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Acura RL

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Comments

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It doesnt matter how great your ads are, if you dont have a competitive product, you're going to fail. Just ask the Eclipse. Cool ads right? Crap car. Anyway, since when can 20 somethings afford a $50K RL? The only car that would even qualify for that kind of marketing is the RSX, and the kids are already well aware of that car.

    If your product is good enough, ads dont matter. I've seen maybe one ad for the RX330, and I dont remember it. Lexus isnt having any trouble selling every one that comes out of the factory though. Ferrari has never advertised. Ever.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    If a car is selling as well as the new TL, which just broke May sales record AGAIN with 7177 units sold, you don't need any ads on TV or anywhere. Save the ads budget for slow-selling products. I like the Mitsu's approach on consistent TV marketing, same theme same style. Then, you got to have the product to back it up. Ads can only do so much to bring customers to your door steps. RL's ads should be more elegant and upscale like those from Lexus, which has done great job in TV ads IMHO.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 676
    agreed, but great cars with crappy ads wont cell either.

    on another note, just saw a woman in her late 40s or early 50s driving away in an immaculately cared for early 90s legend.... that car looked so ageless... ahem... like the driver... anyways, i was thinking, what a shame that low slung cars are not in fashion anymore, otherwise, they could do minor updates on that car and it'd be a hit. which brings me to another thing i wanted to add about the price point.

    4 years ago when the honda s2000 was launched, i spent an entire year trying to get that car at msrp or something close to it. eventually i bailed out and never bought it, but i remember the s2000 forum here on townhall, everybody was speculating about the price and though most people rightly placed it in the lower 30's there were thousands of nay sayers who predicted that if a "lowly" honda badge came out at above 30K, nobody would buy the s2000, guess what, 2 years after launch, the s2000 was still selling at or above msrp, and then it came back in 2002 with a better than the already spectacularly lovely shifter and again for the next year, they got sold at or above msrp. it was only the 2003 model year that prices fell below msrp. the point being, even the "lowly" honda badge could sell cars above 30K and above msrp. So if there is enough honda/acura loyalty out there, acura might just get away pushing the price envelope closer to 50K... but then again, with interest rates heating up, inflation heating up and gas prices staying around $2 might make things turn differently.

    ksso
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 676
    the shape is really growing on me... if they come out with the A spec TL like the one they had on display at the NYC auto show, i'd bail out of the 5 series market and go that way, despite the front wheel drive B.S.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >If your product is good enough, ads dont matter. I've seen maybe one ad for the RX330, and I dont remember it<

    Let me help you remember amigo. First there were the print ads, produced to look as if a German automotive magazine had done a compelling cover story on this dynamic new SUV.

    Next, came the TV ads which showed a bunch of German auto execs worrying their heads over how this new RX330 changed everything ... underline, "everything".

    I take your point. Ford didn't sell many Edsels, despite the advertising hoopla at the time. My point about Mitsubishi is that the advertising and marketing campaign helped frame and position this car as hip, cool and the fun one to drive if you are under twenty-five.

    On the other hand, some of Acura's RL commercials have been pretty boring and totally failed to capture anybody's imagination. Let's see, there was the classic where somebody with a helicopter drops a large wood crate down on an island -- and -- next thing you know, there's an RL driving around. Or maybe that really great one about the couple who are out driving around winding countryside/ocean front roads, meanwhile the frustrated tv cable guy is waiting at their home.

    Part of how advertising works is through repetition and name recognition. Seeing an ad for the new Acura RL, then later seeing one for IBM, which frames that same RL as offering cutting edge, user helpful technology, will register more deeply in the mind of the viewer. That will be memorable. Memorable is key.

    True enough, an ad can't make one buy a car, or anything else. But if it can get you interested, peak curiousity, add that name to the list of possible cars you and the wife might buy, or if it gets you to the showroom, its done its job.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Agreed, Acura has done a poor job of advertising the current RL, but then, theres only so much shine you can put in a 10 year old car. I remember those RX ads now, I rather liked the clever little jab at X5 and ML. Lexus now seems to be promoting the LS, with their "industrial" approach that is in the current LS and SC ads. Its a little odd, but it definitely grabs your attention, especially the SCs, much more so than its XLR competition, which just has that same Zep song (Im SO TIRED OF THAT SONG already) and some whoosing sounds. Big deal.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Lexus now seems to be promoting the LS, with their "industrial" approach that is in the current LS and SC ads. Its a little odd, but it definitely grabs your attention, especially the SCs<

    Is that the coupe convertible? Funny you should mention it, I was in my neighborhood deli today having lunch and happened to look up at the TV on the wall (they run CNBC for the lunch crowd) and saw a stunningly powerful, beautiful, compelling ad for that car. Mind you, the sound on the TV was off. Yet the power of the imagery could not be denied.

