The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

June 7, 2013

New Acura RLX can steer, brake, accelerate on its own

Friday, June 7, 2013 — A few months ago I wrote about how research is being done that will allow cars to drive themselves someday soon.

Little did I know how quickly autonomous cars would hit the market, though.

Recently, I drove the 2014 RLX, Acura's new flagship sedan that can, in the right situations, completely drive itself — braking, accelerating and even steering without human input.

Granted, it's limited in scope and thus not the driverless car of science fiction lore, but it's the closest thing I've experienced to date. And it's already reality, available at any Acura dealer to customers who can afford the $12,000 premium that the Advance Package adds to the base $48,450 RLX.

First, some background.

The RLX is the replacement for Acura's nearly irrelevant RL luxury sedan, which sold just a few hundred copies last year. While it was a good value by luxury-brand standards, the RL was seen as too small and too bland to get noticed by the end of its lifespan.

The new RLX is designed to fix all that. It starts with a much bigger footprint, making it significantly longer and wider than the RL was, along with more contemporary styling. What Acura calls a "Jewel Eye" headlight design makes it particularly distinctive on the front end.

While the look and size are big improvements, the overall driving feel still doesn't stand out in this class. Its V6 engine makes 310 horsepower — powerful, but not over-the-top powerful — and its suspension has a nice mix of sportiness and comfort. 

As a whole, it's got a middle-of-the-road driving feel, having neither the sumptuous smoothness of a Lexus nor the thrill of a BMW. It seems to be a safe, predictable choice for the Acura brand.

Where it really excels is in technology, though. You'd have to visit an Acura dealer to get the full rundown, but features like rear-wheel steering, in-car e-mail and a computerized dash layout with acres of high-resolution LCD displays make the car look like something out of a sci-fi movie set.

Text Only
Features
  • Uwharrie Players No. 1 Anyone know whodunit?

    So whodunit?
    Forget Col. Mustard, the library and the candlestick, this time it was the drama student in the Jesse F. Niven Center with the bottle of poison.
    At this year’s Uwharrie Players Drama Camp, campers took the stage not just to act, but to figure out who poisoned Gladdis, the talent scout.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Kudzu Quiche A Bonus in Study of Invasive Species

    High School students who chose to study invasive species during their week at the National Environmental Summit at Catawba College probably didn't think they'd be baking a kudzu quiche. But they did, and they served it, along with other kudzu creations, at the final festival.

    July 19, 2014

  • Pottery No. 1 Wheel of Clay

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and a potter wasn’t made in one either, Seagrove potter Sid Luck, 69, said at his pottery class at the Niven’s Center Tuesday.

    July 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • Archie Smith Psaltery Sounds

    About two years ago, Archie Smith got into an argument with his table saw.
    As he says, the table saw won.

    June 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • P1160049_zps0528ec83.jpg Jammin' at Junior's

    Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “ … in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” If Franklin was alive today in western Stanly County, he would need to amend his statement to include “and Friday night jam sessions at Junior Harris’.”

    June 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • KelliePickler_TheWomanIAm_LPCover.png Kellie Pickler set to release album with limited edition vinyl pressing

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Black River Entertainment announced the release of a limited edition vinyl version of country music singer/songwriter Kellie Pickler’s critically-acclaimed current album, The Woman I Am.  This is the first vinyl album for Kellie Pickler, and it features exclusive cover art, different from the CD version.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • wedding (12 of 21).tif Fairy Tales Can Come True

    Once upon a time in Stanfield a little girl was born, but experienced problems during her delivery. Five years earlier, a little boy was born in Georgia with similar complications. Both suffered a brain bleed during child birth and had ventricular shunts placed in their heads.

    June 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Social networks are the new matchmakers

    WASHINGTON - With studies showing that one-third of married couples started their relationships online, finding romance via URLs is no longer as novel - and creepy - as it seemed when dating sites launched in the mid-1990s.

    June 9, 2014

  • Dive into the World’s Most Diverse Marine Ecosystem when Journey to the South Pacific Arrives at Discovery Place on June 7

    CHARLOTTE – Audiences will be taken on an epic IMAX® adventure through the tropical islands of West Papua and experience one of the most extraordinary places on Earth, when the IMAX film Journey to the South Pacific comes to Discovery Place on June 7.

    June 6, 2014

  • iphone4.jpg Five major new features in iOS 8

    Apple has taken the wraps off its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, introducing a suite of new features to users aimed at streamlining some of their most annoying daily tasks.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Featured Comment
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Poll

Will you participate in March Madness?

Yes I watch the games and complete a bracket.
Yes I complete a bracket.
No
     View Results