Increased Horsepower and Sportier Handling Enhances New 2002 Acura RL
The Acura 3.5 RL, already one of the most technologically advanced and luxurious automobiles on the market, sets an even more impressive standard for 2002 with a significant increase in horsepower, sport-tuned suspension and braking systems, more responsive steering, and the addition of the OnStar® communications system.
"With increased power, sportier handling, and additional refinements, the 2002 RL is the finest flagship sedan we have ever created," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, sales. "We believe the RL is uniquely equipped to offer today's discerning buyers everything they've been looking for in a premium luxury automobile."
Thanks in part to a new, silencer in the variable exhaust system, the 24-valve, 3.5-liter V-6 engine now delivers 225 horsepower and 231 lbs.-ft. of torque (compared with 210 horsepower and 224 lbs.-ft. for the '01 RL). The engine utilizes a 4-valve-per-cylinder configuration, a three-stage Variable Induction System, and a sophisticated Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system to increase fuel efficiency and help the RL meet Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards. Outfitted with platinum-tipped spark plugs and a long-life timing belt, the engine is designed to run for 105,000 miles before requiring a scheduled tune-up.
Complementing the powerful engine is a sophisticated, computer-controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control. When driving on steep grades, Grade Logic Control automatically holds the transmission in the proper gear to help eliminate unnecessary shifts and gear "hunting."
The race-bred, double-wishbone suspension - the foundation for the RL's renowned handling and smooth, comfortable ride - has been carefully revised for 2002 to deliver even greater handling responsiveness and stability while maintaining excellent ride quality. For enhanced cornering grip, the 2002 RL features wider, P225/55R16 Michelin all-season tires on redesigned, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. To maximize the driver's enjoyment of this athletic chassis, the advanced, speed-sensing, variable power-assisted steering system has been retuned to provide even more road feel and handling control.
For enhanced stopping power, the standard front and rear disc brakes are equipped with a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that automatically pulses the brakes during maximum-effort stops to help retain steering control on slippery roads. To further enhance braking power and feel, the system also features a new dual-diaphragm master cylinder. Also standard is a sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, which monitors traction control and stability functions by constantly comparing the driver's input with how the car is actually responding. The VSA system automatically modulates the front and rear brakes and/or retards the throttle as necessary when accelerating or cornering to help bring the car back onto the driver's intended path.
To deliver enhanced comfort for driver and passengers alike, the 2002 RL offers significant reductions in noise and vibration. New insulation material under the hood, in the engine compartment, and under the dashboard help make the 2002 edition the quietest RL ever built.
In the continuing quest for convenience and luxury, the 2002 RL is equipped with OnStar - an advanced, 24-hour, in-vehicle communications and assistance service that gives the driver access to a vast array of available services - from emergency roadside assistance to route and location guidance and concierge services. RL owners can choose between the Safety and Security Plan, which includes safety and security features, the Premium Services Plan, which adds route support, concierge and convenience services and ride assist, and Personal-Calling which includes wireless communication and "Virtual Advisor" Internet services. The Safety and Security Plan service is included free of charge for the first year.
Occupant safety is of paramount importance at Acura, and the RL is equipped with a truly comprehensive array of advanced safety features. Complementing its highly rigid body structure and computer-designed front and rear crumple zones are front air bags with a patented dual-stage front passenger's air bag and automatic seatbelt pretentioners. The dual-stage inflator automatically selects one of two inflation rates based on the severity of impact and seat belt usage. Side air bags for the driver and front passenger provide an extra layer of protection in lateral collisions. To further protect small front-seat passengers, multiple sensors in the front passenger seat determine the height and position of the occupant. If a child or small statured adult leans into the side air bag's deployment path, these sensors prevent side air bag deployment.
The RL's handsome exterior and spacious, luxurious interior reflect Acura's attention to detail and craftsmanship. For 2002, the RL's lines are subtly enhanced with new body-colored lower side sills, splash guards, a new wheel design and roof strips. Inside, the RL offers rich, leather appointments and warm, camphor wood accents. This elegant cabin environment is further enhanced by a sweeping array of comfort and convenience features, including an Acura/Bose® Music System with 6-disc CD changer, an automatic climate control system, a HomeLink™ system built into the sun visor (which allows the driver to operate the garage door or house lights with a press of a button), and a power glass moonroof.
The fully appointed Acura RL offers only one factory-installed option: the DVD-based Acura Satellite Linked Navigation System. One of the most sophisticated, yet easy-to-use navigation systems on the market today, the Acura Navigation System provides mapping coverage of the continental United States and stores information on more than 3.7 million points of interest on a single Digital Versatile Disc (DVD). The Navigation System's 7-inch, color LCD display has a matte-finish touch screen that reduces glare and fingerprinting, making it easy to read.
Like all Acura models, the 3.5 RL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service, and trip routing.
For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, go to www.acuranews.com.