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2011-rl-10small
Acura RL
Acura
aka Honda Legend(Europe)
Production 1996-Present
Class Mid-Size
Body Style 4-Door Sedan
Length 193.6 in.
Width 72.7 in.
Height 57.1 in.
Wheelbase 110.2 in.
Weight 4,014-4,076 lbs.
Transmission 5-speed Automatic
Engine 3.5 liter SOHC V6
Power 290 hp @ 6200 RPM
256 lb-ft @ 5000 RPM
Competitors Audi A6
BMW 5-Series
Cadillac STS
Infiniti M
Lexus GS
Lincoln MKS
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Designer Jon Ikeda

The Acura RL is the top-of-the-line sedan in the range of Honda's North American luxury brand Acura. It is a rebadged version of the fourth-generation Honda Legend and replaced the Acura Legend in 1996.

All Acura RLs are built in Saitama, Japan. The very first Acura RL rolled off the assembly line on January 4, 1996.

See Acura Wikis' comprehensive Acura RL Review.

Recent ChangesEdit

  • For 2011, the RL receives a minor facelift. Besides the subtle nip/tuck the 2011 RL also get a new six-speed Sequential Sportshift automatic transmission that improves fuel economy by two miles per gallon on the highway. The final EPA numbers are 17 mpg city and 24 highway. Hemholtz resonators are also fitted in the wheels (an industry first) to help diminish road noise. This coupled with increased floorboard insulation results in a quieter cabin. The wheels themselves are brand new 18x8-inch 15-spoke aluminum units shod in Michelin Pilot all-season rubber.[9]
  • The RL was completely redesigned for the 2005 model year, and it has undergone few changes since. the RL Technology package was introduced last year for 2006, but the new CMBS/PAX package adds onto it with Collision Mitigation Braking System, adaptive cruise control, and Michelin PAX run-flat technology.
  • For 2009, the Acura RL receives a mid-cycle facelift that is decidedly more daring than the bland, lukewarm generic design of the original. Under the hood, the new RL is fitted with a new 3.7 litre V6 producing 300 HP and 271 lb-ft of torque mated to Acura's Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) 2.0 - now quicker, more responsive and better at handling twisties. [10]

Styles and Major OptionsEdit

There is only one trim for the Acura RL, but it is packed with features. It is powered by a 3.5L 290hp V6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, and standard all wheel drive. Some of the standout features include:

2007 Acura RL

  • Driver/front passenger heated seats
  • Leather seating and door trim
  • Express open/close sunroof
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • 10-speaker Bose AM/FM/XM/in-dash 6CD changer audio system w/MP3 capability
  • Cruise control
  • Homelink Wireless Control System
  • Navigation system
  • OnStar
  • Power windows, locks, mirrors

PricingEdit

Today's actual prices for the Acura RL can be found at CarsDirect.

Acura RL Trims

Trim1

Trim2

Trim3

Trim4

MSRP

$Price1

$Price2

$Price3

$Price4

Invoice

$Price1

$Price2

$Price3

$Price4

Gas MileageEdit

As seen on the FuelEconomy.gov website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

Trim

Acura RL

MPG

18/26

ReliabilityEdit

Although the current version of the RL was only released in 2005, three-year reliability inspections on the 2003 model, performed by Automotive Information Systems, earned that model an overall Green rating in every category.

SafetyEdit

Safety tests performed by the NHTSA earned the 2007 RL excellent ratings in all categories. For all front-impact, side-impact, and 2WD rollover tests, the RL received overall 5-Star ratings. Some of the standard safety equipment found on the RL include:

PhotosEdit

ColorsEdit

A full list of colors is available on CarsDirect.com. Some of the possible combinations include:

Exterior

  • Carbon Gray Pearl
  • Desert Mist Metallic
  • Meteor Silver Metallic
  • Opulent Blue Pearl
  • Redondo Red Pearl

Interior

  • Ebony
  • Parchment
  • Taupe

Main CompetitorsEdit

Hybrid ModelsEdit

Unique AttributesEdit

Resale ValuesEdit

According to Kelley Blue Book, "the RL is expected to have a slightly better-than-average residual value over a five-year period, falling below the Infiniti M35 and Lexus LS 430 but besting the Audi A8 and Cadillac DTS."

CriticismsEdit

  • "The V6 offers plenty of power but lacks the low-end grunt that could be provided by a V8." - Edmunds.com
  • "The only complaint we had during our initial drive is that the car tends to feel a little too firm on uneven pavement..." - Edmunds.com
  • "If you're expecting neck-snapping starts from a standstill, the RL's 260 pound-feet of torque will not impress. And for those with a full-on performance bent, the RL does not offer a manual transmission option." - Kelley Blue Book


Current Generation: (2005-present)Edit

Second generation (KB1/KB2)
05-08 Acura RL
Also called Honda Legend
Acura 3.7RL
Production 2005–current
Layout Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 2005-08: 3.5L 290 hp
2009: 3.7L 300 hp
Transmission 2005-10: 5-speed automatic with sequential sport shift
2011: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2005-09: 110.2 in (2,799 mm)
Length 2005-08: 193.6 in (4,917 mm)
2009: 195.8 in (4,973 mm)
Width 2005-09: 72.7 in (1,847 mm)
Height 2005-08: 57.1 in (1,450 mm)
2009: 57.2 in (1,453 mm)

2005 (KB1)Edit

A new generation car, known internally as "KB1", was launched in late 2004 for the 2005 model year. Still without the much-rumored V8 engine, it features a sophisticated all-wheel drive system Acura calls "Super Handling-All Wheel Drive" (SH-AWD). It integrates active differentials with the all-wheel drive system and traction control to improve handling, similar to the "ATTS" system featured on the 1997 Honda Prelude SH. At the time of its introduction, the Acura RL's SH-AWD was unique among all wheel drive systems because not only could it vary traction from front to back, but also side to side in rear using a technique called torque vectoring, becoming the first such system. The RL can direct up to 70% of available torque to the rear wheels, and up to 100% of that available rear torque can be directed to just one wheel. In combination with a specially designed planetary gear set which can over-drive the rear wheels up to 5% greater speed than the front wheels, the torque direction to one wheel, or torque vectoring, can have a steering effect. As the car speeds around a curve, torque vectored to the outside rear wheel will pull the rear end around the curve faster, just as paddling the outside oar of a row boat faster than the inside oar will cause the row boat to turn.

