Is The Acura RLX Concept Taking Us Back To The 90s?

Get yourself a pair of Zubaz, because Acura's bringing back the early ‘90s all over again with the RLX — a big, V6-engined all-wheel-drive sedan concept with four-wheel steering.

Like the Vigor and the Legend of Acura's heyday — and the current RL — the RLX is almost completely devoid of any exterior styling. It's just sixteen and a half feet of car.

Like the old Legend, the RLX makes do with a V6 while its competitors all sport V8s. It's an all-new 3.5-liter engine with direct injection, putting out 310 horsepower or 370 with the assistance of an optional electric motor.

Both engine configurations are interesting: the 370-horsepower hybrid comes with SH-AWD, which puts the engine's power to the front wheels, and only drives the rears with the electric motor. It's like the new NSX, but in reverse.

The 310-horsepower base engine doesn't come with AWD, but it does get brand-new four-wheel-steering, which was Honda's technocratic calling card in the early ‘90s. In the RLX, it's called "Precision All-Wheel Steer," and it adjusts the toe angle of the rear wheels in conjunction with the car's electronic steering and stability control programs.

View gallery »

On the inside, the RLX comes with two big digital screens: an eight-inch display and a seven-inch touch screen. The driver gets all the standard safety collision warning lane departure programs and Facebook/Twitter connections as as every other luxury car, as well.

When this RLX concept becomes a real production car in 2014, we'll finally see if this thing is a return to interesting, spritely, durable old Acuras of the past, what with its high-output V6 and assorted technological gimmickry, or if it's just another fat, beige sedan that no one will notice, care about, or buy.