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Acura RL

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Comments

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Have you guys seen the July issue of Automobile? They have a story on the three most talked about "future cars" here...the M45, STS and RL.

    They then have related story about the E-Class, A6 and 5-Series...basically saying these are the cars to beat.

    The Lexus GS is also included in a short side article.

    This time next year this entire segment will have basically all new cars, none of them being more then 3 years old (except for the S-Type Jag). Amazing.

    Just based on the specs and interior pics I think I like the RL then it is basically a toss-up between the M45 and STS. Exterior styling I think the M45 is just tad superior to the STS and RL, but not by all that much.

    The E-Class remains my favorite of this segment. The 5-Series has been the biggest letdown overall.

    The Audi A6 is the wildcard. Gotta to see it in person, though I can tell from the pics I'm not going to like the A6's new interior as much as the 1998-2004 model.

    Can't stand the Lexus GS. It is even uglier than before, imo.

    I'd guess a new Jag S-Type should arrive for 2007.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I like the GS and M45 quite a bit. I'll have to see what the final production RL looks like before I can really make up my mind about that. The STS doesnt do anything for me. Its a CTS on steroids basically, and the CTS hasnt warmed on me. Inside of the STS is better than most Cadillac products, but that isnt saying much. It still takes a backseat to Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, and Mercedes. Only the 5 and new A6 I think are worse inside than the STS.
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Just a couple of personal considerations and soundbits.
    If you folks want to check out Acura ads make sure to get up early on any Sunday in which a F1 grand prix is on (european tracks presently so 6.30 am for CST). They have all acura models showing up at intermissions!
    Comparing various brands advertising is interesting but, as already noticed by others, not entirely truthful as to promotion of car sales. probably most value is in brand awareness.
    IMO doesn't mattter what gets delivered on the tube we will always react to it as others are doing a better job just because most advertising entities are able to deliver top quality content. Point and case, Apple computers loyalists always criticize the company for not pushing enough buzz via ads (except may be recently with iPod) but this never prevented them to be on the top list of brand recognition, although we all know that sales/market share are what they are. So most likely the loyalist were getting it all wrong.
    A final observation sales for the month of May : Lexus= ~26,000 vs. Acura= 23,900. And this is with only ~400 2004 RL sold! Ads or not Ads Acura is catching up all right!
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    >>A final observation sales for the month of May : Lexus= ~26,000 vs. Acura= 23,900. And this is with only ~400 2004 RL sold! Ads or not Ads Acura is catching up all right!<<

    wow, acura surely is getting more bang for its buck. lexus has to invest in ummm lets see, the IS300, ES330, RX330, GS300, GS430, LS430, GX470, LX470 (or whatever that one is called) & SC430. On the other hand, with just 3K less cars sold, Acura only has the RSX, TSX, TL, 04 RL (and should i even care to mention?) NSX. (The CL aint sold anymore, right?).... every model out there is an investment and an expense. Plus honda as a company puts most options into standard packages ala LX, EX kinda, whereas Toyota has a cost of offering various packages on their cars... I wonder how Honda is not doing better financially, as compared to past years... surely that money is going somewhere... research? into the new awd? into the next nsx? into the next generation hybrids? where?

    ksso
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Cool ads do not necessarily attract the right buyers. I agree that Mitsubishi has done a great job of attracting the youth crowd with their ad campaign over the past few years. They have great brand recognition with the 20 and 30 somethings. But find me a 20 or 30 year old who can lay down 50K dollars on a new car. Even Mitsubishi has seen the error in their ways and started with ads that focus on more practical concerns (the Spongebob DVD scene, for example).

    Another example: Oldsmobile adjusted their products to attract a more youthful market and look at what happened. They lost their core buyers and the brand tanked.

    The RL ad that sticks in my mind is actually for CPO cars. They have a violinist putting away his Strativarius while the voice-over talks about the finer things. Cut to the same guy getting into his RL. The connection is clear.

    That is the sort of image that Acura needs to craft for the new RL. It's not a boy-racer. It's a <ad speak> precision-crafted, performance-oriented automobile of the finest order. </ad speak> The car isn't going to be sold with images of blonde bimbos on the hood and bling-bling wheels. The upscale market is looking for polite snobbery.

