A Technological Tour De Force -- the 2008 Acura RL Sedan
The Acura RL enters the 2008 model year as one of the most sophisticated and exhilarating touring sedans on the road today, putting the driver in command of their environment while delivering extraordinarily athletic performance within the luxury performance sedan class.
With an advanced and efficient 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC® V-6 engine, Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ System (SH-AWD™), and cutting-edge technologies including available AcuraLink™ with real-time traffic, Active Front Lighting System (AFS), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Adaptive Cruise Control, and Active Noise Cancellation™ (ANC), the RL is the bearer of technology-enhanced performance, luxury and comfort in the Acura sedan lineup.
"The RL is a forward thinking luxury sedan that provides a truly exceptional balance of performance, efficiency, and technology-enhanced driver control," said Dick Colliver, vice president, sales. "There isn't another car in its price class that comes close to delivering the level of customer relevant technology as the RL."
For 2008, the RL continues to be offered in three trim levels: the luxuriously appointed RL; the RL with Technology Package that adds Acura Satellite Navigation System and AcuraLink™ with real-time traffic, Active Front Lighting System and an upgraded wood interior; and the RL with Technology Package plus CMBS and PAX®, featuring Acura's state-of-the-art Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Michelin PAX® run-flat tire technology.
Powered by an advanced and efficient 3.5-liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum SOHC VTEC V-6 engine replete with variable flow exhaust and drive-by-wire throttle, the RL is Acura's most powerful sedan, turning out 290 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 256 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm The engine is coupled to a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission that enables driver-controlled gear changes using the shift lever or steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
The transmission is paired with Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ system (SH-AWD™) for superior cornering ability, handling stability and all-weather control. The highly innovative SH-AWD™ platform 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 delivered to the front wheels for optimal efficiency. During full throttle acceleration or spirited driving, up to 70-percent of available torque is directed to the rear wheels for increased acceleration and cornering traction. When cornering, SH-AWD employs an exclusive acceleration device that overdrives the outer rear wheel by up to 105-percent of the wheel's normal rotational speed, while electromagnetic clutches send up to 100-percent of rear torque to a specific wheel, thus dramatically enhancing the RL's cornering capability.
Body and Chassis
To complement the high-performance powertrain, Acura engineers gave the RL a highly rigid yet lightweight Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) unit body structure, critical for achieving the engineers' high targets for steering and handling precision, outstanding ride quality, isolation of undesirable road inputs along with outstanding safety.
The RL's body is constructed primarily of high-grade, high tensile steel, while the hood, trunk lid, and front fenders and bumper beams are made of lightweight and highly rigid aluminum. A sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension system with double-wishbone front and multi-link rear design, mounted to isolated front and rear subframes, works in concert with rigid unit body construction to complete the RL's lithe and luxurious chassis setup. Subframes and suspension components made of aluminum further reduce the RL's weight for more supple suspension action, improved performance, and better fuel economy.
The RL is fitted with Michelin P245/50R17 98V all-season high performance tires on 17x8-inch alloy wheels. The RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® features P245/680R 460A 102V Michelin® PAX® run-flat tires mounted to unique alloy wheels.
Powerful, responsive and predictable braking action is supplied by a powerful four-wheel disc brake system utilizing aluminum 4-piston front calipers matched with 12.6-inch diameter ventilated front brake rotors and 12.2-inch solid rear rotors with large single-piston calipers. Braking is further aided by the latest advancements in safety technology including four-channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
RL models equipped with the Technology Package also feature the Active Front Lighting System (AFS) with Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights that swivel up to 12 degrees laterally in response to vehicle speed and steering wheel input. When cornering, the inboard light swivels to illuminate a larger area of road surface throughout the corner, improving down-the-road visibility and minimizing blind spots.
The RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® also boasts the first application of Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™). Using millimeter-wave technology, CMBS™ monitors the distance and closing rate between the RL and the vehicle directly in front of it. It then uses that information to continuously calculate the likelihood of a frontal collision.
CMBS™ operates in three stages: In the first two stages, if the system determines that the closing rate between the two vehicles has increased beyond an acceptable level, the RL first uses audible, visual and tactile warnings to alert the driver. If the condition goes unchanged, stage two of CMBS involves the activation of light braking. If the system determines that a collision is unavoidable, a third stage retracts the driver's and front passenger's seatbelts and activates the brakes to reduce the speed of impact thus helping to mitigate the damage of a collision.