The first-generation RL was powered by a 225 hp (168 kW) 90° C-series V6 non-VTEC engine. The second-generation RL uses a newer design 60° J-series 3.5 L V6 SOHC VTEC engine delivering 300 hp (224 kW; later revised to 290 hp due to new SAE testing procedures). To give the car a more sporty feel, the car features drive-by-wire throttle control and a five-speed sequential sport shifting automatic transmission with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. As with the first-generation Acura RL, the second-generation Acura RL uses premium unleaded fuel rated at 91 (R+M)/2 octane.

A first for the RL is the use of aluminum 4-piston front brake calipers over 12.6-inch cast-iron ventilated front rotors. These multi-piston calipers are extremely rigid, and are derived from racing applications. In the rear, 12.2-inch cast-iron ventilated discs attach to their hub with lightweight aluminum collets and are gripped by one-piston aluminum brake calipers.[1] The RL was equipped with a unique five spoke 17-inch alloy wheel with Michelin Pilot HX MXM 4 245/50-R-17 98V[1] all season grand touring tires. These wheels were one inch larger in diameter, and the tires 20 mm wider in section than those found on the first-generation Acura RL.

New features found on the 2005 RL include a keyless entry system which allows the driver to both lock and unlock the car by touching the door handle, without having to use the remote control, and a keyless start system. A new 260 watt, ten speaker Bose DVD-Audio 5.1 sound system equalized for the RL cabin features several Bose technologies.[2] Bose AudioPilot is a noise compensation technology which analyzes background environmental cabin noise and uses an algorithm based on cabin acoustics to boost certain portions of the musical signal so that it may be heard more clearly above environmental sound "clutter" without any apparent change in volume.[3] Bose Centerpoint processes stereo and matrix surround sound recordings to allow play through the 5.1 sound system even though the source may only be a stereo sound track. Bose Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) rounds out the suite. Always on, whether the stereo is on or not, ANC takes input from two microphones placed in the cabin to analyze drivetrain related low end frequencies entering the cabin. The ANC sends information to the sound system to create a precisely shaped and timed reverse phased audio signal from the door speakers and the subwoofer. The result is a dramatic reduction of engine and exhaust noise.

XM Satellite Radio, integrated Bluetooth hands-free technology for wireless phone use, voice recognition technology with over 560 voice commands to control navigation system and displays, wireless phone, audio system, heating and ventilation controls round out the cabin's technological features. Heating and air conditioning systems are also tied into a solar sensor and GPS positioning so that cabin temperature remains constant in a mixed sun and shade situation. Based on sun position and cabin orientation, additional cooling air can be automatically added to the sunny side of the car to keep that occupant comfortable while not freezing out the occupant on the shady side.

The Alpine Electronics DVD-based navigation system is integrated with an 8 inch LCD display and a multi use Interface Dial, which can act like a mouse moving up down left right, like a knob, scrolling through preset menus, and a selector by clicking. Unlike many in-car navigation systems, the Alpine DVD based navigation unit allows the driver to change destinations and routes "on the fly" while driving, rather than being locked out unless the car is park. The deeply integrated voice recognition system works with the navigation system and can also recognize city and street names. Also unique at the time was two way communication via AcuraLink satellite communication. Using a facility of XM Radio service, the system can send a variety of messages to the car including service appointment reminders (appointments first made via Internet) or important messages such as recall notices. The use of OnStar is carried over from the previous generation RL. Use of digital/analog trimode (two digital bands and one analog band) technology allows the 2005 RL OnStar technology to survive the planned 2007 phase out of the analog OnStar to all digital OnStar service in 2007.

Other new features include the Active Front Lighting System, in which the high intensity discharge headlamps swivel with the steering up to twenty degrees, offering improved night cornering vision. Light emitting diodes (LED) replace traditional incandescent lighting is used for many rear tail and brake as well as in the side mirror housing integrated turn signals, and many interior cabin lights.

Image-'08AcuraRL

Engine bay of the Acura RL

The 2005 RL was also the first Honda vehicle to use the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which is now proliferating throughout every newly-introduced Honda and Acura vehicle design. The ACE structure features extensive use of high-tensile steel and lightweight aluminum components in a front-mounted polygonal main frame, designed to engage vehicles of differing size and weight in a frontal collision and spread the forces through multiple structural pathways, while preventing or minimizing cabin deformation. In practical terms, this means in an SUV versus ACE structure car collision, there is a greater chance that the ACE body structure will engage with the SUV's frame and dissipate collision forces around the passenger compartment. In more conventional non-ACE car structures, the SUV frame has a much greater chance of missing or over-riding the conventional car's major structural components and a greater chance of deforming the passenger compartment.

The 2005 RL car structure features extensive use of somewhat "exotic" materials for a car at this price point including aluminum alloy hood, front fenders, trunk lid and frame, front and rear subframes, suspension arms, front knuckles and bumper beams. Magnesium is used in the intake manifold, and the two-piece center drive shaft is made of a carbon reinforced composite. The new RL features extensive aerodynamic design treatment including details such an industry first flush side glass, as well underbody covers and diffusers to reduce lift, resulting in a very low drag coefficient of 0.29.

2005 RL Exterior Colors[4]
2005 RL Interior Colors
Premium White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Redondo Red Pearl Parchment' Ebony
Meteor Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Nighthawk Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Lakeshore Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Celestial Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Desert Mist Metallic Parchment, Ebony
2005 RL Retail Price US $49,100
Honda Legend 2006

2006 Honda Legend

For 2006, the Acura RL was also offered in a second trim level, the optional 'Technology Package' which included three new features: adaptive cruise control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System, and Michelin PAX System run-flat tires on unique PAX 235 mm x 460 mm A ("A" for asymmetric) aluminum alloy wheels with unique 245-680R460A Michelin Pilot HX MXM 4 all-season grand touring type radials designed for the Michelin PAX System. The metric sized, run flat Michelin PAX System wheels and tires are equivalent to 18" x 9" wheels and 245/45-R18 conventional tires. The previously standard color-matched mud guards were removed in 2006. All 2006 models had a slight change to the navigation system that also allowed the installation of an optional rearview camera. MSRP increased by just $200 for the equivalent 2005 model.[5]

2006 RL Exterior Colors[6]
2006 RL Interior Colors
Premium White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Redondo Red Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Carbon Gray Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Meteor Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Nighthawk Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Lakeshore Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Celestial Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Desert Mist Metallic Parchment, Ebony
2006 RL Base Package US$ 49,300
2006 RL Technology Package

(ACC/CMBS/PAX)

US$ 53,100

For 2007, the Acura RL was offered in three trim levels, detailed in the table below, including a "standard" or "base" package, a newly defined "Technology Package" and the highest level trim, the "Technology Package with CMBS/PAX".