    Funny, but Honda's best ad never made it here in the states. It was done for the UK market and the Accord wagon (which would be a TSX wagon to us). Anybody recall that one?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "surely that money is going somewhere... research? into the new awd? into the next nsx? into the next generation hybrids? where?"

    Factories. They've expanded the Swindon plant. They just built a new paint facility in Ohio. They added the Alabama plant a few years ago an just expanded it. Within the past 4 years they've built two state of the art safety labs. One is the largest in the industry. The other isn't quite as big but includes an industry-first testing barrier and vehicle "pitching" system.

    I dunno how much their side projects drain on the vehicle business. There's Asimo, the jet engines, the crash dummies, and Honda's return to racing. I figure they cost more in money, but they don't have the same deadlines that the auto business requires. That may give them some leeway with financing.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Can't remember ever seeing an Audi allroad ad, and since the Superbowl no Phaeton ads -- can't recall an Acura ad either.

    Chrysler 300 ads, Cadillac ads -- aplenty, though.

    Lexus ads, yep got them too -- even Mercedes and BMW ads are out there. Recently the Volvo ad minutes are picking up.

    Perhaps there will be a blitz -- remember, one of the purposes of ads is to "educate" the buyer.

    Without edmunds and other such places, the education available pertaining to Acura (from ads) is apparently shrinking.

    Come to think of it I can recall quite a few low end car ads out there right now, Kia anyone?
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Speaking of factories, does anyone know where the RL will be made, or, what percentage of the car will be of Japanese origin?

    If the car is due by late September (what one dealer told me) will some of the cars already have been made, or do you think there is time for tweaking? I wish they would do something with the RLs nose end. I did see the IBM print ad yesterday in Time Magazine and my reaction was revulsion over those spooky, bug eyes they have built into the "prototype".
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Actually Acura sold only 18,547( source is hondanews.com), Don't have data for Lexus.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I know people generally dont like the bug eye thing, but the truth is, these lamp clusters are designed for how well they illuminate the road ahead, not necessarily for aesthetic value. Some people dont like the front end of the ES, but it would be hard for that person to argue that the old, more traditional ES did a better job with its headlights. The Q45 has some of the best (and ugliest) headlights ever put on a car. Hopefully the industry will figure out how to keep the good and make them a bit more attractive. The '06 M45 seems to be a good start. 23,000 cars would imply 270,000 sales a year, and Acura isnt even close to that yet. Didnt Infiniti just beat out Acura for monthly sales?
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    even then... its still a higher bang for the buck.
    i think the 23000 cars might be an anomaly or as happens every now and then, just pent up demand for a new model.

    it constantly amazes me how quickly the average age of the TL-driver has dropped with the new model launch last fall... basically acura pulled a la-caddy age reduction with the TL & TLX without talking about it much. there was an article a whiles back in businessweek about how the average age of the driver of honda/toyota (& acura/lexus) buyers is inching up and how it's a trend they gotto stop if they don't want to age out like caddy.

    hindsight is always 20/20... makes us great armchair critics ;)

    ksso

    ksso
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well you have to make a car that the kids like. Thats what Scions mission seems to be. Apparently Honda is considering bringing the fit\jazz to the US to price below the civic.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    haha, i'm just 31, almost 32, i'm not yet old.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Have you guys seen in July issue of Automobile where Honda has decided not to develop another NSX? Someone has to be wrong on this one. Why show the HSC concept only the not do another NSX?

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Things change. The NSX rides on its own platform which would need a replacement, plus a new engine, etc. Perhaps Honda has decided it needs to focus on its core business and the NSX halo car just isnt practical at the moment. VW ignorned its every day cars for Lamborghini and Bentley, and look what happened to them.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The same report on the NSX also stated that Honda will cancel the S2000. While I could understand not pursuing the NSX, killing the S2K is just plain silly. That makes me a bit suspicious of the whole rumor.

    On the sales front, this is what I was able to find. These are the total new car sales for the month of May.

