We’ve written previously about the top of the line sound system housed in the RLX Sport Hybrid, but the performance of Acura’s flagship hybrid on the road manages to put even its Krell speakers to shame. Many car manufacturers tout the development of a “Prius-killer,” a car so efficient that it can outdo the perennial king of the hybrid market. The RLX is not a Prius-killer; it is the anti-Prius. It takes everything we are told about how hybrids should work, throws them out the window, and shows us how hybrids can work.
A conventional hybrid takes its name from the union of a fuel engine and an electric motor. The RLX Sport Hybrid features just such a setup in front, but adds electric motors at the rear wheels. The result is a car that utilizes technology to enhance both fuel efficiency and performance, a vehicle that can turn heads without constant refueling.
The Sport Hybrid system allows the RLX to adapt its motor use to the desires of the driver. The combination of three electric motors and a standard engine allows it to perform optimally in different driving situations; when cornering, the two rear wheels work together in a feat of torque-vectoring most cars can only dream of. When cruising, it can conserve energy and become an efficient commuting machine, but if that commute suddenly finds the RLX behind a truck going 20 miles under the speed limit, the RLX can flex its considerable muscle at the drop of a hat, letting it pass anything on the road. That is how a car with 377 horsepower can also be a car that gets a combined 30 miles to the gallon.
While we love seeing the RLX pulling into work every day, there is no car on our lot that is more worthy of a starring role as someone’s daily driver. We look forward to the day our Sport Hybrid finds a home, if only so we can see it passing us on the highway.