1986 Acura Legend -- Body

The Legend's profile is aerodynamically shaped with a low hoodline, high deck and large glass area. Its aerodynamic specifications are:

  • Cd: 0.32
  • Cl: 0.18
  • Cd x A: 0.64 (6.88)
  • Frontal area: 2.0 square meters (21.52 square feet)

Air flow interruption is substantially reduced by the following:

  • Flush-mounted halogen headlights.
  • Body-faired bumper and air dam.
  • Concealed windshield wipers.
  • Aerodynamically shaped outside mirrors.
  • Flush door handles.
  • Trimless, flush taillights.
  • All glass areas are nearly flush with the body.
  • Smooth under-body for improved air flow beneath the car.

The Legend's fenders are gently curved outward to form aerodynamic "blisters". This sculpturing gives the Legend a more aggressive, purposeful look and also accommodates the Michelin MXV 205/60x15 tires.

The monocoque body is extremely stiff to counter vibration and provide a stable handling platform. Computer simulation using NATRAN, a stress analysis program created by NASA, was applied to test and refine the design.

Structural integrity and torsional rigidity are achieved by the use of wide pillars; large section side sills and lower front bulkhead; fully closed-section rear roof rail; box-section rear bulkhead; and heavy gauge sheet metal throughout. High tensile strength steel accounts for 10% of the Legend's monocoque body weight.

Drive components are isolated from the body by mounting them on a sub-frame which is connected to the body at eight points. In addition, there's acoustical insulation under the hood and along the firewall; doors and three-and four-layer sealed; and sandwich construction is used on the front floor and lower dashboard. To keep noise and vibration levels low, the engine is also cradled on a pair of hydraulic mounts.

Corrosion resistance is achieved by using a variety of special steels and treatments: zinc coated steel; electrolytic duplex alloy coated steel; hot-dip iron-zinc alloy steel; and surface treated sheet steel. For further corrosion protection, the under-body is chemically treated and plastic inner-panels are used in the front fenders.

Extra attention was given to detail finish and quality control. Copper sheet welding, rather than spot welding, is used in visible areas and all major body components are compound jig welded; computer monitor dimensional accuracy throughout assembly.

A special painting method was developed for the Legend; it's a 4-coat, 4-bake process which cures each successive layer of paint at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Ordinarily, paint is baked at 180 degrees for: 20 minutes; with the new technique, it's 140 degrees for 40 minutes. This results in a smoother, flatter surface. On metallic colors, the last coat is clear for a high luster finish. Before painting, the front end of the Legend is coated with a special elastic material to prevent chipping; the rocker panels are also given a protective coating.

The interior of the Legend is designed for comfortable and secure cruising for long periods at highway speeds. Particular attention has been devoted to making the driver's environment simple, efficient and to minimize fatigue.

To minimize stress, an efficient environment was created for the driver by using large, clearly readable analog instruments and positioning the most commonly used controls within easy reach around the instrument pod. All switches are designed to give a positive response; the dashboard surface is smooth and uncluttered; the four-spoke steering wheel is thick for a solid feel, and is designed to accommodate the hands in a natural driver position.

An integrated and seamless interior, which enhances the feeling of spaciousness, elegance and quality, was achieved by eliminating metal and plastic strips normally used to cover trim lines. Instead, the Legend uses soft cloth covered trim where the headliner meets the doors, on the pillars, and around much of the interior paneling.

Front seats recline and are bolstered to counteract lateral forces; the driver's seat adjusts for thigh and lumbar support. The attachment point for the latch on the front seat belts in integral with the seat, making the belts easier to use regardless of seat position. The front center console is designed to accommodate a cellular phone. The rear seats have retractable and adjustable headrests as well as a fold-down center armrest.

Both front and rear seats are fully sprung by horizontal springs. They're upholstered with molded, ergonomically shaped, urethane foam pads with the proper degree of firmness to provide support and comfort on long trips. The seats are covered with moquette, a luxurious rich, durable and free-breathing fabric.

The ventilation ducts are large and distribute air, by means of an infinitely variable fan, from the heater or standard air conditioning system. Air exhaust vents near the taillights take advantage of a low pressure area to draw air through the car. The front side-window demisters may be used independently.

The Legend is equipped with a tinted electric sunroof; it can either tilt at the rear or slide back, and has a manual sliding sunshade.

The AM/FM cassette stereo radio delivers superior sound through a 20 watt per channel, 4 channel amplifier and programmable seven band graphic equalizer. It has dual function, push-button controls; easy-to-read digital display; four speakers; rear window laminated and rear-fender mounted dual diversity antennas (the reception of the two antennas is constantly monitored and the one receiving the best FM signal is automatically selected); and remote controls for volume and tuning on the instrument pod to minimize driver distraction.

Legend standard equipment includes: cruise control; adjustable steering column; speed sensitive power assisted steering; power door locks; and windows; and air conditioning.