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Acura RL

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Comments

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The Japanese V8 models are pretty much there for press drives. They are not volume cars, but they make the entire model-line look a little better. The RL lacks that halo effect.

    I agree that the RL is badly neglected, but I can't fault Acura for not updating it in the past two years. If the rumors about using a hybrid drive train are true, then waiting for it to be viable was probably a smart move.

    For example, if they had redone the RL for 2003, it probably would have gotten the MDX's 260 hp engine with FWD and trim/design upgrades similar to everything else on the market. Then we'd have to wait for 2008 for the next redesign. By waiting a bit longer, Honda may be able to release a 2005 RL with a AWD high-performance hybrid system that will be unique and make a bigger splash.

    Build a decent product now, or build a superior product a little later.

    1943973 - Actually VTEC allows an engine to breathe better at both high and low rpms. Without variable valve technology an engine must pick between high or low rpm performance. Most select a middle ground. With VTEC (or similar systems), the engine can breathe comfortably at any rpm.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    VTEC worked differently back in the old days before the new CL and MDX came out. Back then, it was either on or off at a certain RPM. In the NSX, it was around 5600 RPM. In the S2000, its around 7500 RPM. I can't vouch for the S2000, but I can tell you at 5600, my NSX seems to get a second wind and really moves.

    Thats why I don't think the old VTEC technology is in the RL.

    From what I've read in the past, the 2005 RL
    - 203 in in length (S-Class, A8L, 745Li size)
    - 3.0L V6 at around 200 hp w/IMA at 100hp giving it a even 300 hp.
    - (AWD) front driven by IMA, rear driven by gasoline like the DN-X
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    They are claiming 4WD and now AWD. Maybe from the MDX?

    <http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/ae_news_story.php?id=38178>

    The 3.0L iVTEC engine they mention is here

    http://world.honda.com/news/2003/4030618_1.html

    The technology will probably consists of:

    http://world.honda.com/news/2003/4030618_2.html
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Sorry... this is off topic.

    Even the earliest versions of VTEC made use of two valve settings. Both are part of the VTEC system. Both improve performance. Both are equally important.

    One setting is for high rpm performance. It allows the engine to breathe deeper and longer during each piston cycle. When people remark on VTEC "kicking in", what they mean is the valves have switched from the low rpm setting to the high rpm setting.

    The other setting is for low rpm operation. At low rpms, the engine doesn't need to breathe like a marathon runner, shallow and quick breaths are all it takes. This prevents that fish out of water situation. One setting without the other, would be very bad.

    Honda's early uses of VTEC were aimed at increasing the total output of the engine. So the low rpm settings were used to increase fuel economy, lower emissions, and keep the engine running smooth. That allowed the engine to build a modest amount of torque in the mid range. When that curve began to fall off, VTEC would engage the high rpms settings and carry that same torque into the higher rpms, where it generates more power. The aggressive valve settings are biased toward the high end since more power was the primary goal.

    It didn't have to be that way. If Honda had preferred, they might have biased the engine toward the low end of the RPM band. The low end could have created large amounts of torque in the low range, then used slightly more aggressive valve settings in the mid range to prevent the engine from gasping at the top. This would not have created as much horsepower as the route described in the paragraph above. Such an engine would have been better suited for a towing vehicle or off-roader, not a sports car.

    When Honda started building truck-like vehicles, they changed the bias of the VTEC. The MDX required more grunt off the line. So Honda adjusted the VTEC settings to provide more power through the low and mid ranges. It didn't matter that the torque curve tapered off in the high rpms. A high revving engine would have been inappropriate for an SUV.

    One good example of this is the 2.4L K-series engine as found in the CR-V and the Accord. In the CR-V, it is biased for power at the low end. That engine makes 162 lb-ft at 3,600 rpms. In the Accord, the same block is biased for efficiency and does not need the same low end grunt. It makes about 161 lb-ft at 4,500 rpms. Both use the same i-VTEC system (just tuned differently) and make 160 horses. The TSX uses a third tuning of the same engine, which provides torque at the low end and power in the upper revs. The catch is a preferrance for premium fuel as well as lower overall fuel economy and emissions.

