Revolutionary All-New Acura RL Luxury Performance Sedan Combines Sleek Styling, High Performance AWD Powertrain and Assortment of Advanced Technology

Acura's Top-Of-The-Line Sedan Features Revolutionary All-Wheel-Drive System

9/2/2004 3:56:00 AM

With a 300-horsepower VTEC V-6 engine, a revolutionary all-wheel-drive system, dynamic styling and breakthrough technology, including the first North American application of satellite-based real time traffic information, the all-new Acura RL is designed to redefine the luxury performance sedan category.

"The RL will definitely set a new benchmark in its category," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president, auto operations. "The new all-wheel drive system gives it the handling prowess of a sports car, but inside it is extremely refined. That combination of performance and luxury will be hard to beat."

The 2005 RL showcases an assortment of Acura firsts including a ground-breaking all-wheel drive system that gives it the most precise handling in its class. The Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ System (SH-AWD™) is the first and only all-wheel drive platform that distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels but also between the left and right rear wheels. During straight line cruising and moderate cornering, up to 70 percent of torque is at the front wheels. During full throttle acceleration or spirited driving, up to 70 percent of available torque goes to the rear wheels for increased acceleration and enhanced cornering. In addition to varying the torque front to rear, SH-AWD varies the amount of torque to the left and right rear wheels. When cornering, this ground-breaking technology overdrives the outer rear wheel, sending up to 100 percent of rear torque to that wheel to dramatically enhance the RL's cornering, steering feel, handling and stability. The result is class-leading cornering performance and cornering stability as well as enhanced traction on dry or wet surfaces.

The RL's 3.5-liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum VTEC engine is the most powerful engine ever in an Acura, generating 300 hp at 6200 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm (up from 225 hp and 231 lb-ft for the '04 RL). A variable flow exhaust system helps to generate additional horsepower. It is equipped with two close-coupled primary catalytic converters for quicker light off and a secondary underfloor catalytic converter, which help to lower emissions levels by 75 percent from LEV to LEV2-ULEV standards. Despite the extra power, the RL achieves fuel economy of 18/26 mpg (city/highway).

The RL features a 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission that enables gears to be shifted using a shift lever on the center console or with the paddle-shifters located on the steering wheel. This compact gear box features wide gear ratios optimized for precise shifting, dynamic performance and superior fuel economy.

To complement the high performance powertrain, Acura gave the RL a highly rigid unit body that is lightweight due in large part to aluminum construction of the sub frame, suspension, hood, trunk lid, and front fenders. The trunk lid and fenders are made using an innovative new blow molding process, which increases rigidity and allows shaping that would not be possible with other molding methods.

As part of Acura's commitment to providing Safety for Everyone, the RL is the first Acura model to utilize the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, designed to enhance passenger safety. The new ACE structure helps to disperse collision forces over a larger frontal area. The system helps provide even better protection for vehicle occupants while at the same time reducing aggressivity toward other vehicles in a frontal collision.

The RL's lightweight chassis and 4-wheel independent suspension components are tuned to complement the SH-AWD system and deliver a linear cornering feel, optimum cornering traction and a smooth ride. The 17x8-inch alloy wheels are fitted with P245/50R17 98 V-rated Michelin all-season high performance tires that fill the wheel wells and add to the RL's aggressive stance. Large 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-piston front calipers, ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist provide optimum stopping power.

The RL's sleek exterior styling reflects the abundant power under the hood. And, while it is almost three inches shorter than the current RL, it is over an inch wider and offers more passenger volume than the RL it replaces. In front, a dramatically sloping hood leads down to an aggressive front fascia with angular headlight treatments, a signature Acura five-sided grill and distinctive lower air intake openings. A sleek cockpit, a forward sloping beltline and a short deck lid accent the RL's pronounced wedge shape, making it look fast from any angle.

The RL is the first Acura equipped with the Active Front Lighting System (AFS) for increased illumination and visibility. The low beams swivel up to 20 degrees in either direction in response to vehicle speed and input from the steering wheel. During straight-line driving the headlights perform like conventional systems by illuminating the road directly in front of the vehicle. When entering a curve, the inboard light swivels according to input from steering and vehicle speed sensors to illuminate a larger area of road surface throughout the corner, thus minimizing blind spots.

Inside, the new RL is as luxurious as it is sporty. The interior features rich leather, genuine wood trim, an assortment of leading-edge technology and, for the first time in a North American vehicle*, standard real-time traffic information integrated into a new in-car satellite navigation system featuring AcuraLink™. Utilizing the XM NavTraffic™ service beamed from XM's satellites, the large 8-inch navigation screen can display a variety of up-to-the-minute traffic information where available including flow (traffic speed), accidents, and construction on freeways in 20 major metro areas including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Flow and accident information are updated continuously, allowing drivers to take the least congested route to their destination.

In addition to enabling the real-time traffic feature, the AcuraLink satellite communication system allows for communication between Acura and the vehicle, providing customers with the latest diagnostic information specific to their vehicle as well as vehicle-related messages. Because it works with the car's HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, drivers can respond to messages or one-touch-dial Acura dealers and Acura Roadside Assistance (TLC) using their Bluetooth phone.

The RL also features a standard 10-speaker Acura/BOSE® DVD-Audio system that uses Bose Cabin Surround™ circuitry to deliver surround sound to all seating positions. This innovative new system utilizes eight distinct channels (compared to two on a typical premium sound system) to deliver sound resolution 500 times greater than CD. In addition, Centerpoint signal processing circuitry processes stereo recordings to five independent channels, to deliver simulated surround sound from conventional CDs. Road, wind and other intrusive noise is neutralized through the application of AudioPilot noise compensation technology, which monitors cabin noise and adjusts the sound balance accordingly.

Another standard feature is the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. This easy to use system features a menu of 560 voice commands, an 8-inch display, a comprehensive destination guide with over 7 million points of interest, 3-D graphics for freeway interchanges, on and off-ramps and turn-by-turn voice guidance. The system has expanded memory and a faster processor to provide quicker start up and route search times, more points of interest and access to the Zagat Restaurant Guide. In addition, all U.S. cities and street names (1.7 million) may be accessed through the voice recognition command. The system can be accessed through the steering wheel-mounted voice recognition buttons or by using the Interface Dial located on the instrument panel.

The RL also features a Bluetooth-based wireless phone interface as standard equipment. The HandsFreeLink™ wireless telephone interface, which debuted on the 2004 TL, enables a Bluetooth wireless interface with mobile phones, allowing calls to be made and received utilizing the RL's steering wheel-mounted HandsFreeLink button, which connects their phone to the system.

The RL is the first Acura equipped with the Keyless Access System, which allows owners to lock and unlock doors, open the trunk, and start the car without using a key. The RL's key fob is equipped with a transmitter that communicates wirelessly with sensors in the car. When the fob comes within approximately two and a half feet of the car, the system links and the doors can be opened simply by touching the door handle. The engine can be turned on and off by turning a switch on the steering column.

In addition to the ACE body structure, the RL incorporates an assortment of the latest safety systems and devices including a full complement of front, side and side curtain airbags, as well as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA™).

Acura offers a full line of premium performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 264 dealers. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the exotic NSX supercar, the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the race-bred RSX sports coupe, and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle.

For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.

*XM Satellite Radio and the AcuraLink Satellite-Based Communication System are not installed on RL models sold in Alaska and Hawaii.