1996 Acura 3.5 RL- Body


The body design is intended to impart a feeling of strong, yet casual elegance, with a strong front grille and prominent Acura identification. The body of the RL is significantly taller than previous Acura luxury sedans, for improved headroom, especially in the rear seats, and a more substantial exterior appearance. The RL flanks are designed with high, relatively prominent "shoulder" lines, for a strong, masculine appearance, and the front grille/fender/bumper area is designed with a very clean, integrated configuration, giving a more massive, yet aerodynamically efficient look. Refinements in aerodynamics and wind-noise control have resulted in a very quiet, distraction-free interior environment.

Precise Fit and Finish

The RL is engineered and painstakingly assembled to have a level of fit and finish second to none in the luxury sedan class. Panels have been combined and integrated, wherever possible, to eliminate gaps and seams. The front bumper assembly, for example, is composed of 52 parts, as compared to the front bumper of a Legend, which had 120 seperate parts.


The tall, spacious-feeling greenhouse of the RL is designed to give the driver and passengers a clear, panoramic view of the road ahead and the surroundings to the sides and rear for incrased active safety. The driver's front, side and rear views are largely unobstructed, due to slim, yet highly rigid, roof pillars. The body is designed to give the driver a clear sense of the boundaries of the car, for more secure maneuvering and parking.

Paint Process and Corrosion Protection

The RL is built with a high proportion of galvanized steel panels, most of them galvanized on both sides for superior corrosion protection. All visibile surfaces are protected by a 23-step, 5-cost, 4-bake paint process, with special anti-chip primer and special scratch-resistant paint used in areas that are likely to be struck by stones or other debris. The paint process is so precise and exacting that personnel who work in the painting section of the factory wear special contamination-free clothing while working, and are checked for colognes or other cosmetic chemicals that might cause the slightest contamination of the painting environment. Chassis panels are protected by corrosion-resistant undercoating material, and body cavities are injected with an oil-based anti-corrosion wax that displaces moisture for even better protection.

Three-Function Headlight Assemblies

To enhance the smooth, integrated look of the front section, the headlight assemblies include running lights, headlights and turn signals.

Crystal-Cut Taillight Assemblies

The ultra-high quality appearance of the RL is enhanced by a special crystal structure cast into the inner surface of the RL rear outer lens assemblies.

Side-Mirror Air Deflectors

As an example of the extraordinary lengths taken to reduce wind noise, the outside rearview mirrors are designed with a small wind deflector, or spoiler, that directs oncoming air down and away from the mirror assembly. By detaching the airflow under the mirror, the deflector reduces the pressure gradient between the air rushing around the mirror housing and the still air behind the mirror, eliminating a "whistling" effect there that has been identified as a cause of wind noise in the wind tunnel.

Auto-Open, Privacy-Glass Power Moonroof

The 3.5 RL with Premium Package includes an innovative power moonroof. The outer moonroof panel first tilts up, for increased ventilation, and then opens completely with one further touch of the control button. Energy-rejecting privacy glass is used, and the moonroof is programmed to pause at the 130mm position during closing, to help ensure passenger safety.

Under-Chassis Spoiler

A special spoiler, located immediately behind the front bumper, has been developed which reduces airflow under the RL, reducing the high-pressure air under the fron tof the body and diverting it to flow around the sides and over the top. This reduces drag and front-end lift, and also reduces wind noise, helping to give the RL a remarkably quiet interior, even at autobahn-level velocities.

Back to Top
Honda North America | 1919 Torrance Boulevard | Torrance, CA 90501 | Media Contacts

Related Document