    In the end, the engine uses either the high or low settings depending on which is the appropriate tool for the job. As cars run at both rpm ranges, both are necessary.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Thanks. So why isn't VTEC incorporated in the RL?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    As far as I can tell, the RL should have VTEC in some form. I would think that a low-end bias would be good for this vehicle. Get the torque up front and make acceleration feel effortless.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Just from my own experiences with the car, torque on the RL is more than adequate at low rpms. The car doesn't feel bogged down when accelerating from a stop and has more pick up than the Lexus GS 300, Audi A6 2.8 and Volvo S80 that I test drove a few years back. With those models, I had to rev past 4000 rpm before the car started moving at a decent pace.
  • msgreenmsgreen Posts: 67
    Re my post #15 above, that is my point. If Honda was going to wait until 05 or 06 (whenever) to update the RL, OK, no doubt they have business reasons. However, in my humble opinion, they badly hurt the RL by not upgrading it with at least the offerings they had in other lines. For example, the MDX has had the 3.5L V6 with VTEC and 240 HP for several years. The five speed auto has been available with that engine for a similar period. WHY, didn't Honda make these standard in their top of the line brand???? It was essentially a no cost issue for them and would have at least made the brand more comparable to other brands with similar engines/transmissions. To me, this is just crazy. This has nothing to do with the re-do of the exterior/interior styling or any other Techno-Wiz upgrades planned for the future, it is just common sense. BMW has a 528 and upgrades to a 3L and 5sd auto during the E39 model run. They did not wait for the E60 because the competition was killing them with more HP, etc. Same for Acura, not making improvements which were essentially "free" to the company has hurt sales of this car....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Comparing the RL with the M45 really doesn't say much, seeing as thought the M45 is also a dud. Both the A6 and S80 have more powerful versions available, Acura clearly lacks that. Acura may be competitive with those V6 models, but it's lunchmeat next to the E320, 530i, A6 2.7t and others, when it comes to the overall package, though it's 225hp is within that class' average. Acura killed the RL with most buyers by claiming it competed with the V8 powered versions of those cars, which was a truly ridiculous claim.

    M
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    No doubt the A6 and S80 have more powerful versions, but they also cost more. Reliablity is pretty important to me. I have reservations about buying any Audi, BMW or Mercedes just for that reason even if they are suppose to be better. I want a car I never have to worry about and the RL is tops in that category. I think Consumer Reports still ranks it very high. So far, the only problem I've had that required me to take it in for service is an 02 sensor going bad as 30k. I'm at 112k now with no problems.

    I only mentioned the M45 because its in the same price range as the RL. Its hard to compare an RL to other V8 models because they cost several thousands more. Add up the options on those cars and the price difference it even worst.

    Even a BMW 530i will run you around 47k on average (thats not fully loaded either). I have two friends who paid around that much for their cars. The Mercedes E320 will probably be competitive to the 530 in pricing. An RL will be under 40k. Thats a pretty big price difference even for the V6 models!

    I think the reason Honda doesn't just through things into their top model is because they are pretty slow about researching the market.

    To me, just throwing the MDX engine into the RL would seem like a desperate move. The RL should have its own engine or something unique that makes it stand out from its competitors. I don't think a 260 hp 03 MDX engine would help because journalists would just complain that other brands have 300hp V8 and the RL is still underpowered.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    ...not making improvements which were essentially "free" to the company has hurt sales of this car."

    I'm not so sure. How "free" it would be depends on where the engines are built in relation to where the car is assembled. I know that the MDX, Pilot, and Ody are all produced in Ontario and Alabammy. Dunno where they build the RL.

    Also, while the MDX's version of the 3.5 is more powerful, the one used in the RL is considerably more refined. With just as much power in the low end, the only folks who would see the difference in performance are those who rev it up. That's not a common practice for lux car owners.

    Max power is not the only criterion in this segment.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    BTW, I whole-heartedly agree that the RL has been neglected. I'm not debating that fact. But sometimes it's better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    The RL has been quietly selling at a steady pace (not well, but okay). If they added an all-new engine, it would just call (unwanted) attention to the fact that Acura hasn't really fixed anything. I can see the headlines now, "Acura's flagship engine sinks".