Base Model cars were well equipped, but did not include certain features such as the Navigation System, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), and substituted plastic for wood trim.

Technology Package cars were essentially the same as the 2005 and 2006 standard models, coming with Navigation, AFS, while also adding as standard equipment, a rear backup camera and a 3.5mm stereo input jack for Apple iPod and other MP3-type devices.

Technology Package plus CMBS/PAX had no 2005 equivalent, and was most similar to the 2006 Technology Package, because it included ACC/CMBS and PAX technologies. While the label "CMBS/PAX" might appear to indicate ACC was dropped as a feature, in reality, ACC was an extension of the CMBS system, and so was included.

As noted above, the MP3 audio player feature (really for any device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack) was added to all trim levels. An integrated rearview camera was added to the top two trim levels. An integrated rearview camera could be added to the non-navigation Base model as a dealer installed option. The Base model optional rearview camera installed in the same manner and position as on the 2006 models, being mounted dead center of the trunk trim, and having a new trunk release button installed to the right of center (passenger side). The difference is subtle, but the factory rearview camera installation on the Technology Package and the Technology Package with CMBS/PAX is to left of center (driver side) of the trunk release.

In 2005 and 2006, all models came standard with "genuine curly maple wood dashboard trim". With the introduction of three trim levels, the genuine curly maple wood dashboard trim now only appeared on the two higher level cars, Technology Package, and Technology Package with CMBS/PAX. OnStar was deleted as a feature from all trim levels. Colors were added and deleted. MSRP increased by just $100 from the roughly equivalent 2006 trims.[7]

2007 RL Exterior Colors[8] 2007 RL Interior Colors
Premium White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Redondo Red Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Carbon Gray Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Platinum Frost Metallic
replaces Celestial Silver and Meteor Silver
Ebony, Taupe
Nighthawk Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Lakeshore Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Desert Mist Metallic Parchment, Ebony
2007 RL Base Package US$ 45,780
2007 RL Technology Package US$ 49,400
2007 RL Technology + ACC/CMBS/PAX US$ 53,200
2007 RL 2007 RL with Technology Package
(in addition to the base package)
2007 RL with Technology and ACC/CMBS/PAX Packages
(in addition to the Technology Package)
290 hp Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC VTEC V-6 aluminum-alloy engine Rearview camera Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) AcuraLink satellite communication system with real-time traffic Michelin PAX Run-Flat Technology
Acura/Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound System GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control system
XM Satellite Radio Active Front Lighting System (AFS)
Keyless Access System Genuine curlywood maple interior trim

The 2008 Acura RL continues unchanged in the US market from the 2007 model, with three trim levels. Colors were added and deleted. MSRP increases $500 in each trim:[9]

2008 RL Exterior Colors[10]
2008 RL Interior Colors
Premium White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Taupe, (Ebony is dropped)
Redondo Red Pearl Parchment, (Ebony is dropped)
Carbon Gray Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Platinum Frost Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Nighthawk Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Lakeshore Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Desert Mist Metallic Parchment, (Ebony is dropped)
2008 RL Base Package US$ 46,280
2008 RL Technology Package US$ 49,900
2008 RL Technology + ACC/CMBS/PAX US$ 53,700

In Canada, the 2008 Acura RL is available with two different models, Base and Elite Package. The Elite Package adds Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Active Front Lighting System (AFS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), heated and cooled ventilated front seats and burled maple wood trim.

2005-2008 A-Spec Performance PackageEdit

For the 2005-2008 models, Acura offered an A-Spec package for the RL. The package consisted of two performance upgrades, which were dealer installed, and several appearance package upgrades. The package was first announced at a late 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas.[11] It should be noted that the A-Spec package for sale was distinctly different from the Acura RL A-Spec Concept Vehicle announced and shown as a striking dark red one-of-a-kind custom creation in early 2005 at the Detroit Auto Show.[12]

The performance upgrades came in the form of A-Spec sport suspension upgrade, and A-Spec 18 inch alloy wheels, which allowed the use of more sporty lower profile tires.

The A-Spec sport suspension changed out the four springs and dampers (shocks) assemblies. The A-Spec suspension featured lowering springs (approximately 0.75 inch)and revalved dampers. The ride stiffness increased, but not overly so, and handling improved with less body roll, more controlled cornering and enhanced feel. Reportedly the suspension stiffness was not to same level as the much stiffer A-Spec sport suspension upgrade in the Acura TL, in keeping with the two different missions of the cars, luxury for the RL, luxury sport for the TL. Acura RL A-Spec suspension geometry remained the same as the stock Acura RL suspension alignment specifications.

The other performance upgrade was the A-Spec 18x8 inch alloy wheels, a 10 spoke lighter weight design (about the same weight as the 5 spoke 17x8 inch OEM wheels). Recommended tires were either 245/45-18 sized Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ultra high performance summer tires or Michelin Pilot Sport A/S ultra high performance all-season tires. Alternatively, less sport oriented, Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 Grand Touring All Season tires were also available in the same size. Typical of Acura optional wheels, the 55 mm offset of the stock 17x8 inch wheels was maintained so that suspension geometry could remain untouched.

The A-Spec appearance package consisted of a front air dam, side skirts, rear bumper air diffuser and a subtle trunk decklid lip style spoiler, all designed to give the car a more aggressive "aero" look. The parts came pre-painted from the factory to match factory colors. All parts were dealer installable.

Interestingly, if the dealer installed the A-Spec parts at the time of purchase, the original new car warranty of four years/50,000 miles would apply. If installed after purchase, the normal one year/12,000 mile parts warranty would apply.

A-Spec options were not offered for the 2009 mid model change. There is a widely held belief that the A-Spec suspension should have been the standard suspension on the Acura RL, and that the stock suspension was too soft, and hampered the very capable chassis and drivetrain. Interestingly the 2009 mid model change incorporated a revised stiffer suspension and 18x8 inch wheels as standard, equipped with lower profile 245/45-18 size tires. More aggressive "aero" look body work was also incorporated as standard, but a revised trunk decklid spoiler was made available as a dealer installed option.

