Auto Review – A Hybrid of Efficiency and Sophistication
The 2015 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid says plenty through a whisper of refinement.
The full-sized luxury hybrid sedan segment hasn’t been around all that long, and it remains a segment with very few contenders. The RLX is only a few years old, and it is built in direct competition with offerings such as the big Lexus LS 600h, as well as BMW’s upcoming reboot of the 7-Series hybrid, the 740e. In many ways Acura has found interesting middle ground between these two options by offering more of an engaging driving experience than the Lexus without forgoing any comfort or convenience.
Acura totes the new RLX as the most powerful sedan the brand has ever released. By mating a new version of their 3.5-Litre V-6 with three electric motors, the new RLX Sport Hybrid boasts a combined 377 horsepower and 341 lb-ft of torque, all while maintaining very respectable 8.0-L/100 kilometres city and 7.5-L/100 km highway fuel economy stats. The first of these electric motors is mated to the car’s 7-speed dual clutch gearbox, while the other two are mounted at the back to power each of the rear wheels.
While power and economy are always part of the equation when looking at your average hybrid, a luxury sedan requires that extra dose of sophistication to make it worthwhile. Of course, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid is heavily clad in soft leathers and is packed with loads of infotainment and safety tech to keep its passengers both protected and entertained during their journey. Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control as well as a handful of other safety systems are all on hand to keep this mighty sedan, and its passengers, out of harm’s way at all times.
In terms of visuals, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid also has no problem dressing for the part of luxury sedan. It exudes a restrained sophistication that manages to maintain personality. From its unique Jewel Eye headlights and distinct Acura grille, to its sleek-yet-understated side profile, the RLX doesn’t scream for attention, but rather whispers a tone of refinement. And sometimes subtlety is the most fashionable.
Taking Charge of the Road
2016 Chevrolet Volt
The much-anticipated 2016 Chevrolet Volt is almost here, and aside from bringing its exterior and interior styling up to date, the new model boasts a host of upgrades, including an increased range of up to 80 km on a charge (up from roughly 50 on the outgoing model). Thanks to advancements in EV technology, Chevrolet has also managed to shed roughly 100 pounds from its battery pack. Of course, a host of other improvements such as built-in Wi-Fi and an 8-inch touchscreen display ensure that the Volt is as high-tech in the passenger cabin as it is under the hood.