First Look: Acura brings refreshed 2018 RLX to Monterey Car Week

Acura is continuing its push for sedan renaissance by introducing a new-look RLX for the 2018 model year with a refreshed style, improved handling and new tech offerings that include semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

Set to officially break cover during next week’s Monterey Car Week, the 2018 RLX picks up where the redesigned TLX left off by showing just how integral a concept vehicle can be to a brand’s long-term trajectory. Both sedans appear to have been heavily influenced by Acura’s Precision Concept from the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

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. Chrome trim also follows both running boards up to the front fascia, curling up just above the fog lights. This vehicle won’t soon be written off as a rebadged Honda Accord.

First Look: Acura brings refreshed 2018 RLX to Monterey Car Week

Acura’s new design for the 2018 RLX features the signature diamond pentagon grille, a more sculpted hood, new wheel designs, bold LED taillights, dual exhaust finishers and a gloss black rear diffuser.

(Acura)

Interior updates include more premium materials and touchpoints as well as all-new seats, which now feature contrast piping and stitching. A new Espresso-colored interior is also available along with two new premium exterior options: Brilliant Red Metallic and Majestic Black Pearl.

Acura will carry over essentially the same two powertrains from the current RLX, adding a 10-speed automatic transmission to the V6-powered, gas-only version and making some tweaks to the Sporty Hybrid version based on findings from the latest iteration of the NSX, which pairs a V6 engine with three electric motors to make 377 horsepower.

NSX advancements also have trickled down into the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system in the RLX.

First Look: Acura brings refreshed 2018 RLX to Monterey Car Week

Inside, the 2018 RLX gets a redesign as well with upgraded materials through, new seats with high-contrast detailing and a new Espresso color option (not pictured).

(Acura)

Perhaps the biggest advancements for the 2018 RLX, aside from its styling changes, are in its AcuraWatch advanced driver assistance suite, which now includes Traffic Jam Assist, which applies the technology used in adaptive cruise control and low-speed following to alleviate the stresses of driving in tedious, gridlock traffic.

Other features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking are still included.

Look for the 2018 Acura RLX to hit U.S. dealerships this November.

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