2009 Mid Model Change (KB2)Edit

Acura RL -- 08-16-2010

2009-2010 Acura RL

For the 2009 model year, the RL received an extensive mid-model change (MMC), and made its introduction at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6, 2008, billed as "the most extensive Acura MMC ever". The new sedan was designated KB2 in the VIN codes, differentiating it from the 2005–2008 KB1 chassis VIN code. The revised sedan was released on July 1, 2008 to dealerships. The engine is upgraded to 3.7L with 300 hp. While on paper, the engine may seem to be the same unit as shared with the Acura MDX, it is actually a variant that introduces for the first time ever on a SOHC Honda V6, an implementation of the Honda VTEC variable valve train technology on the exhaust side for improved horsepower and torque. Heretofore, all previous SOHC Honda V6 with VTEC used the technology on the intake side only.[13] The engine emissions has been improved to meet the stricter U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) TIER 2 – BIN 5 and California Air Resources Board ULEV-2 standards. Implementation of the SH-AWD was adjusted for earlier intervention and a greater rear wheel bias for better handling dynamics.

The MMC RL suspension was upgraded with higher rate coil springs, larger diameter anti-sway bars and stiffer bushings all around.[14] The MMC RL sports a new larger front anti-sway bar of hollow construction, 30 mm diameter overall with a 6.5 mm wall thickness and a larger rear solid anti-sway bar, 19 mm diameter solid.[15] The pre-MMC models sported a solid 29 mm front and 17 mm rear sway bar.[16]

Standard 18" x 8" seven spoke alloy wheels with 245/45-18 tires replace the previous years' 17" x 8" five spoke offerings for not only the base and tech package models, but also for the highest trim ACC/CMBS equipped model. Previous years' ACC/CMBS equipped models were equipped with [Michelin PAX System] run flat tires on 18 inch equivalent (460 mm diameter) five spoke wheels. Unlike the previous years (2005–2008), there is no A-Spec offering, which included a body kit, suspension, wheels and badging.

Changes to the interior include more comfortable front seats and slightly increased rear leg room. The passenger front seat now has the same full 10-way power control as the driver's seat and both front seats feature active head restraint systems and six levels of cooling ventilation, as well as heated surfaces. Controls for heating and air-conditioning have been simplified and additional individual vent control is available to driver and passenger. The shift gear no longer has a gated sequence, but goes straight down to match the new ones used for the current Acura TSX and Acura TL. The steering wheel and shift gear top are now trimmed with wood to emphasize the RL's upscale luxury feel over its other two sedan siblings.

Additional insulation, improved acoustic isolation windshield design, and a new implementation of the active noise cancellation system (ANC) combine to make the car's interior more quiet over a variety of different conditions. Whereas the pre-MMC models ANC was set to cancel out low frequency boominess from the engine and exhaust, the MMC system, called Active Sound Control, has been extended in range to cancel some higher frequency road and tire noise as well. Unlike its predecessor ANC, Active Sound Control is now linked to throttle position and engine rpm to provide a more quiet cockpit during normal cruising, but will allow more of the new "3.7L's muscular sound" to be heard during higher rpm, higher speed excursions.

An additional microphone as well as some switchable directionality has been added to the HFL (Hands Free Link) and Voice Activated Navigation and Convenience controls. The new microphone system provides more accurate system "understanding" of the driver voice only when the systems are in command mode. Extraneous sounds, such as other voices in the cabin and wind noise are better distinguished and filtered out by the dual microphone system. Directionality is removed when an HFL voice call is established so that all passengers may participate in the phone call as in the pre-MMC model. The new dual microphone system uses real estate that was previously used in the 2005 and 2006 models for OnStar control electronics. Voice recognition commands have been increased to over 700,[17] up from 560[18] previously.

The DVD based navigation system improves on previous XM satellite linked traffic flow reporting to include rerouting based on current traffic conditions and new continuously updated real time weather reporting. The DVD Audio capable 10 speaker sound system remains, but integration with the audio system is improved with the addition of Bluetooth stereo and a USB port that allows integration and operation of Apple iPod and other MP3 type devices. Also new is the ability to display iPod or other MP3 device (such as a USB flash memory device) folder and playlist information on the car's 8-inch central navigation display screen.[19]

New shifter and center console arrangements have been added including a Sport mode. The steering wheel paddle shifters have been reprogrammed for faster response, and the paddle shifters can now be operated in both Drive and Sport Mode. In pre-MMC models, the gear selector had to be put in manual mode for the paddle shifters to operate.

The 2009 RL is slightly longer in its exterior dimensions by 2.2 in. The height is up a scant 0.1 in, while the width, track and wheelbase remain the same,.[15][16] The front end including the hood and the rear, including the trunkline have been revised along with redesigned headlights and taillights. One of the most controversial features of the 2009 RL may be its "Power Plenum" grill design, the first of three similar designs that have been recently revealed in the new-second generation 2009 Acura TSX, and the fourth-generation 2009 Acura TL.

Curb weights have increased. The MMC Base weighs in at 4083 lbs, the Technology Package weighs in at 4085 lbs, and the ACC/CMBS with no PAX now weighs in at 4110.[20] The equivalent 2006 pre-MMC Technology Package weighed in at 4012 lbs, and the pre-MMC with ACC/CMBS/PAX weighed in at 4074 lbs.[21]

The 2009 Acura RL continues to offer three trim levels in the US market. MSRP increases by $500 over the 2008 model for each trim.[22] For 2009, the Michelin PAX Run Flat Tire system is no longer offered in combination with the CMBS/ACC package. ACC is now featured alongside CMBS as part of the package name, after a two year hiatus. In reality, ACC was always included as a part of the CMBS. Colors were added and deleted.

