If you’re on sedan death watch, sound the alarm because we’re about to lose the Acura RLX. That’s the big one Acura sells.
The Acura RLX was introduced in 2013 as a replacement for the Acura RL, which was a replacement for the outgoing 1996 Acura Legend. Unfortunately, anything legendary about the car has mostly fallen to the wayside in the last couple of decades.
Well, that’s not fair. In 2018 it got a V6 powertrain with three electric motors and 377 horsepower, inspired by the NSX. So Acura at least tried a little
Anyway, with some of that history out of the way, it’s not a shock to hear Acura claim low sales of the RLX simply no longer offering the model in America, Automotive News reports:
American Honda told dealers Thursday that the low-selling RLX will no longer be imported from Japan, where it’s sold as the Honda Legend. The Legend will continue to be offered in Japan and other markets, American Honda said in an email to Automotive News.
“With SUVs leading the luxury market, the highly successful RDX and MDX now serve as volume leaders of the Acura brand,” the company said, referring to its compact and midsize crossovers. “At the same time, we will further strengthen our sports sedans, consistent with the performance-focused direction we have been taking Acura over the past four years.”
The writing was probably on the wall for the RLX for some time now, as recent generations of the smaller Acura TLX has grown to come delicately close to matching the RLX in styling, options, size, and practicality. Sales have also plummeted from over 5,000 sold in 2013 to barely selling over 1,000 last year.
Now that Acura will introduce allegedly-sportier sedans in the near-future, the RLX doesn’t really fit in. What were they going to do? Reinvent it, perhaps as a rear-wheel drive and V8, which likely wouldn’t even sell remarkably well? Acura probably decided it was easier to cut their minimal losses and keep selling the car they have to the markets that actually buy it.
But that’s another sedan down. Pretty soon there will be three kinds of car: 500 horsepower SUVs, 1,000 horsepower electric cars, and pickup trucks.