2005 Acura RL Introduction

2005 Acura RL Introduction


The 2005 Acura RL combines performance, technology and style in an athletic new luxury package that pushes the boundaries of automotive design on multiple fronts. No production car at any price has ever offered more advanced electronic technology or drive-system sophistication. And none has made its driver more connected-with real-time traffic information, personal assistance, phone communication and audio entertainment. True to form for Acura, the many advanced systems of the RL are engineered to function smoothly, efficiently and intuitively. Similarly, the RL upholds another basic Acura tenet: comprehensive standard equipment. In the case of the RL, everything is standard. There are no factory options. The only available RL options are a few select dealer installed upgrades.

In creating this new luxury vehicle, Acura designers completely redefined the RL concept and repositioned it at the leading edge of its category. Its new shape is much more taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance is dramatically improved to challenge the most capable German sports sedans. Comfort, quietness and ride quality are also substantially improved. The 2005 RL serves clear notice that Acura has upped the ante in its category.

The innovation built into the RL begins with the most powerful engine ever offered in a production Acura. The new 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 engine develops 300 horsepower (a remarkable 33-percent increase compared to its predecessor) and torque has risen to 260 lbs.-ft. (a 12-percent increase). In spite of developing much more power from the same displacement, the new RL engine meets much tougher emission standards and delivers comparable fuel economy as compared to its predecessor.

A new 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control sends power to the standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system, which dramatically elevates cornering capability. This innovative full-time system distributes power precisely front-to-rear and side-to-side in the rear. In addition to providing the expected traction advantages of all-wheel drive, SH-AWD does something no other current AWD system can: It increases the rotation speed of the outside rear wheel during aggressive cornering to help the car turn more effectively under power. This lessens the cornering load on the front tires to reduce understeer and improve handling balance and total cornering grip.

The extremely rigid Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure of the RL features extensive use of high-tensile steel and lightweight aluminum components to take construction beyond conventional safety protocols while keeping weight in check and providing a solid platform. Optimized independent front double-wishbone and independent multi-link rear geometry, larger brakes and aggressive new 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tires work together to further enhance the reflexes of the RL.

The elegantly styled interior includes perforated leather-trimmed seats, fine wood accents and top-rate materials. These are complimented by the most advanced electronics available, including Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, innovative AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real time traffic, Active Noise Cancellation™ system (ANC), and a spectacular-sounding Acura/Bose® 10-speaker Surround Sound System with 6-disc CD, DVD-Audio and DTS® changer and AM/FM tuner. Safety is also enhanced with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), side curtain airbags, and standard OnStar® service.

These advances-and a lot more-combine in the all-new 2005 Acura RL; the strongest, most powerful, best handling and most luxurious sedan Acura has ever built.


  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™)
  • 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control
  • 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 engine
  • 300 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
  • 260 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
  • VTEC™ (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) valvetrain
  • Drive-by-wire throttle system
  • Variable flow exhaust system
  • 11.0:1 compression ratio
  • High inertia dual-stage intake manifold
  • Direct ignition system and detonation/knock control
  • Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Meets CARB LEV-2 ULEV standard, which cuts NOx by 77% compared to LEV-I LEV of previous 3.5 RL
  • 105,000-mile tune-up interval


  • Unit body with extensive use of high-tensile steel and aluminum
  • Lightweight aluminum front and rear subframes
  • Heated outside mirrors with driver recognition, reverse gear tilt-down and integrated directional signals
  • Independent double-wishbone front suspension
  • Independent multi-link rear suspension
  • Electronically controlled, speed-sensing, power assist rack-and-pinion steering
  • 17 x 8-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • P245/50R17 98V high performance, all season tires
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control
  • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with Active Front Lighting System (AFS)
  • LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination
  • Flush junction between side glass and B-pillars
  • Power moonroof with tilt, auto-open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation


  • Acura/Bose® 10-speaker Surround Sound System with 6-disc CD, DVD-Audio and DTS® changer and AM/FM tuner.
  • Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and real time traffic allows communication between Acura and the vehicle
  • Active Noise Cancellation™ system (ANC)
  • Keyless Access System
  • HandsFreeLink™ wireless telephone interface compatible with Bluetooth mobile phones
  • Multi-information display
  • OnStar® service
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control system
  • Driver's 8-way power seat with power adjustable lumbar support
  • Front passenger's 4-way power seat with power adjustable lumbar support
  • Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column with driver recognition
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Rear side sunshades
  • Remote retractable rear headrests
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel


  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure
  • Side impact door beams
  • Impact-absorbing crumple zones (front/rear)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with location and pressure indicators
  • Driver's and front passenger's dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplementary Restraint System (SRS)
  • Driver's and front passenger's side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side curtain airbags for front and rear outboard seats
  • 3-point adjustable height seat belts with load limiters and front pretensioners
  • 3-point seat belts at all seating positions
  • Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractors (ALR/ELR)
  • Front head restraints adjustable for height and tilt
  • Rear adjustable head restraints
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child-seat mounting system


V-6 powered sedans are the highest volume sellers in the RL segment. Because they represent the core of the market, Acura decided to build the best V-6 powered luxury performance sedan possible. Hence the 300-hp V-6 powered 2005 RL was created. Eschewing a V-8, which counts for only 15% of the vehicles sold in this market segment, meant not only that the RL would be lighter and more nimble, but also powerful and balanced.