    This was the ad where the driverless car is sitting in a dark parking garage and the top comes down and folds itself up in the trunk -- all by itself. As the convertible top comes down, light from above (sky) comes streaming in, illuminating and highlighting the car's interior, and spotlighting the car.

    I know that the best filmmaking is the kind that has images so powerful that they convey their message without the embellishment of sound.

    If Acura could do ads like that ... wow!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah that ad is great. There really isnt much sound to be missed. First the car's top is up and its "raining" on the car. Then the rain stops, the giant part of the ceiling opens, as does the car's top, and the same voice actor they've been using for years says "no car can control the elements, so Lexus invented a car that works with them."
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >Yeah that ad is great. There really isnt much sound to be missed<

    Yes indeed. And wasn't the wood inside the car just gorgeous?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes indeed. Lexus is known for their interiors, and the SC's is the best they've ever done in that respect. Its got retractable wood panels for the NAV screen and stereo ala Rolls Royce, brushed aluminum face plates for the stereo and climate, and whats even better, the climate and audio controls are completely seperate from the nav screen. Its absolutely perfect.
  • 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: 676
    >>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: 5,343
    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: 676
    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: 676
    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: 33,813
    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.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • 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: 676
    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: 1,092
    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.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    SH-AWD, and increasing hp, might make powerful FWD cars obsolete. But it's not going to make RWD obsolete, not a chance. Or else we would've seen already AWD F1 cars and AWD sports cars running around Le Mans.

    AWD improves handling only in inclement conditions, that's why the rally cars have them. But in normal conditions, a RWD car out handles AWD version of the same car.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Hmmm, your statements, "...Or else we would've seen already AWD F1 cars and AWD sports cars running around Le Mans.",and "AWD improves handling only in inclement conditions, that's why the rally cars have them. But in normal conditions, a RWD car out handles AWD version of the same car..." may have some merit when it comes AWD - but, mariner7, we are talking SH-AWD here! A significantly superior system to FWD, RWD, and AWD.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    I thought the only reason F1 racing does not use AWD is merely because of the extra weight of around 200lbs. On F1 circle, conventional AWD only brings fringing benefit at turns. However, SH-AWD is different from traditional AWD. It can proportion torque on demand (f/r, l/r). That is, as good acceleration as RWD, better at turns. The only enemy is the extra weight. Who knows, someday Honda F1 may come with SH-AWD.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don't follow JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Championship), but often read, especially with reference to Skyline GT-R that it has to have its AWD disabled per (restrictive) regulations.

    Obviously, there are other factors involved in various forms of racing, when it comes to choice of FWD, RWD or AWD. Even if someone opted to go AWD in F1, would the rules allow it?
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    If SH-AWD is as good as it seems, then this is my thoughts on their respective merits:

    1. If I were still living in the Northeast, I'd take SH-AWD every single time. Better handling in bad weather is worth a LOT. Hell, I picked FWD over RWD in the Northeast so I'll certainly take SH-AWD over RWD.

    2. In So. Cal., for a smaller car I'd prefer RWD b/c even though SH-AWD is light for an AWD system, the extra 200 lbs. can be felt on smaller cars. Also, part of the fun of a RWD car is tossing it on turns and the extra traction given by SH-AWD will not make that possible.

    3. In So. Cal., for a larger car, I might take SH-AWD over RWD b/c I wouldn't toss a larger car around turns as aggressively as a smaller car.

    4. For the wife, she'll get SH-AWD no matter what. RWD driving dynamics are wasted on her.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    "AWD improves handling only in inclement conditions, that's why the rally cars have them. But in normal conditions, a RWD car out handles AWD version of the same car."

