda Legend will be rated at 39.5 mpg (16.8 km/L). In addition to the simple fact that this is a hybrid sedan, the high fuel economy is achieved with Variable Cylinder Management technology, which allows the Legend to idle 3 out of 6 cylinders when the extra oomph isn’t needed.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2009 Honda Legend

2009 Honda Legend sedan

If you just can’t wait until next year to get your own Honda Legend, or if you live outside Japan and feel drawn to the Legend nameplate, we found a 2009 model for you in our Integrity Exports Japanese car auction database. As you can see, it bears a striking resemblance to the upcoming model even though it’s a full five years-old. The biggest difference is in the grille.

2009 Honda Legend auction find

Honda refreshed the Legend for the 2009MY. This is the same car that was, at the time, still available in Europe. Noteworthy features about this model include:

  • An upgraded 3.7L VTEC engine with a new 5-speed transmission
  • 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 seconds thanks to a 20% increase in mid-range torque
  • A host of new noise reduction technologies, eg: Bose Active Noise Cancellation, sound deadening mat, acoustic windshield
  • Both front and rear heated seats
  • Bose sound system with USB connectivity
  • Re-tuned suspension for superior handling

And of course, you’ll still enjoy incredible driving dynamics with Honda’s advanced SH-AWD system, which you know is good since it stood the test of time and continues in today’s models.

Keep reading below the auction sheet for a full rundown of this 2009 Honda Legend’s specs:

2009 Honda Legend auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered September 2009, I Advance Package model, 4WD, DBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, original HDD navigation system, digital TV, rear view reversing camera, leather air seats, smart key, cruise control, HID, airbag, original AWs, power steering, power windows, leather steering wheel, paddle shift, corner sensors exterior paintwork has minor scratches, front windscreen stone scratches, marks as per map”

Honda S and C Production Models Coming to Auto Shanghai

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Auto Shanghai is just around the corner, so previews are rolling in full swing this week and next. Auto Shanghai 2013 is looking to be a particularly interesting automotive show because now more than ever, automakers are recognizing the Chinese market as a massive opportunity for growth.

We’ve already covered two new vehicles that will be coming to Shanghai next week – the Nissan Friend-ME and the Suzuki Authentics concepts. Today we’re going to be talking about production models, not concepts, and they’re going to be coming from Honda and Acura, not Nissan and Suzuki.

So, without further ado, here are the vehicles that Honda/Acura will bring to Auto Shanghai 2013:

Honda Concept S

Honda C Production Model

It’s been almost exactly one year since we were first exposed to the Honda Concept C sedan and Concept S compact minivan (below) at the Beijing Auto Show last year. In that time, both cars have been sufficiently tweaked and tuned, and they’re both ready for production later this year.

For those of you who need a refresher course, the Honda C is a China-exclusive family-sized sedan with aggressive design elements. Similar to the Nissan Friend-ME we talked about last week, the Honda C was designed solely by Honda’s Chinese partners. The “C” apparently stands for China, Challenge, and Cool, if that tells you anything. It’ll be exciting to see just how much of the “Cool” Honda’s kept since the innovative concept we saw last year.

Honda S Production Model

Where the Honda C is Cool, Chinese and Challenging, the Honda S is Stylish, Smart and Surprising. This is a hybrid compact minivan with a very futuristic-feeling design, like if you’d fused a Formula 1 with a minivan and a spaceship.

But! That’s not to say I don’t like the Honda S. The compact SUV segment is exploding; why not try a compact minivan? Plus, I have a hard time imagining another Honda hybrid doing poorly.

The Honda S will be unleashed in China later this year, but it’ll make its way into the global market shortly thereafter. We’ll know more about both the compact minivan and the family-sized sedan come Shanghai.

Acura RLX Sedan (again) and NSX Study

Finishing things up, Acura will be tagging along with their new RLX luxury sedan, slightly modified for the Chinese market. They will also be showing off their sleek NSX Study.

As you can see, Auto Shanghai 2013 is shaping up to be quite an exciting event. As a reminder, doors open on April 20, so stay tuned to Integrity Exports for daily updates and more auto news.

Sources: Carscoops 1, 2, 3, 4

Japanese Cars From the Fringes of the Detroit Auto Show – Day 3 Round Up

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Today is the third and final day that we will be breaking news on the Detroit Auto Show. The final press-exclusive unveilings have all gone off without a hitch, and soon the auto show will be opened up to the general public.

As you continue reading, we’re going to cover four Japanese cars that almost fell through the cracks… These cars didn’t get much press because they’re either not first-time world premieres or they’re not relevant to a global market. But, since we’re dedicated to keeping the Japanese car enthusiast fully informed it’s important for us to cover the wayside vehicles, too.

Nissan’s “Guilt Free” Sports Car Concept

To be fair, this future concept doesn’t actually exist yet, but this is the first time we’ve heard that Nissan has definite plans to create an eco-friendly sports car targeted towards a younger audience. It’s something that we know Nissan has been thinking about for almost 7 years, so keep your eyes open for this over the course of 2013.

Nissan didn’t give us much more than that, but it did say that the “love it or hate it” sports car will sit between the Nissan GT-R and Nissan Z coupe in the model lineup. Let’s just hope it doesn’t look like this.

Source: Car and Driver

2014 Nissan Versa Note

Again, this vehicle didn’t get very much press because it’s technically only new to the US market. The rest of the world has been enjoying an almost identical vehicle – named just the Nissan Note – for about a year now. The US-exclusive Versa model is intended to bring the American market a budget-friendly version of the internationally successful Note.

