2012 Acura RL delivers stunning performance and technology
The new Acura RL will be available in three trim levels, RL, RL with Technology Package, and RL with Advance Package. Additional standard features will include a Sequential Sport Shift 6-speed automatic transmission, power actuated front seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control system, power windows,Bluetooth connectivity and a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows easy access to multiple electronic functions.
The RL interior features an assortment of leading-edge technologies for improving passenger and driver experience. Standard on all RL trims is a spectacular Acure/Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio, AM/FM radio tuner,Bluetooth Audio, XM Radio along with USB port and AUX jack connectivity.
"The RL continues to set the benchmark for the innovative use of customer-relevant technology," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "There aren't many cars at any price that offer more advanced technology or drive system sophistication."
The 2012 RL with also boast an impressive powertrain which includes a 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine that develops 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. It will feature innovative VTEC® valvetrain system for both the intake and exhaust valves, a high compression ratio, along with a special dual-stage magnesium intake manifold that enables the intake to function as a single- or dual-plenum manifold design based on engine operating parameters. The RL engine meets the latest EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards.
The Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission will deliver good fuel economy for the 2012 Acural RL, as it achieves an EPA estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy of 17/24/20 mpg. The transmission is teamed with a multi-clutch torque converter that has an advanced converter lock-up assembly with multiple lock-up disks that generate nearly double the facing area of a typical torque converter. The lock-up assembly not only reduces heat build-up during operation, but also allows for lock-up activation during a much wider range of driving conditions, which is instrumental.
The Sequential SportShift 6-speed transmission can be shifted via a console mounted straight gate shifter or by FI and IndyCar style paddle shifters mounted on the back of the steering wheel.
Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system will provide a thrilling driving experience. It will also handle great in even inclimate weather conditions. The SH-AWD system also utilizes torque vectoring (the increase of rotation speed of an outside rear wheel) to create a "yaw moment" to help the RL turn more effectively while under power. This type of yaw movement reduces the cornering load on the front tires which minimizes understeer, to improve handling balance and to escalate total cornering grip.
Acura engineers gave the RL a rigid yet lightweight Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. This helps the RL in it's steering and handling precision, outstanding ride quality, isolation of undesirable road inputs along with excellent safety.
The Acura RL's body is constructed primarily of high tensile strength steel, but the hood, trunk lid, front fenders and bumper beams are made of lightweight aluminum. This help reduce weight and improve overall performance. A sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension system with double-wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) architecture, isolated front and rear subframes, large diameter stabilizer bars and heavy-duty steering rack components works in concert with the rigid unit body construction to complete the RL's chassis layout. Many suspension and frame components are made of Aluminum, which makes the RL lighter for improved performance, better fuel economy and more supple suspension action.
The 2012 RL sits on 18x8-inch diameter 15-spoke aluminum wheels which are matched with performance-minded Michelin Pilot all-season tires. The wheels use resonator wheel technology and add a look of visual sophistication, while also delivering mechanical sophistication.
In an effort to quell road noise transmitted to the RL's cabin, the unique noise reducing wheel uses a polypropylene Helmholtz resonator that encircles the center portion of the inside of the wheel. Such resonator wheel technology significantly lowers middle frequency noise (between 100 and 500 hertz).
The brakes are a four-wheel disc brake system utilizing 4-piston aluminum front brake calipers matched with 12.6-inch diameter ventilated front brake rotors. At the rear, 12.2-inch solid brake rotors team with large single-piston calipers. The brake system also features four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. All this ensures responsiveness and predictability.
When equipped with the Advance Package, linked to the RL's braking system is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) that uses a grille-mounted millimeter-wave radar unit to monitor the distance between the RL and the vehicle directly ahead. ACC can regulate the RL's speed to maintain a pre-set following distance interval between it and the vehicle directly ahead. If following distance becomes too close, the ACC system warns the driver and applies the brakes if necessary.
Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), could be a potential life saver. CMBS uses millimeter-wave technology and monitors the distance and closing rate between the RL and the vehicle directly in front of it. CMBS then uses the information to continuously calculate the likelihood of a frontal collision as well as to alert the driver in different stages of urgency. If the likelihood of a collision significantly increases, CMBS will take actions such as to apply the brakes and pre-tension the front seatbelts. Unfortunately CMBS is only available with the RL trim-line with Advance Package includes .
The Technology Package features Active Front Lighting System (AFS) for the Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights that can swivel up to 12 degrees laterally in response to vehicle speed and steering wheel input. When cornering, the inboard headlight turns to illuminate the road through the corner, greatly improving visibility and minimizing blind spots.
Inside, the 2012 Acura RL features an elegantly styled interior that includes leather-trimmed heated front seats, comfortable space for rear seat passengers, plenty of storage areas and easy-to-use functionality. Like the driver's seat, the passenger front seat has 10-way power adjustability. As part of the Technology Package, the front seats incorporate six levels of heating and ventilation and the steering wheel and shift knob are trimmed with burlwood trim. The Advance Package adds maple wood trim.
Please contact Adam Yamada-Hanff at – [email protected] – for comments, questions, or topics. You can also follow him on Twitter @AdamsAutoAdvice