HEADLINES

2008 Acura RL - Introduction

OVERVIEW

The 2008 Acura RL combines performance, technology, style and safety in an athletic 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. All the while, none has made its driver more connected to the surroundings on the road – 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 be as consumer-friendly as possible.

Also, as part of its continued commitment to providing Safety Through Innovation, Acura will again highlight the availability of two available Technology Packages on the RL:

  • RL with Technology Package includes: Acura Satellite Navigation System and AcuraLink™ with real-time traffic, Active Front Lighting System (AFS) and an upgraded wood interior
  • RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires: includes Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Michelin® PAX® run-flat tires

CMBS™ uses a millimeter-wave radar unit mounted inside the RL's front grille to detect vehicles ahead and to monitor potential rear-end collisions, to alert the driver when the likelihood of a collision increases, and to help reduce the impact on front occupants by tightening the seatbelts and applying the brakes should a collision prove to be imminent.

The Michelin® PAX® system run-flat tire technology helps provide enhanced mobility and security with continuous mobility of up to 125 miles at 50 mph following a tire puncture.

RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires also adds the convenience of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Adaptive Cruise Control also uses the radar system mounted inside the front grille to measure the distance between the RL and the vehicle directly ahead. To compensate for varying traffic flow, ACC continually adjusts vehicle speed by automatically applying throttle and braking to maintain a consistent following interval.

The innovation built into the RL begins with the most powerful engine ever offered in a production Acura sedan. The 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 engine develops 290 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque. In addition to developing abundant power, the RL engine meets tough ULEV-2 emission standards and delivers excellent fuel economy of 16/24 mpg* (city/highway).

A Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with F1®-style paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control sends power to the standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system. There are numerous traction advantages of all-wheel drive and 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 function reduces the cornering load on the front tires to reduce understeer, to improve handling balance and total cornering grip.

The RL exterior's aggressive style foreshadows the power beneath the hood. Its shape is taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance allow it to challenge the most capable German and Japanese sports sedans. Comfort, quietness and ride quality are also on a par with all competitors.

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. Optimized fully independent suspension with front double-wishbone and multi-link rear design, large brakes and aggressive 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels work together to further enhance the reflexes of the RL.

The elegantly styled interior includes perforated leather-trimmed seats, wood-styled accents and top-rate materials. These are complemented by the most advanced electronics available including the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, the innovative AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real-time traffic, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and a spectacular Acura/Bose® 10-speaker Surround Sound System. Safety is also enhanced with a standard passenger seatbelt reminder, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and side curtain airbags. These advances team to make the RL the strongest, most powerful, best handling and most luxurious sedan Acura has ever built.

Like all Acura models, the RL is covered by a six year or 70,000 mile limited powertrain warranty in addition to the four-year or 50,000 mile standard bumper-to-bumper warranty.*Based on 2008 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

Powertrain Features:

  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™)
  • 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control
  • 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC® V-6 engine
  • 290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
  • 256 lb-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 with detonation/knock control
  • Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Meets CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions standard
  • 100,000 miles or more tune-up interval

Body and Chassis Features

  • Unit body with extensive use of high-tensile steel and aluminum
  • Lightweight aluminum front and rear subframes
  • Independent double-wishbone front suspension
  • Independent multi-link rear suspension
  • Electronically controlled, speed-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering
  • 17x8-inch aluminum-alloy 5-spoke wheels
  • Michelin P245/50R17 98V high performance, all season tires
  • Available Michelin PAX® run-flat high performance, all-season tires (included with the RL Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires)
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
  • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights
  • Active Front Lighting System (AFS) (included with Technology Package)
  • LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination
  • Flush junction between side glass and B-pillars
  • Power moonroof with tilt, automatic open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation
  • Heated outside mirrors with driver recognition, reverse gear mirror tilt-down and integrated directional signals


Comfort & convenience features:

  • Acura/Bose® 10-speaker Surround Sound System with 6-disc CD, DVD-Audio, and DTS® changer and AM/FM tuner
  • Active Noise Cancellation™ system
  • MP3 auxiliary jack
  • Keyless Access System™
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface for Bluetooth® phones
  • Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and real-time traffic (included with Technology Package)
  • Standard rearview camera on models equipped with navigation
  • Available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) (included with CMBS™ and PAX®)
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control
  • 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
  • Multi-Information Display (MID)
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Rear side sunshades
  • Remote retractable rear headrests
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Safety features