The semi-new five-door 2014 Versa Note will be based on Nissan’s existing “V” platform used in the Versa sedan, and will start at a little over $14,000. Overall, skepticism is high for this vehicle because of a supposedly poor interior design and a price point that puts it too close to the Honda Fit. That being said, the Nissan Versa lineup sells fairly well in the US, so the press could definitely be proven wrong.

Source: Car and Driver

Acura RLX

The Acura RLX officially premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, so it’s no surprise that this vehicle didn’t see very much coverage. However, the only reason that Acura brought the RLX to the Detroit Auto Show was to drum up some pre-release hype and announce a launch date/pricing for the Japanese manufacturer’s new flagship sedan. And that’s exactly what they accomplished.

While the Acura RLX may not be quite as newsworthy as the other vehicles in its class at the Detroit Auto Show like the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, it is more directly relevant. The new RLX will officially hit the market on March 15 with a price tag between $40,000 and $61,000 depending on just how fancy you want to get.

Source: Carscoop

Daihatsu Copen (Maybe)

The Japanese-exclusive manufacturer Daihatsu allowed Aisin (a transmission manufacturer) to bring what appears to be a Copen to the Detroit Auto Show. Unfortunately, coverage of this super compact vehicle known for its forward design and extreme fun-factor was limited to a photo that looks like it was taken by an iPhone.

It’s a mystery why a Daihatsu Copen would make an appearance at the NAIAS, as Daihatsu is officially withdrawing from the European market at the end of this month and production of the Copen ceased during April of last year. It’s for this reason that I would be willing to bet that the doorless “Copen” we saw at the NAIAS was actually a concept for the 2013 Daihatsu D-R that we know is in the works. This seems especially likely since the enormous LCD screen matches what we know about the D-R.

But if they did resurrect the Copen, there would be no complaining here!

Source: The Truth About Cars

Well, that’ll wrap up our thorough coverage of Japanese cars at the Detroit Auto Show. Come back tomorrow for a summary look back at the big hits and big letdowns of the Detroit Auto Show that you won’t want to miss!

2014 Acura RLX Unveiled at the LA Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 30th, 2012

As you may or may not already know, today is day two of the 2012 LA Auto Show. While there are plenty of soon-to-be best-selling automobiles to be scoped out, today I wanted to focus on something a little bit more flashy (or not, I’ll let you be the judge) – the 2014 Acura RLX luxury sedan.

While Honda is an extremely strong Japanese car manufacturer in and of itself, its premium brand, Acura, consistently finds itself relatively underrated among luxury brands. Even with improved sales this year, Acura is struggling to hit their growth targets. And the problem is not that they are perceived as overpriced or particularly lacking in class, it’s that between Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW, there is some very stiff competition. Acura has traditionally been able to bridge this gap with a combination of superior driving dynamics and that unbeatable Honda reliability, but the 2014 Acura RLX is intended to do something a little more.

Acura RLX

A Midsized Sedan With a Full-Sized Interior

The ILX fell short of Acura’s sales projections this year while the RDX crossover met unexpected demand, so it makes sense that Acura’s focus at the LA Auto Show would be on a new flagship luxury sedan. After all, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

The new 2014 Acura RLX is intended to mash together the best attributes of the its near-full-size predecessor, the Acura RL, and the mid-size TL luxury sedan. The RLX is 196.1 inches long, offering a significant “three inches more rear legroom than competing models, including the BMW 535i, Lexus GS350 and Audi A6”. It’s also 2 inches wider than its predecessor, which does have a noticeable effect on the amount of elbow room in both the front and rear seats of the car.

Even though the new Acura RLX is slightly bigger than the old Acura RL, it doesn’t feel that way from behind the wheel. Why? A plethora of new features – including Precision All-Wheel Steer and a souped up Agile Handling Assist braking system – allow this midsize sedan to reach new levels of “enhanced vehicle stability, maneuverability, and control”.

Give it To Me Straight – What’s the Downside?

The only real knocks – and they are real knocks – against the new Acura RLX are its fairly generic engine and its Accord-like appearance. The car certainly drives well, but with a 3.5L V6 engine with ‘only’ 310 horsepower, it’s not exactly making waves in the speed/acceleration department. Furthermore, the exterior and especially the interior seem very reminiscent of the Honda Accord. Don’t get me wrong – the Accord is certainly a great car, but it’s not what a luxury car should remind you of. If you get a premium brand charging premium prices, the last thing you want is for your neighbor to glance across from his driveway and accuse you of having a “humble” Accord.

Fortunately, Acura has plans to introduce an improved 370hp version with Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive sometime in 2013. This enhancement will link an electric engine to each of the rear wheels for further improved handling. That should be a bit more spicy, but for now buyers will have to settle with a spacious interior and supreme drivability being the primary perk of the new RLX.

All in all, it’s possible that the 2014 Acura RLX will be the huge success Acura’s been waiting for, but it seems more likely that the Japanese luxury manufacturer would have been better off waiting for the superior engine to be included in the initial production. Right now the RLX just seems… bland. Regardless of this writer’s opinion, the RLX will go on sale in the United States early in 2013, and we will find out for sure whether or not this is the breakthrough that Acura has been waiting for.

The question for Acura’s long-term viability is this: Does Honda really get it? Do they understand that what the customer in this segment wants is not a more efficient version of a lesser vehicle? They want luxury and power for sure, but what will really tick their boxes is that sense of exclusivity and the “glow” of association with a universally recognized top-flight brand. BMW knows this. Jaguar knows this. Lexus seems to be figuring this out. But Honda? Well, if the RLX is anything to go by, you really have to wonder.