The optional CMBS ™ package also includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which adjusts vehicle speed automatically to compensate for the varying speed of traffic flow. Michelin® PAX® run-flat tires provide enhanced mobility and convenience by allowing the RL to drive up to 125 miles at 50 mph in the event of a tire puncture.
The RL's exterior styling underscores its advanced performance and technology leadership. At the vehicle's 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.
Inside, the RL with Technology Package is as luxurious as it is sporty. The interior features rich leather, genuine wood trim, and an assortment of leading-edge technologies to enhance driver control and information access. These technologies include Acura HandsFreeLink™, a Bluetooth®-based wireless phone interface that allows calls to be made and received utilizing the RL's steering wheel-mounted HandsFreeLink buttons.
Another key component of the RL Technology Package is the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. This easy to use system features a menu of 685 voice commands, 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. In addition, 1.7 million U.S. cities and street names 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. Previously, the Acura Navigation System worked in the lower 48 U.S. states, but for 2008 it now works in Hawaii as well.
Acura real-time traffic provides live traffic information through the navigation system, displaying a variety of up-to-the-minute information including traffic flow (traffic speed), accidents, and freeway construction. For 2008, real-time traffic coverage has expanded by 32 markets to include a total of 76 major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Traffic flow and accident information are updated continuously, allowing drivers to choose 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 the driver with the latest diagnostic information specific to their vehicle, as well as vehicle-related messages. Working with the HandsFreeLink™ wireless telephone interface, drivers can respond to AcuraLink™ messages or they can one-touch-dial Acura dealers or Acura Roadside Assistance (TLC®) using their Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phone.
The RL also features a standard premium 10-speaker Acura/BOSE® DVD-Audio system that uses Bose Cabin Surround™ circuitry to deliver surround vibrant sound to all seating positions. This innovative system utilizes eight distinct channels (compared to two channels on a typical premium stereo system) to deliver sound resolution 500 times greater than traditional CD. In addition, Centerpoint™ signal processing circuitry processes stereo recordings to five independent channels thus delivering simulated surround sound from conventional CDs. With Active Noise Cancellation™ (ANC), undesirable road, wind and other intrusive noise is greatly reduced through noise cancellation technology that creates a precisely timed reverse phase audio signal to reduce unwanted noise by up to 10 decibels. In addition, with the application of AudioPilot® noise compensation technology, constant monitoring of cabin noise occurs to which the audio system's sound balance is continually adjusted to deliver a constant level of perceived music volume.
The RL is the only Acura equipped with the Keyless Access System™, allowing the owner to lock and unlock doors, open the trunk, and start the car without using a key. When the key fob is brought within approximately two and a half feet of the car, the system electronically links and the doors can be locked or unlocked simply by touching the RL's door handle. Rather than hunting for and then inserting a traditional ignition key, the engine is turned on and off via a switch mounted on the steering column.
The RL, like all 2007 Acura models, is covered by a six-year/70,000 mile limited powertrain warranty and a four-year or 50,000 mile limited standard bumper-to-bumper warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC®), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
In keeping with Acura's "Safety Through Innovation" initiative, the 2008 RL is equipped with a comprehensive array of the latest technologies to enhance active safety (accident avoidance) and passive safety (crash protection). On the active safety front, all RL models feature SH-AWD™, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS), Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Brake Assist continually analyzes the driver's normal braking habits, monitoring both the rate of pressure applied along with total pressure, and then uses this information to help the driver to more quickly apply full braking pressure in an accident avoidance situation.
In the event of an accident, the RL employs a series of passive safety features working in concert to absorb and re-direct the energy of a collision. These features include a reinforced, energy-absorbing frame structure, a sophisticated supplemental restraint system, dual-stage front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, and side curtain airbags. The passenger's side airbag features an Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) to prevent airbag deployment if a child or small-stature adult leans into the deployment path.
The RL, along with the all-new RDX and MDX sport-utility vehicles, utilizes Acura's unique Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. ACE™ employs a network of front frame structures that better distribute collision forces through the body structure and away from the passenger cabin.
The RL has earned 5-star ratings (the best possible) for frontal and side crash tests, and for rollover resistance, from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The RL is the fourth vehicle in the history of the program to earn the top rating of "five stars" in all three test categories. Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the RL a GOOD rating in Side Impact Collision Evaluation (SICE) along with a GOOD rating for IIHS' frontal offset crash test.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 268 dealers within the United States. The 2008 Acura lineup features five distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle.
For additional information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.