Key 6-cylinder competitors in the RL segment include the BMW 530i, Audi A6, Lexus GS 300, and Mercedes-Benz E320. With its SH-AWD system as standard equipment, the RL has a distinct advantage over each of them. Only Audi and Mercedes-Benz offer all-wheel drive systems-but at considerable extra cost.


Powering the RL is a compact new aluminum-alloy 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC™ V-6 that is mounted transversely rather than longitudinally as in the previous 2004 3.5 RL. Significantly lighter, narrower by 1.4 inches and shorter by 2.4 inches, the new engine is also substantially more powerful, producing 300 hp and 260 lbs.-ft. of torque compared to 225 hp and 231 lbs.-ft., respectively, in the previous 3.5 RL.

The new engine is also cleaner, meeting stringent CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions targets, which are significantly cleaner than the LEV standards of the previous 3.5 RL. Preliminary fuel economy figures are 18 mpg City/26 mpg Highway.

The RL comes standard with a 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. Gears may also be shifted manually via a new multi-gate shifter located on the front center console.

The defining powertrain feature of the 2005 RL is Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD. The system continuously varies the torque split between the front and rear wheels, and left and right rear wheels. To help the RL arc through corners with better chassis balance and more total grip, in a turn SH-AWD also overdrives the outside rear wheel at a faster speed, using engine torque to help the car rotate into the turn.


The RL body fits its role as a mid-luxury sport sedan perfectly. It is taller, wider, and has a wider track than before, but it is also shorter overall. These dimensions, contribute to a more muscular appearance and a much more aggressive dynamic personality.

The new unit body structure is stiffer for improved handling precision, and utilizes a variety of steel grades in different areas where maximum strength is required. In addition, the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, front and rear subframes, bumper beams and major suspension components are manufactured from aluminum to reduce weight. Some of these components are formed using an advanced "blow forming" process that allows intricate shapes to be created without increasing the weight of the part.

Careful attention was paid to smoothing airflow over, under and around the body, across the flush side glass and across the windshield wipers. A cowl garnish was installed at the lower part of windshield to reduce air turbulence, while an advanced exterior-mirror design also contributes to improved quietness inside the car.

Exterior lighting is dramatically upgraded with the Active Front Lighting System (AFS). To help the driver see around corners or intersections, the left or right low beam headlight can swivel automatically up to 20 degrees outboard when certain steering angle and speed conditions are met. Xenon HID low-beam headlights, LED mirror integrated directional signals in the exterior mirror housings and Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp dramatically brighten visibility. Daytime Running Lights are standard for the first time on an Acura in the U.S., as is the Keyless Access System.

The independent front double-wishbone and independent multi-link rear suspension use aluminum arms and mount on aluminum subframes. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control, large 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and larger 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tires set new standards for RL dynamic performance.


The interior of the 2005 Acura RL is more than just luxurious, sporty, and fully equipped with comfort and convenience features. That's because its AcuraLink™ satellite communication system includes the first ever U.S. application of real time traffic information. That means that in 20 U.S. metro areas , the RL driver will be able to see traffic tie-ups on major freeways in a graphic onscreen representation in real time. This allows drivers to re-route themselves to clearer traffic corridors without relying on ambiguous radio traffic reports.

Other features in the RL interior are equally appealing, beginning with its luxurious new styling, perforated leather-trimmed seats, and dramatic LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination. Premium technology defines the interior just as it does the powertrain and chassis. These technologies includes a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control system, an Acura/BOSE® 10-speaker surround sound system with DVD-AUDIO 6-disc changer with 500 times the clarity of a typical CD system, MP3 and WMA capability and standard XM® Satellite Radio.

Premium features continue with Active Noise Cancellation™ (ANC), which neutralizes low-frequency booming sounds in the interior, and HandsFreeLink™, a hands-free phone interface that is compatible with many Bluetooth phones for a seamless cellular communication experience-in the car or away from it. Other technologies include a Multi-information display, OnStar® service, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with location and pressure indicators, and the Maintenance Minder System.


With the RL, Acura embraces active as well as passive safety as essential goals. Active safety features that help a driver avoid an accident include SH-AWD, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control, and 4-wheel disc brakes. ABS and Brake Assist also help contribute to greater driver control. HID Xenon plasma-arc low-beam headlights and Active Front Lighting System (AFS) contribute to superior nighttime visibility.

The 2005 RL is the first Acura to feature the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. It is designed to help dissipate collision forces, while enhancing crash protection for occupants and passengers in other vehicles. Excellent test results are anticipated for the government New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) collision tests and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests.

The RL features a driver's and front passenger's dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplementary Restraint System (SRS). Side curtain airbags that provide head protection for all outboard seating positions are also standard equipment. The RL also has seat sensors that monitor the weight on the front passenger's seat and the position of the occupant. These automatically turn off the passenger's front airbag if they detect an infant or small child may be in the seat or the side airbag if the occupant is out of position.

Available OnStar® service notifies emergency services automatically if the RL is involved in any accident where the airbags deploy.

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