2009 RL Exterior Colors<[23]
2009 RL Interior Colors
Alberta White Pearl replaces Premium White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Crystal Black Pearl replaces Nighthawk Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Ebony, Taupe
Redondo Red Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Grigio Metallic replaces Carbon Gray Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Platinum Frost Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Silver Jade Metallic replaces Lakeshore Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Tuscan Beige Metallic replaces Desert Mist Metallic Parchment
2009 RL Base Package US$ 46,680
2009 RL Technology Package US$ 50,300
2009 RL Technology + ACC/CMBS US$ 54,100

The 2010 Acura RL continues with few changes, in the US market from the 2009 model, as indicated on the current Acura.com website for the RL.[24] Colors were added and deleted. MSRP increases $150 in each trim:

2010 RL Exterior Colors[25]
2010 RL Interior Colors
Alberta White Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Crystal Black Pearl Parchment, Ebony
Opulent Blue Pearl Taupe, (Ebony is dropped)
Redondo Red Pearl is dropped
Grigio Metallic Parchment, Ebony
Platinum Frost Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Silver Jade Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Tuscan Beige Metallic is dropped
2010 RL Base Package US$ 46,830
2010 RL Technology Package US$ 50,450
2010 RL Technology + ACC/CMBS US$ 54,250

2011 update Edit

The 2011 Acura RL adds new features and color combinations: Six-speed automatic transmission, power folding mirrors, rear backup/parking sensors.

The six-speed automatic transmission, which was first introduced on the 2010 Acura ZDX, replacing the five-speed automatic that has been criticized by the press as outdated.[26] Said to increase efficiency, the EPA ratings have increased to 17/24/20 (City/Highway/Combined) an increase of 2 mpg in highway driving.[27] In addition, 0-60 times are said to decrease by 0.5 seconds, bringing the overall 0-60 time down to 6.0 seconds.[28]

Power folding mirrors have been available, in other than the North American market, since the 2004 introduction in Japan. Parking/backup sensors have been available in the North American market as a dealer installed option since the second generation Acura RL introduction in late 2004. A host of other features have also been available since the car's introduction in late 2004, some of which are detailed in the Safety section below.

The 2011 RL exterior updates including a revised front grill. Inside, the RL offers a new interior color (Sea Coast), new Dark Burlwood interior trim, thin-thread stitching on the steering wheel.[29]

Unique new 18x8-inch diameter 15-spoke aluminum wheels are offered with a new noise quieting technology. A polypropylene Helmholtz resonator encircles the center portion of the inside wheel. The resonator serves to cut specific frequencies between 100 to 500 hertz, and in combination with increased floorboard insulation decreases interior noise by 1.3 dB, or 15%.[27] A new technology is also introduced, a noise reducing wheel mechanism. The 2011 RL is fitted with Helmholtz resonators in the wheels (a "world's first" for a passenger vehicle). These chambers sit in the center portion of the inside of the wheel and help diminish road noise, which results in a quieter cabin. This appears to be a conventional alloy wheel modified to incorporate an internal noise reduction device. A diagram shows an elastomer type ring with multiple hollow chambers surrounding the center line of the wheel circumference. This device is supposed to dampen noise generated by rough road surfaces such as highway seams, making the cabin a more silent. The device has been coined as "Noise reducing", an noise reduction system for the wheel mechanism which works by resonance absorption.

2011 RL Exterior Colors[30] 2011 RL Interior Colors
Alberta White Pearl Ebony, Seacoast (Seacoast is added; Parchment is dropped)
Crystal Black Pearl Ebony, Taupe (Taupe is added, Parchment is dropped)
Graphite Luster Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Forged Silver Metallic Ebony, Taupe
Pomegranate Pearl Seacoast
Opulent Blue Pearl is dropped
Grigio Metallic is dropped
Platinum Frost Metallic is dropped
Silver Jade Metallic is dropped
2011 RL Base Package US$ 47,200
2011 RL Technology Package US$ 51,350
2011 RL Technology + Advance Package US$ 55,150

ReceptionEdit

The second-generation 2005 Acura RL appeared on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2005. The car also garnered an CNET.com "Editor's Choice" Award for Top Tech Car.

The SH-AWD all-wheel drive system was lauded by Popular Science as one of the best automotive innovations of 2004, and earned the 2005 "Tech Car of the Year" from CNET.com.[31] In a comparison of 2006-2007 model year midsized sedans with all-wheel drive, the RL compared favorably to a Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4MATIC and a BMW 5 Series with xDrive.[32][33] Subsequent moves by both Audi and BMW to design and market their own versions of torque vectoring all wheel drive systems bear out the innovative nature of the SH-AWD design.

While critically acclaimed, sales have not met expectations. Despite the mid-generational update in 2009, sales that year were just 2043 cars, which was a 55 percent drop from 2008. Regarding sales of Japanese luxury flagships during the first six months of 2010, Acura has sold only 872 RLs, compared to 5,650 Lexus LS and 6,602 Infiniti M sedans.[34][35]

Enthusiasts and dealers said that the RL was not competitive because it is smaller, uses front-wheel drive, and lacks a V8 engine option, compared to its larger rivals in the mid-luxury segment that are rear-wheel drive and have a V8 available.[34][35] The 2009 refresh and 2011 update did not keep the RL competitive enough in acceleration or fuel-economy, considering that other marques had released new generations of their mid-size luxury sedans, and as the RL retained a five-speed automatic transmission while other rivals had automatics with six or seven gears.[29][35][36] The RL's styling while generally considered handsome was not inspirational and passionate enough to give buyers hints about its technological features or standout in a crowded field, and the 2009 model was criticized for its "Power Plenem" grille.[37][38]

Some have suggested that the initial price of the RL is perceived to be out of its bracket. As the new RL offered more features and performance than the base version of its luxury competition's (i.e., the base six-cylinder BMW 5 Series),[38] Honda Japan suggested that it could charge more, though Honda Canada disagreed. The RL's initial MRSP was $69,500 CAD, more than the six-cylinder BMW 525i and close to that of the V8-powered BMW 545i. At the RL's price point, most consumers expected a V8, furthermore they did not perceive the Acura brand as being on par with its German rivals and expected more value from the Japanese marque. The damage from Honda Japan's alleged hubris was done, perhaps giving the RL an unfavorable impression that could not be removed, even though Honda Canada has since reduced the RL's price. In 2009, the new generation of the Acura TL was released and it is expected to offer tough competition to the RL, as the TL has essentially the same engine, the SH-AWD system, and many of the RL's features for only $44,900 CAD.[39]

In October 2010, the Acura RL has been named as one of Consumer Reports [40] most reliable cars, one of among 5 Honda models (Acura TL with front-wheel drive; Acura RL luxury car; Honda CR-V small SUV; Acura RDX small upscale SUV, and Honda Ridgeline compact pickup truck) named as most reliable in various categories.

