SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Honda’s Acura near-luxury brand’s flagship model will see its name changed from RL to RLX, Acura vice president Jeff Conrad tells WardsAuto during an ILX/RDX media event here.

The next-generation car will be unveiled at the New York auto show in April.

Conrad confirms the RLX is a total redesign of the RL, the current-generation model that debuted in 2004 and is one of the longest-selling passenger cars in the U.S.

In prepared remarks earlier in the day, Conrad is effusive as he describes the coming RLX, part of Acura's plan to remake its entire lineup over the next several years.

"This flagship will feature a timeless, beautiful design, outstanding cabin space and performance, and will also be fun to drive," he says. "This vehicle will create an entirely new value proposition for luxury customers."

Reports late last year said the next-generation RL would have the interior space of a BMW 7-Series but an exterior footprint more akin to the5-Series.

Other details of the RLX have yet to be revealed, including whether it will usher in a new design language for Acura. The Acura brand's "power plenum" front fascia has been controversial with customers and industry insiders alike.

"Let's wait until the New York show before we talk about (a changed design language)," Conrad says here.

Acura soon will retail new versions of its entry models as well. These include the all-new Civic-based ILX compact sedan and second-generation RDX cross/utility vehicle. Acura announces here the 2.0L ILX base price will begin at about $27,000 when it goes on sale in the U.S. May 25.

Acura expects the ILX equipped with a 2.4L engine, as well as hybrid versions, to begin at about $30,000. The ILX slots below the TSX model. Contrary to reports, Acura says the TSX is here to stay and will not be replaced by the ILX.

All variants of the ILX will be built at Honda's Greensburg, IN, plant.

Acura hopes to sell 40,000 ILXs annually in the U.S., Conrad says. The car also will be sold in China, Mexico and Canada. In Canada, it replaces the CSX, also a Civic-based Acura.

The second-generation RDX CUV goes on sale in the U.S. April 2, starting at $34,320, not including $885 destination and handling fees. The vehicle went into mass productionyesterday at Honda's East Liberty, OH, plant.

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami last March and Thailand’s major floods later in the year slowed Acura's momentum. American Honda projects U.S. volume will rebound to 180,000 sales in 2012, up 45% compared with year-ago’s 123,299. But that still is well below the record 233,180 deliveries in2006, WardsAuto data shows.