New Acura Could Include Hybrid Option

Move viewed as geared as much for performance as fuel economy

Published: 27-Jan-2004

Acura this fall will equip its flagship RL sedan with all-wheel drive and a 300-hp V-6 engine to challenge luxury rivals who offer rear-drive and V-8s, dealers and analysts say. A hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain also could be part of the package.

Acura would not confirm the plan. But at least eight Acura dealers say the division has told them about the 300-hp V-6 with awd. And two analysts, citing conversations with suppliers and people close to the company, support dealer reports that the RL will have a hybrid powertrain.

Such a move would show that American Honda Motor Co. is taking a unique approach - a hybrid geared as much for performance as fuel economy - in a bid to elevate its luxury brand's flagship sedan.



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