Generally when a certain formula isn’t working, you either throw it out all together or tweak with it until it works. For Acura, they are opting for the former. The company recently came around to the realization that they took their styling language “too far.”
While determined to stay the course with things like the “Power Plenum” grille, new models coming from the brand are definitely toned down. The lineup reboot has so far included a lightly-redesigned TL, all-new RLX and new models ILX and RLX. The one we’re focusing on here is the RLX. It was introduced as a concept at the New York International Auto Show in April.
The current RL is getting old and it is one of the most unattractive vehicles on the market. You can imagine then our relief at after seeing the RLX. Car and Driver caught the production version of the car via some patent filings. The patent filings show limited changes versus the New York “concept.” The RLX is following Honda’s strategy of putting out production vehicles early, save for some concept detailing. Now that we’re over the relief of it not being ugly, we can see that is quite boring.
The production model is even more toned down versus the concept. Around back you can see some influence from the 7-Series. 7-Series is one of the most attractive full-sizers, so we can see why they’d want to copy. The overall result is entirely inoffensive, which is a step forward for Acura. Is that enough to move things forward on the sales front though? With a lot of very appealing competition, it doesn’t seem likely. The main perceived advantage for Acura right now would be Japanese reliability. The production version of the RLX should launch sometime this year, as it is slated to go on sale early next year.