10/13/2011 - TORRANCE, Calif.
The RL luxury performance sedan has long served as one of Acura's most technologically advanced vehicles, and for 2012 such use of technology abounds. Whether it be advance technology applied to the engine, chassis or interior— the RL owner will reap the benefits in the form of performance, safety and comfort.
Featuring bold looks, a 300 horsepower engine and Acura's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system, the 2012 RL demonstrates that refined luxury is complemented perfectly by advanced technology and performance adrenaline. In addition to delivering luxury, style and performance, Acura's top-of-the-line sedan keeps drivers more connected to their world (and the world around them) by featuring some of the latest in intuitive, easy-to-use, state-of-the-art technology.
"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 is available in three variations: RL, RL with Technology Package and RL with Advance Package. All RL's feature as standard a potent 3.7-liter V-6 engine with VTEC® valvetrain operation, a Sequential Sport Shift 6-speed automatic transmission, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, leather trimmed interior, power actuated front seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control system, power moonroof, power windows, Acura/Bose® Surround Sound audio system, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® connectivity and a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows easy access to multiple electronic functions.
An available Technology Package includes a satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™, rear view back-up camera, back-up sensors, Active Front Lighting System (AFS), ventilated front seats and a simulated burlwood accented steering wheel and shift knob. The top RL trim is the Advance Package which adds Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), power folding side mirrors and genuine maple wood instrument panel trim.
The advanced technology built into the 2012 RL includes a 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine that develops 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque thanks to an 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. In addition to generating excellent power, the RL engine meets the latest EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards.
A Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is used that not only generates strong acceleration performance, but also helps deliver good fuel economy. In addition, the 6-speed transmission teams 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 in allowing the RL to achieve an EPA rated* city/highway/combined fuel economy of 17/24/20 mpg.
The Sequential SportShift 6-speed transmission can be shifted via a console mounted straight gate shifter or by racing-inspired paddle shifters mounted on the back of the steering wheel.
The RL's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system simultaneously provides an exhilarating driving experience as well as peace of mind— regardless of most weather conditions. In addition to the numerous traction advantages of all-wheel drive, SH-AWD™ 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. Such a yaw moment reduces the cornering load on the front tires to minimize understeer, to improve handling balance and to escalate total cornering grip.
Body and Chassis
To complement the high-performance powertrain, Acura engineers gave the RL a rigid yet lightweight Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. A strong body was critical for achieving the engineers' high targets for steering and handling precision, outstanding ride quality, isolation of undesirable road inputs along with excellent safety.
The RL's body is constructed primarily of high tensile strength steel, while the hood, trunk lid, front fenders and bumper beams are made of lightweight aluminum. 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. Subframes and suspension components made of aluminum reduce the RL's weight for improved performance, better fuel economy and more supple suspension action.
To provide excellent handling and looks, 18x8-inch diameter 15-spoke aluminum wheels are matched with performance-minded Michelin Pilot all-season tires. While the wheels add a look of visual sophistication, they also deliver mechanical sophistication thanks to the use of resonator wheel technology.
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). Combined with the added use of insulation material on the floorboard areas of the RL, there is a 1.3 dB reduction in interior noise— which translates to a 15-percent improvement.
Powerful, responsive and predictable braking is supplied by 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. Braking is further aided by the use of a four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
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.
The RL with Advance Package includes Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™). Using millimeter-wave technology, CMBS™ 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.
Exterior and Interior
The 2012 RL's exterior styling is not only distinctive and upscale, but delivers excellent aerodynamics and a stable feel at higher speeds. At the front of the RL is a grill that teams with the athletically styled body to give visual indication of the vehicle's performance capabilities— capabilities that allow it to challenge the most capable German and Japanese sports sedans. Comfort, quietness and ride quality are also on a par with performance sedan competitors.
RL models equipped with the Technology Package also feature the 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 swivels to illuminate a larger area of road surface throughout the corner, thus improving visibility and minimizing blind spots.
Inside, the 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).
Luxury sedan owners demand a quiet ride, which the RL delivers in spades. However, going beyond the norm is the use of an acoustic glass windshield and an Active Sound Control system that team to reduce noise in the RL's already quiet cabin. Abundant use of insulation in the floorboard areas further reduces unwanted road noise.
The RL interior features an assortment of leading-edge technologies to enhance driver control and information access. Standard on all RL trims is a spectacular Acura/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.
A key component of the RL Technology Package is the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. The advanced system allows for easy control of key systems via voice control (with more than 700 commands) including voice guidance for turn-by-turn directions, over 7 million points of interest, Zagat Survey™ restaurant guide information, along with voice recognition to operate key audio and climate control functions.
The innovative AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System features driver relevant technologies such as the available AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™ and continuously updated AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with weather radar image maps.
The 2012 RL utilizes Acura's rigid Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that features extensive use of high-tensile steel and lightweight aluminum components to take vehicle construction beyond conventional safety protocols— all while keeping overall vehicle weight in check.
The ACE™ body structure's front-mounted polygonal frame design enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes by utilizing a network of connected structural elements to help distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle— reducing the forces transmitted to the passenger compartment. To further enhance safety, the RL employs active head restraints built into the front seats to help improve neck and head protection in the event of a rear impact collision. To further aid in safety, the RL includes as standard six airbags and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).