Previous GenerationsEdit

First Generation/Origins (1996-2004)Edit

First generation (KA9)
1st Acura RL
Also called Acura 3.5RL
Acura Legend
Production 1996–2004
Layout FF layout
Engine 3.5 L V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 114.6 in (2,911 mm)
Length 1996–1998:195.1 in (4,956 mm)
1999–2001:196.6 in (4,994 mm)
2002–2004:196.7 in (4,996 mm)
Width 1996–1998:71.3 in (1,811 mm)
1999–2001:71.4 in (1,814 mm)
2002–2004:71.7 in (1,821 mm)
Height 1996–1998:54.5 in (1,384 mm)
1999–2001:56.5 in (1,435 mm)
2002–2004:54.5 in (1,384 mm)
AcuraRL

1999–2004 Acura 3.5RL

In 1999, the 3.5RL received a front and rear facelift with xenon HID headlamps

In 1996, the replacement for the Acura Legend was introduced. Known internally as "KA9", officially, RL originally stood for "Road Luxury," however some suggest that it stood for "Replaces Legend." Whatever its meaning, the 1996 Acura 3.5RL was introduced to lackluster reviews. The automotive world had been expecting a true competitor to the Lexus LS to emerge. Yet it is likely that Acura will release a new model larger than the RL to compete with the Lexus. The RL fell short in all categories and is continuing to drop in sales; it is likely there will be a redesign of the redesigned RL, as reported by AutoWeek. Laying to rest predictions of a VTEC V8 powerplant, the 3.5RL was powered by a 3.5 L V6 engine, derived from the previous Legend's 3.2 L unit. The engine provided just 210 hp. Handling was soft and ponderous. Interior space was adequate, but still tight.

Despite all the compromises, the RL was still a competent vehicle. Few could find fault in it and it provided a serene, almost silent highway ride. The transmission, a 4-speed automatic, was smooth and silky. Reliability and fit-and-finish were excellent. Still, a lot was lacking in the car and sales suffered in the first three years.

The 1996-1998 Acura 3.5RL was a conservative, well-designed, and well-mannered luxury vehicle. The 3.5RL provided all of the expected luxury features of vehicles costing much more, yet provided the practicality of a 3.5L, 210HP V6 with excellent low-end torque reaching a peak at a low 2800 RPM. The 1998 3.5RL was upgraded with a refined suspension. Acura engineers, as usual, found a way to increase the firmness of the suspension without any additional harshness. It provided better driving dynamics as well as overall vehicle control. Other additions for 1998 included new wheels that improved overall style with a subtle sportiness. The first generation Acura 3.5RL has proven itself in the long-run. Road Luxury. Refined Luxury. The 1996-1998 Acura 3.5RL.

In 2000, a larger navigation system screen was added. Along with that larger screen was the conversion to easy-to-replace DVD map databases. In 2002, another change was given to the 3.5RL with painted lower trim and mudflaps along with redesigned alloys and a newer, sportier suspension setup. Perhaps more important was the engine which now was upgraded to produce 225 hp (168 kW) and 231 lb·ft (313 N·m) of torque along with more insulation in the engine compartment as well as the fact that OnStar was added in 2002. The 2003 and 2004 RL's received clear turn signals in the rear lights, another new wheel design, as well as various interior upgrades including new color schemes. For 2004, the navigation system came as standard as well as a redesigned center console and chrome door lock pulls.

The 1996–2004 3.5RL's engine was the last in the Honda and Acura lineup not to use VTEC, Honda's variable valve timing system. This 3.5 L 90 degree V6 engine was internally designated as the C35A, and the last of the Honda C engine V6 engines used in Honda and Acura lineups, being replaced by the newer Honda J engine 60 degree V6 engines. The 2004 RL was also the last Acura to use the numeric designator (i.e., 3.5) for its engine displacement.

Production futureEdit

In 2008, Edmunds.com Inside Line "Future Vehicles" is claiming that the next generation Acura RL (third-generation RL/fifth-generation Honda Legend) flagship model will be powered by a V8. Power is expected to be sent to the rear wheels, and the next generation of Acura's SH-AWD system to be used on the next RL will engage the front wheels only if the rear wheels' traction is compromised. IL’s source claims that a 4.8L V8 producing 420 hp is being developed and will feature cylinder deactivation technology to keep fuel economy up.[41]

Other news and rumors indicate that Acura will be launched as an upscale brand in Japan, and the 2011 model year RL, with a V-8, will be part of that launch, as will the replacement for the Acura NSX. The NSX follow-on would be the so called "halo" car, with the RL heading the Acura line up as a luxury sedan flagship.

A July 10, 2008 Acura press release announced the upcoming fourth-generation 2009 Acura TL will come in two versions, one of which will have SH-AWD and the "...most powerful Acura engine ever...." If the TL is to continue as the model slotted below the Acura RL, the specifications of the 2009 TL would almost have to dictate that the future generation RL will have to be a larger, more powerful car, as indicated by the Edmunds article.

With the recent 2008 worldwide economic downturn, Honda has made some announcements that may change the future of Acura, and the RL in particular. Long rumored V-8's slated for the projected 2011 Full Model Change (FMC) may be a good deal further off, as long as 2015, according to an article in Edmunds Inside Line [42] which cited a November 26, 2008 article in Edmunds Auto Observer [43]

Before the 2008 economic downturn, Acura was also rumored to be developing a new multi-purpose rear wheel drive specific platform, possibly similar to the strategy used by Nissan's Infiniti line. This would allow Acura to better compete with so called Tier One cars (e.g., BMW and Mercedes-Benz). In a December 17, 2008 announcement [44] from Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda, the introduction of the Acura brand to Japan in 2010 will be pushed back to an undetermined date, and the development of the V-10 NSX replacement will be cancelled. More recent articles, such as a February 9 Motor Trend Online article about the Honda CRZ [45] state outright that the Acura rear wheel drive platform has been canceled as a result of the 2008-09 financial crisis.[46]

A more recent October 2009 Car and Driver blog cites a dinner with Acura executives who acknowledge that the introduction of the new, larger, and in some guises, more powerful, fourth generation Acura TL makes it extremely difficult to market the current RL. They speak of a new generation RL in one or two year's time that will reassert itself as the Acura flagship, but not with a V-8 as the rest of the market has done in the BMW 550, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti M, Lexus GS 460 and the Mercedes E-Class. All of these cars are available in six cylinder and V-8 variants. Acura says the actual sell rate of V-8's is quite small, and in the coming world of $4.00 per gallon gasoline, not the way of the future[47][48]

In November 2009, an Autoweek article [49] indicates that the new Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told Automotive News that Acura is going to change course away from V-8 Tier 1 items to something different. Speaking of the worldwide economy before the collapse of investment banker Lehman Brothers, Ito said through an interpreter, "Pre-Lehman, we did have the idea to produce more multicylinder engines...I see the future of Acura as a merger of BMW and Audi--something between high performance and high technology." As a result of this midstream change, Acura will be in a "low-growth period of developing new products," Ito said. "We were thinking that we could come up with glamorous, gorgeous products that would sell. Now, our premium products will be expressed in advanced environmental technologies, rather than glamorous things attached to the product," he said.

