The California-based website Autospies claims the next RL model from Honda luxury car division Acura will have a 300bhp six-cylinder hybrid engine.

The report added that most US pundits are expecting a petrol V8 with rear wheel drive, rather than the current model’s front wheel drive.

The Acura brand, launched in the mid-1980s with rebadged Honda  Legend and Concerto models, is unique to the USA, as are many of the cars in the current model line, most of which are built in either the US or Canada.

Honda is already well-established in North America as a maker of hybrid cars, and currently sells the Insight coupe and the Civic Hybrid sedan with petrol-electric engines.

Earlier this month, Honda announced plans to introduce a petrol-electric hybrid version of its top-selling Accord sedan this autumn.

US report says replacement for current Acura RL (pictured) will have six cylinder hybrid engine

The V6 engine in the new Accord derivative will provide fuel economy similar to a four-cylinder Civic, Honda president and chief executive Takeo Fukui said at the announcement, adding: “We have always targeted the world’s most advanced technologies.”

The current RL is about the same size as the US market Accord, which is also sold in the Far East and Australasia, and offering the redesigned Acura with the Accord’s V6 hybrid driveline would give Honda welcome additional volume.