    This statement is possibly ONLY accurate -- and that is stretching the point -- by virtue of the qualifier last words "of the same car." And, even then, there are few few cars that when AWD is added are not engineered to take advantage of the AWD system's added potential.

    AWD, especially SH-AWD (and what is certainly in the pipeline of so many manufacturers -- although, truthfully that is speculation and extrapolation on my part, not actual hard fact), is hardly ever NOT superior to a very similar vehicle with either FWD or RWD.

    FWD up to a certain point has been superior to RWD overall for a number of reasons that include, weight, traction, cost and packaging. In many ways FWD for most of the wide middle-class of cars is the optimum (not the best, for that would be AWD) set-up. RWD, PRACTICALLY, not IDEALLY, is hardly ever optimum. Please exclude from the rotten eggs you throw such examples as rear engined RWD cars, or mid-engined cars or anything that would probably not be in this wide wide middle range of automobile.

    I can and will concede that there are several, perhaps even many (although NOT many as a percentage of the whole) examples of superior RWD cars. Take a Porsche that has a rear engine, huge rear tires and slightly smaller front tires, a very low center of gravity and is RWD -- modern engineering has largely tamed the oversteer of the early versions of this design and the weight over the driven wheels ALMOST gives the car the best of all possible worlds -- many would argue that it is THE BEST of the two-wheel driven designs. Some might further say, "yea but, what about mid engined, perfectly balanced, rear wheel driven cars with stability programs and sensors galore."

    You know what, both camps arguments would have merit.

    Raise your hands, how many folks in North America, just to keep it to several hundred million folks, will actually acquire (even if they can afford to) such exotic cars. Please don't throw the Pontiac Fiero in my face either -- I'll give you that one if you want me to concede even more.

    Several car companies have demonstrated AWD can provide better or at least not worse economy on combined highway and city driving even with a 150 to 300 pound weight disadvantage. The economy argument has been rendered, therefore, in some cases, at best weak.

    Now comes Acura with SH AWD -- which apparently can even help with "cornering" what with its ability to shift power as needed not only front to rear but to the outside wheel during spirited cornering maneuvers.

    If you cannot get a sophisticated AWD car and you are not looking to win the "my exotic RWD car insert name here outperforms your AWD or FWD car argument," but rather are looking at cars priced between $20,000 and $60,000, by all means your second choice should be FWD, followed by RWD.

    And, if you live where there is "weather" the argument is even stronger -- for all that your RWD car can do with its electronic traction aids is attempt to get the most out of the available traction. Almost always, the FWD car under such circumstances will be the more prudent choice.

    Ahh, but few of us buy cars out of a desire to be prudent or pragmatic -- or do we? Beats me, it seems the main reason for the rush to RWD has more to do with engine efficiencies and power generating capabilities -- that is a given engine can now put out more HP and torque for a reasonable price and without being a gas hog (generally speaking). We reached a point, for the mainstream, where RWD had outlived its "usefulness" and there was a mass conversion to FWD (not a total conversion, a mass conversion) -- and we went to FWD (for many of the reasons, cost, weight, etc., noted early in this post); some pioneers (some nuts, too) tried AWD. I remember reading articles that would endlessly deride Dr. Piech for his proclamation in the late '70s and early '80s that "eventually" all the highest performing cars would offer AWD.

    Man of vision, nut case, dreamer, realist, smarter than the rest of us? All of these things keep goin' round describing first the THING (that ugly VW), the Ur Quattro and, well, this is not the history of quattro (or other AWD names) board, but I certainly hope you will reflect on two decades of progress in BOTH FWD and AWD. RWD's reason to be right now is the ease that almost any engine of almost any [relatively tiny] size can crank out 200HP and a like amount of torque and that with some tweaking almost any manufacturer can whiz past 200HP and 250 lb ft of torque with an under 3 liter engine.

    Case in point -- the 3.5L RL engine, unblown by either super or turbo chargers comes out on day one at 300HP. Blow on it just a little bit and whoosh, hello 400HP -- and still 105,000 miles between tune ups.

    Where was I?

    Oh yea -- don't go down the RWD is superior path -- I'll wager nothing (for a year or so from launch) will come close to Acura's SH AWD -- not even my beloved Quattro, certainly nothing driven by "just" the rear wheels (exclusions apply, your milage may vary, see dealer for details).

