The Acura RL is the Japanese luxury automaker’s flagship vehicle for the North American market. The RL was originally introduced in 1996 and underwent a complete redesign in 2005. It is currently in its second generation. The current Acura RL was the first offering from Honda to use the automaker’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive system, a unit that can not only split torque between the front and rear axles, but from side to side as well. For the 2009 model year Acura has exclusively outfitted the RL with a larger 3.7 Liter gas burning V6 that develops a maximum output of 300 HP and 271lb.-ft. of torque, propelling the Acura RL into a category of high end luxury sedans.
The Acura RL entered production in 1996 after Honda took their Legend model and slapped on the Acura badge. Since then, fourteen year have gone by and only two automotive generations have passed. Still in it’s second generation, the Acura RL is getting some new features for the 2011 model year coming in three different trim levels: RL, RL with Technology Package, and RL with Advance Package.
For starters, the 2011 Acura RL is dumping its "Double Power Plenum Grille for a newly designed front end and getting plenty of technology to make the drive a bit easier. The inside of the sedan also sees some changes with a new interior color (Sea Coast) and a new Dark Burlwood textured trim.
Power updates are non-existent, so expect to get the same V6 engine from last year that produces 300hp. However, the RL is getting a new all-sequential SportShift six-speed transmission that allows the sedan to boost its fuel economy from 16/22 to 17/24.
"The RL continues to set the benchmark for the innovative use of customer-relevant technology," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "There aren’t many production cars at any price that offer more advanced technology or drive system sophistication."
Hit the jump to read more about the 2011 Acura RL.
The Acura RL luxury sedan is entering the 2010 model year with bold looks, a powerful V-6 engine and Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The car is now on sales with prices starting from $46,830 for the RL, $50,450 for the RL with Technology Package and $54,250 for the RL with Technology and CMBS / ACC Packages.
For 2010 the RL will be offered in three variations: RL, RL with Technology Package and RL with Technology Package Plus CMBS. All versions will be powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that develops 300 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque thanks to an innovative VTEC valvetrain system for both the intake and exhaust valves.
The available Technology Package includes the satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather, rear view back-up camera, Active Front Lighting System (AFS), ventilated front seats, and a simulated wood accented steering wheel and shift knob. The top RL package is the Technology Package with CMBS which adds Acura’s acclaimed Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and genuine maple wood instrument panel trim.
Acura unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show the 2009 RL, a new generation featuring bold, sleek exterior styling, an upgraded interior, advanced technologies and powerful new engine.
The 2009 RL will be powered by a a new, larger 3.7-liter V-6 that incorporates the first ever SOHC use of VTEC valvetrain actuation for both the intake and exhaust valves. The engine develops 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a new version of the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission.
The RL will be offered in three different trim levels including RL, RL with Technology Package and RL with Technology Package Plus CMBS™. All RL’s receive a potent new 3.7-liter V-6 engine, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, a Bose Surround Sound audio system, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink connectivity and a GPS-based solar-sensing climate control system.
The 2009 RL’s new exterior styling is not only more aggressive, but delivers excellent aerodynamics and reduced rear lift at higher speeds. The RL’s more athletic style foreshadows the power concealed by the new power plenum front grille and blow-formed aluminum hood. The RL’s shape is taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance allow it to challenge the most capable German and Japanese sports sedans.
In 2007 at the Los Angeles Auto Show Acura launched the Acura Advanced Sedan Concept, a preview version of the next generation RL that will debut in mid-2010 at a price of $70,000.
With exterior design inspired by the Honda Accord, the 2010 RL will be powered by a V8 engine, to help it compete with strong rivals in the U.S., including Audi, BMW and Lexus.
Honda is currently working on a 420-horsepower 4.8-liter V8, and will employ the same cylinder deactivation technology we see on the current Japan-spec Inspire V6, thus generating class-leading fuel economy figures.
Acura has announced that the RL will get a makeover in summer 2008. Dealers do not have many details on changes coming for the brand’s flagship model, but they believe the changes will be dramatic. "I hear it will be a major facelift in the front and back — new sheet metal," says Jim Smail, an Acura dealer in Pittsburgh.
The Acura RL is sporty and fun to drive. The Acura RL combines a free-revving, 290-horsepower V6 engine with all-wheel drive for improved grip and superior stability. The RL delivers the responsive handling of a sports sedan yet rides smoothly. It offers the latest in technology, including a system that can help you avoid rear-ending someone in stop-and-go traffic.