This leaves the future of the Acura RL somewhat clouded. On tap for 2010 is the new Acura ZDX crossover, and for 2011 is the Acura TSX Sport Wagon, a wagon version of the current second generation Acura TSX. No clear plans have been announced for the next generation Acura RL, but rumors abound, including the possibility of a hybrid electric gas powered next generation Acura RL, as part of the new Acura concept of "Smart Luxury". Dealers have been promised an "amazing new RL" with no real details.

In July 2010, the summer issue of Acura Style magazine, a publication dedicated to Acura owners, discusses changes to the 2011 RL, which includes a 6-speed transmission with "low gear ratios" for improved acceleration and performance, a "Next Generation Grill" and "Dramatic New 18" wheels", "power folding mirrors", "parking sensors", along with a restyled rear fascia and new Light Orchid interior, as well as "Resonators at each wheel to minimize NVH".

It is unclear as to whether Acura Style magazine is teasing the reader with another Mid Model Change (MMC) update to the existing second generation Acura RL, or discussing a "Special Edition" type package to boost the last year of sales before a Full Model Change (FMC). The FMC had been previously rumored for a late calendar year 2011 introduction, as a completely new model year 2012 design, which would become the third-generation Acura RL. FMC's are usually announced with great fanfare, so the changes detailed in Acura Style magazine are likely just an update for the 2011 model year of the current second generation Acura RL, and not a FMC. Significant to note is the addition of a new transmission, with presumably only one more model year remaining of current generation sales.

Looking more deeply in to the sparse wording in the Acura Style magazine, the 6-speed automatic transmission is likely the same unit that was introduced with the 2010 Acura ZDX. New wheel styling is a typical strategy to differentiate model years from each other. Power folding mirrors have been an available feature with non-US domestic market Honda Legends since the 2004 introduction of the second generation Acura RL, and is not a new innovation, but certainly a luxury car feature. Similarly, parking sensors have always been available as a dealer installed option for the second generation Acura RL. With respect to the "next generation grill", it is unclear as to whether the new grill is yet another variation on the current Acura "power plenum" design theme, or a completely new styling direction. The power plenum design theme, which, in 2010, stretches across all Acura models, is a large chrome pentagonal grill feature, which has proven to be both instantly noticeable and very polarizing - clients either love it or hate it. Similar to the power plenum front design theme, Acura has been criticized for its rear end styling, and the revised rear fascia may be an effort to also address the critics.

In October 2010, Temple of VTEC released additional information about the upcoming 2012 Honda Legend refresh.[50] This article does not specifically mention a 2011 Acura RL. There are rumors that 2011 may be a very short run for the Acura TL, and that the 2012 TL will come out in mid calendar year 2011, with a revised front grill and a 6 speed automatic transmission. This Acura TL rumor may portend what might happen to the Acura RL. There may be a short run of 2011 Acura RL's similar in every respect to the 2010 Acura RL's, or there may be no 2011 run at all, and remaining 2010 inventory will have to suffice. The Temple of VTEC article confirms the 2012 Honda Legend will have the addition of a 6-speed automatic transmission, an upgraded VGA resolution navi screen and hard disk drive (HDD) based navigation system. These features appear now on the Acura ZDX.

SafetyEdit

From 2005 to 2008, Acura RL has been ranked #1 and has achieved the best car safety score (46.4) in Informed for LIFE's "2003–2009 Vehicle risk index SCOREs".[51] For both the 2009 [52] and 2010 [53] model years, the Acura RL received a five-star crash safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For the 2009 model year, the Acura RL received a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) earning a "Good"—the highest score possible—on frontal offset, side impact and rear crash protection tests. The "Good" scores continued for all tests conducted on the 2010 model.[54] The RL is rated "Marginal" in the roof strength evaluation causing it to lose the Top Safety Pick award.[55]

  • The Acura RL has consistently garnered National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Five Star (the highest rating) ratings for Frontal, Side and Rollover crash testing. The injury measures on the driver in the front test were some of the lowest ever recorded in a NHTSA test at the time, and are still considered top notch for 2010.
  • The Acura RL has consistently garnered Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) green G for Good (the highest rating) for Frontal Offset and Side Impact tests.
  • The facelifted 2009 Acura RL has revised head restraints, thus improving the rear crash protection rating for the 2005–2008 models from Marginal to Good for the 2009, Earning it the IIHS's Top Safety Pick.
  • The Acura RL incorporates most modern, and some unique, safety features including:
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure - ACE features extensive use of high-tensile steel and lightweight aluminum components in a front-mounted polygonal main frame, designed engage vehicles of differing size and weight in a frontal collision and spread the forces through multiple structural pathways, while preventing or minimizing cabin deformation. The Acura RL was the launch vehicle for the ACE body structure. In 2009, all production Acura vehicles featured the ACE body structure. The ACE body structure is one factor in Acura achieving an all time first in US automotive history, winning simultaneous top marks in both Government National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test ratings[56]
  • Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) - In addition to the performance benefits, the front to rear and side to side torque distribution works actively to keep the car on the desired line
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (Honda Acura version of Vehicle Stability Control) - 4 channel VSA integrated with SH-AWD, ABS, yaw, lateral G, speed and steering angle sensors
  • Electronic Traction Control (uses individual wheel ABS sensor and engine modulation)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) (redistributes front and rear brake pressures as situation dictates)
  • Brake Assist ("learns" driver braking habits, rate of pressure and total pressure applied, and quickly activates full ABS in perceived panic stop)
  • Front Air Bags (2 ea) - including two stage activation which minimizes injury due to deployment geometry (deploying upwards rather than forwards into the occupant) and speed.[57]
  • Front Side Air Bags (2 ea) - including Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side Curtain Air Bags (2 ea) for front and back passengers
  • Occupant Position Detection Sensor (OPDS) system detects weight and positioning of passenger in the front seat and will disable passenger front side air bag deployment if the system calculates deployment could cause injury to the occupant such as a child or small-statured adult is in the path of deployment.[57]
  • LATCH child seat anchors
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) - Provides individual pressure readings for each tire and tire position in a graphical display, and driver alert in the event of low or no pressure.
  • 5 mi bumpers front and back
  • Optional Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) (2006-forward)