    Lexus 26,155
    Acura 18,547
    Infiniti 11,143
    Audi 6,874

    I couldn't find MB (sales are wrappd up with Chrysler's). The only mention was that they were down 5-7%. Also couldn't find BMW sales for the USA alone.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,731
    KS: you forgot to include the MDX in the list of models that Acura has. I think you caught all the alphnumeric mumbo jumbo for Lexus.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Sorry guys, I had switched the figures for MDX sales up to May with the monthly Acura sales. The 18K figure is indeed the correct one!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Dropping the S2000 is rediculous. The 350Z and RX-8 are out, and a Supra is on the way. The last time there was a bunch of 30K sports cars from Japan, all Honda had was the Prelude, and they couldnt play with the 300ZX, 3000GT, Supra, and RX-7. I dont think they'll make that mistake again.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    you never know why corp types make the mistakes they do, but wow, considering that the car sold at or above msrp for 3+ out of the last almost 5 years on the market and has developed this special standing and considering it is one of the few honda's to make every car mag's racing reviewers salivate... dropping would be "harakiri" as the japanese define it...

    ksso
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes' sales for May were 18,141, a drop of 5.4% compared to May 2003. (MBUSA, Germancarfans)

    The Supra is coming back? This has been comfirmed officially?

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not sure if Toyota has made an official comment, but Ive seen design sketches of the Supra at more than one place.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    What's the big deal about dropping 'em? It won't hurt the bottom line, and Honda is clearly not going with RWD anyway, they're going with SH-AWD?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Indeed! I hear you "saugatak"! Let's face it my brother, FWD and RWD are now officially passe...With the advent of SH-AWD (provided it delivers the goods) shall forever, render moot, the notion of which drive configuration is the superior mechanism. Don't get me wrong, I really hope they don't drop the NSX or the S2000, two vehicles, which, without question, represent the epitome of their class...but if they must be rid of them, so be it! Based on the technical descriptions and the videos I've seen on SH-AWD - the concept and execution of this mechanism is revolutionary!(perhaps "maximus evolutionary" is a better phrase) However, quite frankly, nothing I've seen, appears to approach it in performance and design elegance.

    Every now and then a company comes up with a design that transforms an industry - Honda appears to be that transformational company with the invention of it's SH-AWD. We've known all along that AWD was the way to go - Honda has simply brought the design to it's ultimate conclusion...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I dont know about the NSX, obviously that is a car that needs some serious R&D costs to get it competitive with the exotic class. Porsche now has 380hp out of their new 3.8L flat six, so Honda would need at least 350+ just to get by.

    The S2000 though, there just doesnt seem to be any reason to get rid of it. It was just updated with a much more user friendly 2.2L 4, and it drives around a track like no other car currently for sale. (The Elise might change that though.)
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Hi, shotgun and saugatak. My take on the rumor of discontinuing both NSX and S2000 is simply for Honda to cut cost and rechannel the resource on truck-based designs to come. Note that NSX and S2000 are built at the same plant. They probably want to convert the whole plant for other use or close it one thing for all.

    There was a news revealing Honda's intention to increase designs of truck-based vehicles. Compared with 5 SUVs Toyota has in US, Honda only has 2 (3 if you count Element). In a world where SUV sales is still unaffected by rising gas price, HONDA needs to react. IMHO.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Read about it in C&D and it sounds really fantastic, plus it's lightweight, which IMO is critical for AWD performance.

    With HP going up all the time, Honda couldn't just stick with FWD. I hope SH-AWD makes it to the TL and TSX soon as well.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Eventually they are going to have to implement it. The TSX can get by on FWD, but the TL and Maxima need AWD systems. Torque steer is something you expect to have to deal with on a Saab, not a Nissan.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    I agree "lexusguy"! Eventually, in order to recoup and capitalize on their SH-AWD investment, they must migrate it to the TL and/or other future Honda vehicles. When they do, and again if SH-AWD lives up to it's expectations, all hell will break loose in automobile performance arena. I can easily see Acura ruling the roost - for a few years at least...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yep. Certain companies that have long relied on heavy, old school mechanical AWD systems may find themselves no longer being the "AWD" guys. The M35 AWD also has a lot of potential to shake things up. The GS300 is an unknown, Lexus hasnt really stated if its just going to use the RX's system or something else.
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