Honda’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Test Mule
With the official debut of the 2014 Acura RLX just around the corner, Acura wants the public to get excited about two new technologies that will be available on their upcoming flagship sedan. Acura’s new Precision All Wheel Steer™(PAWS) and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® systems will be showcased on the RLX to improve and enhance handling performance.
A handful of journalists from various automotive publications were recently at Honda’s testing grounds in Japan to sample both applications. The test car however was not an RLX, but a similarly sized Accord(Inspire) sedan equipped with the said technology.
Here’s Automobile Magazine‘s Jake Holmes on the Precision All Wheel Steer system:
“When you enter a corner and add steering input, there’s a miniscule pause before you feel the car tighten its line slightly as the rear wheels add more steering. It produces a sensation of rotation that gives the car a livelier feel than is typical of front-wheel-drive cars. At lower speeds, PAWS makes for easier maneuvering because of the reduced turning circle. PAWS also can correct under- or oversteer by adjusting the line of the rear wheels, which means sometimes PAWS can fix small slides without any need for the brake-based electronic stability control to activate.” - Jake Holmes, Automobile Magazine
Michael Austin of Car and Driver on Sport Hybrid SH-AWD:
“The rear motors also provide torque vectoring in corners, putting resistance on the inside wheel (which generates electricity for instantaneous use, lessening the draw on the 6.7-kWh battery) and driving the outside wheel to minimize understeer. Track performance is impressive, with instantaneous turn-in and grip that seems to transcend the abilities of the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires. We didn’t have the chance to mess around too much, but there is no power oversteer. Jam on the gas and the car simply follows exactly where you point it with a neutral attitude.” - Michael Austin, Car and Driver
Both technologies sound impressive so far, hopefully adding a dynamic that will boost the RLX’s image as a “driver’s” car. Full reviews can be read from the links below:
• Quick Drives: Acura RLX Precision All-Wheel Steering, Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Prototypes
• Sampling the 2014 Acura RLX’s Goodies: Precision All-Wheel Steer and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD
• New 2014 Acura RLX Drivetrains Aim for Smiles
• 2014 Acura RLX Prototype Test Drive
• 2014 Acura RLX Technology Preview Drive
• 2014 Acura RLX drive preview
Filed under: Acura Reviews, RLX Tags: 2014 Acura RLX, Earth Dreams Technology, Sport Hybrid SH-AWD