    Since they have not made significant changes, they are probably have a huge profit margin on the old design. That money can get turned around and plugged into a worthwhile redesign.
  • libertycatlibertycat Posts: 593
    THIS IS GETTING CRAZY! We are supposed to be talking about the REDESIGNED RL not the current one. If you want to talk about how bad the current one is or how bad Honda is handling it, complain on the Acura RL board please. If you are curious about my opinon on the whole thing, I think the RL competes solely with the S80, Town Car, and Deville. These all are in the same price range and all strive to be the most not sporty, not powerful, not most stylish, but most LUXURIOUS. And really, the Town Car has only a bit more luxury and the RL has MORE than the S80, but the Deville is IMO the best in class due to IMO the best interior of any sedan on the market today. The A6, 5 Series, E Class, GS300/430, M45, etc., all go the sporty route with luxury as a second priority. My opinon about the 3.0 vs. 3.5 is this. Acura SHOULD have put the 3.5 in the RL and added MORE power. I mean, power is a second priority in the Deville, Town Car, and S80, but certainly not in the RL if Acura is doing NOTHING it easily could to make more power. In fact, IMO it would be best if Acura made the 3.0 225 horsepower engine standard with a 275 horsepower version of the 3.5 optional (similar to the TL except with the 3.5 making more power).
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    The 2005 RL will look like a larger version of the concept TL which looks like a larger version of the TSX. It will probably have more chrome trim around the bumpers and around the window

    image (Photo from the Honda News Media)

    image
    (Photo from the Honda News Media)

    It will be more conservative than the TL concept. My best guess is that it will look similar to the Audi A8L with Acura highlights.

    image (From Edmunds)
  • bongotoobongotoo Posts: 10
    Its hot as heck and my A/C stopped working. I understand that the repair people can really milk the money right out of you when doing A/C repairs. Maybe one of you have seen this before and can help me narrow the problem. My A/C works some in the morning when the car itself is not hot. Same thing is ture at night or when the car is in a garage and does not get too hot. The A/C works maybe 70 percent of the time. The air gets warm and at the same time the compressor starts to cycle off and on. Simultaniously, the electric fan also goes off and on. I tried to add freon but it wouldn't take it - at least thats what I was told. When the car sits and bakes in the sun, the A/C does not work at all. I am just wondering if the problem might be electronic temperture control related as opposed to a mechanical problem. Has anybody had this problem or have any ideas about what it might be?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The A8 sure does look good.

    M
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Sure I know what I'm talking about. Do you know what your talking about? Honda did add more power in the 2002 RL. It went from 210 to 225. Why throw a more powerful engine on top of a chassis that was designed back in 1996. As wisely stated by someone else here, its better to build it from the ground up.

    Over the past few years, besides reading Honda interviews with their executives, I spend time gathering information on

    http://www.autonews.com
    http://www.autoweek.com
    http://www.hondanews.com
    http://www.cardesignnews.com
    http://world.honda.com/worldnews

    At home I read Road and Track, Car and Driver, Automobile Magazine, Evo, and Motor Trend. I've been fascinated with Honda cars since I first got a ride in a Honda Prelude back in 1981. Didn't get my first Honda Accord until 1986. Since then, I've moved to Integra Special Edition, and now have Acura RL and Acura NSX. Looking forward to purchasing their DN-X when it comes out as the DNX. (It seems to follow their NS-X prototype pattern back in 1990 later becoming the NSX).

    I spend a lot of time looking at designs from other manufacturers comparing the similarities and differences of each design. There is enough information out there that you can kind of piece things together.

    Over time you get an idea on what information is real and what sounds bogus.
  • msgreenmsgreen Posts: 67
    in several posts, you seem more intent on picking fights/arguing/flaming other posters. Not sure what this is all about. Don't see much of that by anyone else. If you have opinions, great. Others do to, and information to provide which you can accept or reject, but I would urge you to take the personal note out of your posts. Thanks, and peace.
  • blerner1blerner1 Posts: 12
    Check the NHTSA site. June 30,2003

    818 Acura 3.5RL Master Cylinder Recall

    Although the VIN numbers are not given I know the VIN numbers are those numbers ending in 00013 thru 1000.

    The dealers got the recall as of July 18,2003

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yikes, we have the same subscriptions, except I get CAR instead of EVO, I couldn't justify the $$$ for both. Don't forget: http://www.vtec.net/ too.

    M
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