From the 2006 model year forward, the Acura RL features an optional Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), which can alert drivers of objects up to 330' ahead. If the driver gets dangerously close and does not take evasive action, the RL first provides visible and audible alerts. If the driver does not respond, the electronic pretensioning seatbelt system tugs on the shoulder belts. If the driver still does not react and the collision is deemed unavoidable, the RL retracts and locks seatbelts and brakes hard. Depending on the situation, all three stages may blend together as if one.

The same CMBS millimeter wave radar is also used to operate the optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) feature. The driver selects a cruise speed and can set a timed following distance of 2.0, 1.5 and 1.0 seconds. When the cruising, and the ACC detects a target, up to 330' ahead, the engine throttle will be modulated to keep the selected timed following distance. If throttle modulation does not provide enough slowing, the car will also apply brakes to help keep the selected timed following distance.

From 2006 through 2008 Michelin PAX System run flat tires were also offered as an option. This system allowed a car to run up to 125 mi at 51 mi while flat.

Michelin PAX System run flat tires require special equipment to replace them. Such equipment is available only at a limited number of specially certified tire and car dealerships. In April 2008, Michelin announced that it would discontinue its PAX run-flat tires.[58] Unless special equipment is available, Acura RL flat tires are usually fixed by replacing the entire wheel/tire assembly. Unlike Honda dealers, Acura dealers were not required to become PAX certified service centers, which includes expensive training and specialized machinery. Acura dealers will generally take a flat tire-wheel assembly off and put a new PAX System on a vehicle, or refer the customer to the nearest PAX certified facility.

For warranty and safety reasons, it is not recommended that owners of PAX equipped vehicles switch to another type of tire assembly.[59] Both Acura and Michelin have not been forthcoming about how current owners of PAX equipped Acura RLs can address this impasse once the current supply of PAX tires run out. However, if history is any predictor of the future, the PAX tire supply will not run out, and will be continued to be produced on a specialty basis, just as the ill-fated Michelin TRX system tires are still produced today.

The PAX Run Flat system was discontinued as an option on the Acura RL due to several reasons, not the least of which, may have been a class-action suit against Honda and Michelin.[60] Other reasons may have been the difficulty in repair and replacement of PAX tires, which are generally special order, and require special mount/demount machinery and training and the paucity of PAX certified dealers throughout the United States. While RL's have reportedly low incidence of complaints with the premium Pilot MXM4 all season tires, the opposite was true of the top of the line Honda Odyssey Touring model minivan was equipped with Michelin Energy LX4 PAX tires that allegedly did not live up to their promise of long tread life and ease of replacement. In addition, during this time, Michelin announced that due to the low general acceptance of the PAX technology throughout the industry, new PAX development would be stopped, although tires would be provided for the foreseeable future. Other PAX equipped vehicles include the world's fastest production car, the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4, and certain Rolls Royce and Audi vehicles.

On the safety front, it is also worth noting that the Honda Legend, marketed in most of the rest of the world where there is no Acura brand, offers some additional optional safety features, including Lane Keeping Assistance System (LKAS), Intelligent Night Vision, front bumper mounted cameras to assist in parking and turning, and a standard pop-up hood for pedestrian safety.[61]

The LKAS[61][62] can, with the assistance of a front windshield mounted CMOS camera, make small steering adjustments using the car's Electric Power Steering (EPS) system to keep a car in lane so long as the radius of the turn was more than 220 meters, which was the then legal minimum in Japan. The LKAS would relinquish control at the slightest steering input so the driver had control at all times.

The night vision system uses a separate heads up type display in the front lower center windshield. Far infrared technology cameras do not require an infrared light source that near infrared technology cameras do, and the software is able to detect human like figures, surround the image with a red box and give audible caution tones.[63]

Bumper mounted cameras gave the driver a view out each front corner to assist in parking and also clearance down the road if the car were in an alley-like situation, where driver vision around the corner would require moving much of the car out into the path of possibly on-coming traffic.

The pop-up hood uses a series of sensors that can detect a pedestrian-like object being thrown onto the hood. An actuator will pop the hood up at the rear, close to the windshield, 10 cm (4 inches) to help minimize pedestrian injuries, especially head trauma. All markets feature energy absorbing hood and fender supports and deformable windshield wiper pivots to minimize pedestrian injury.[64]

In October 2010, it is reported that Brake Defect from Honda Honda Legend (Acura RL) were delivered to customers before the problem is discovered. Honda says that it does not know how many of its vehicles have suffered a faulty brake system. The U.S. Honda outfit says it will replace the faulty seal and, if leaking has occurred, the brake booster will be replaced as well. At least some owners in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries are likely affected. Honda told that no stop-sale is issued.[65]

WorldwideEdit

Design quirks and odditiesEdit

AwardsEdit

The second-generation RL appeared on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 2005.

See alsoEdit

image (between 170-190 pixels)
ACURA

Honda Motor Company


Honda]| Acura | Li Nan | Honda Racing Corporation | Honda F1 Racing | Mugen


Current

USA: RL · TL · TSX · MDX · RDX · ZDX

Canada: CSX · · · · · · · · ·

Mexico: · · · · · · · · ·

Hong Kong: · · · · · · · · ·

China: · · · · · · · · ·

Historic

EL · Integra · Legend · Vigor · CL · SLX · NSX · RSX

Racing

ARX-02A LMP1

Concept

Advanced Sports Car · Advanced Sedan Concept · HSC · DN-X · ZDX Concept · · ·


Keihin · Showa Corporation · Nippon Seiki · List of Honda engines


Honda Corporate website A division of the Honda Motor Company



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