  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
  • Impact-absorbing crumple zones (front/rear)
  • Side impact door beams
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with location and pressure indicators
  • Driver's and front passenger's dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)
  • Driver and front passenger side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side curtain airbags for front and rear outboard seats
  • Optional Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) (available in the RL Technology Package with CMBS™ and PAX® Tires)
  • 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
  • Remote retractable rear seat head restraints
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system
  • Vehicle Stability AssistTM (VSA®) with traction control
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Brake Assist

MARKET SUMMARY

V-6 powered sedans are the highest volume sellers in the RL's segment. Because they represent the core of the market, Acura decided to build the best V-6 powered luxury performance sedan possible. Hence the 290-hp V-6 powered RL was created. By choosing not to implement use of a V-8, which accounts for only 15-percent of the vehicles sold in this market segment, it meant that the RL would be lighter, more nimble, and better balanced.

Key 6-cylinder competitors in the RL's segment include the BMW 528i, Audi A6 3.2, Lexus GS 350, and Mercedes-Benz E350. However, with its SH-AWD™ system as standard equipment, the RL has a distinct advantage over each of those competitors.

POWERTRAIN

Powering the RL is a compact aluminum-alloy 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC® V-6 that is mounted transversely. The V-6 produces 290 hp and 256 lb-ft of torque while meeting stringent CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions targets. Fuel economy numbers are 16/24 mpg (city/highway).

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

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

BODY & CHASSIS

The RL body fits its role as a mid-luxury sports sedan with a muscular appearance and an aggressive, dynamic personality.

The unit body structure is stiff for superior 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, frame, 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 RL's 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 contributes to improved quietness inside the car.

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

The RL features the Active Front Lighting System (AFS) (available in the RL with Technology Package). To help the driver see around corners, the low-beam headlights can swivel laterally up to 20-degrees when certain steering angle and speed conditions are met. Xenon HID low-beam headlights, LED turn signals integrated in the exterior mirror housings and a Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL) dramatically increase visibility. Daytime running lights are standard, as is the Keyless Access System.

INTERIOR

The interior of the RL is more than just luxurious, sporty, and fully equipped with comfort and convenience features. Technology abounds in the form of the AcuraLink™ satellite communication system that includes the first ever U.S. application of real-time traffic information. This feature includes traffic information for 76 major metropolitan areas that the RL driver can access to see traffic tie-ups on major freeways. The information is delivered in real time via graphics displayed on the RL's MID screen. This real time information allows drivers to re-route themselves to clearer traffic corridors without relying on ambiguous radio traffic reports.

Other RL interior features are equally appealing. As an example, the innovative Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is offered as part of the optional RL Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires. With ACC, when cruise control is activated the innovative system uses radar to allow the driver to set and maintain a specific following distance interval between the RL and the car directly in front of it.

The RL interior features luxurious styling, perforated leather-trimmed seats, and dramatic LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination. Premium technologies define the interior just as it does the powertrain and chassis. These technologies include: 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 that provides 500 times the clarity of a typical CD system; MP3 and DTS capability; and standard XM® Satellite Radio.

Premium features continue in the form of Active Noise Cancellation™ (ANC) that neutralizes low-frequency noise in the interior along with Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® which is a hands-free phone interface 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 (MID), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with specific tire and pressure indicators, and the Maintenance Minder™ system.

SAFETY

The RL earned the highest possible ratings (5-star) awarded during frontal (NCAP) and side (SINCAP) crash tests for outboard positions and rollover resistance tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The RL is one of a select few vehicles in the history of the program to receive such high ratings in all three categories. The RL also earned a GOOD safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) for frontal offset and side impact tests.

With the RL, Acura embraces active as well as passive safety as essential goals. Active safety features that can help a driver avoid an accident include SH-AWD™, Vehicle Stability AssistTM (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 the available Active Front Lighting System (AFS) contribute to superior nighttime visibility.

One of the optional packages available for 2008, the RL Technology Package plus CMBS™ and PAX® Tires adds the Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Adaptive Cruise Control and Michelin PAX® run-flat tires. Components of this package and are not available separately.

The RL also features Acura's innovative Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. ACE™ is designed to help dissipate collision forces in frontal crashes, while enhancing crash protection for occupants and passengers in other vehicles.

The RL features a driver and front passenger 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 seat that will automatically turn off the passenger-side front side airbag if it detects an occupant who weighs less than 65 pounds.

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