    AWD forever, FWD isn't dead yet RWD [your days are numbered, but we'll be happy when you add FWD to the RWD you have, a la BMW, Mercedes, and so many other] well, RWD's OK. . .sometimes.

    Drive it like YOU live!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Search the web for Acura 2005 TL -- several sites claim they have the ultimate truth -- these sites use words such as Acura TL "confirmed" to offer SH AWD, perhaps as early as [calendar] 2005.

    I dunno what or who confirmed it, although it does certainly seem like it "ought" to happen.

    Hey, I read that Audi will bring the A3 to the states ONLY in FWD guise -- now that seems just plain goofy.

    But, I've been wrong before.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Not looking to get engaged in a FWD/RWD/AWD debate. We all have our opinions and it's good that car manufacturers make all of the drivetrains so we can all pick and choose what we want to drive.

    However, I'm going to ask you to back this statement up with some evidence.

    Several car companies have demonstrated AWD can provide better or at least not worse economy on combined highway and city driving even with a 150 to 300 pound weight disadvantage. The economy argument has been rendered, therefore, in some cases, at best weak.

    On every model I've ever seen, the AWD version of a FWD or RWD car ALWAYS gets 1 to 2 mpg worse city/highway.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .the "typical" weight disadvantage of AWD is currently about 150 pounds. This, according to several studies, "generally" can contribute to about a 2% fuel efficiency disadvantage for SOME AWD cars (please note, for purposes of discussion and in an atttempt to not write War & Peace I differentiate AWD from FWD in that AWD systems are lighter than FWD systmes "typically"). Note, the word SOME. Currently I could not support the use of the words, "majority" or "many" even -- but in my original statement I said "The economy argument has been rendered, therefore, in some cases, at best weak."

    First on the literal: if the "same" twd car loses 2% of its fuel efficiency when it becomes awd, I would argue that although real, many would accept the argument that milage considerations (awd achieves on average 98% of the milage of a comparable twd vehicle) between the two vehicles would probably not sway a person's buying decision. Hence my statement that the economy argument has been rendered in SOME CASES -- weak.

    Now, however -- there are studies that indicate that some AWD systems, despite the weight disadvantage, effectively overcome the increased (2% average) gas consumption based on a reduction of rolling resistance.

    When I mention another edmunds-like web site or company my posts seem to be zapped off the town-hall so I hesitate to spell the name of the company (that is NOT a car company but rather a data company) that has discussed the offset of the weight issue by virtue of all four wheels having power and not offering added resistance.

    At least two component makers, too, claim that they are making strides in weight reduction that when coupled with the afforementioned reduction in rolling resistance actually claim IMPROVED economy -- but not in stop and go traffic.

    The main cause of the 2% reduction, they (and others, such as Audi) argue comes at due to the considerations of overcoming static inertia -- aka stop and go driving. The argument continues that once the speed is not varying from 0 to 20 to 0 to 30 to 5 to 40 and essentially no longer has to overcome the interia of the "body at rest" that the reduction of rolling resistance mitigates and in some cases improves the situation.

    Overall, my statement, which I stand by says that the economy argument has weakened over the years and that for SOME autos it may even be considered fallacious.

    If we wish to agree to disagree, then I would be happy to state that AWD causes a 2% fuel hit.

    If my AWD car uses 1000 gallons annually, shifting to TWD should mean my costs will drop by 20 gallons per year.

    I can live with that.

    Yet, if you accept that SOME cars mitigate this and that it is even possible under some conditions even with the current technology to slightly improve on milage -- well we at least have an interesting topic -- and one that is somewhat relevant to the Acura SH AWD, for it, I predict will foreshadow most of the cars that will come down the assembly line in the next few years.

    "By 2006, car buyers seeking all-wheel drive will have their choice of 42 models, according to WardsAuto&#151;a 62 percent increase over the 2004 model year. By 2008, the number of all-wheel-drive cars on the road will double by today&#146;s count, according to Visteon Corp., a supplier of all-wheel-drive technology."

    We couldn't stop it even if we wanted to.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Your explanation makes a lot of sense to me.

    With better traction in a sophisticated AWD system, I could see rolling resistance being lower and the increased weight of an AWD system being offset by reduced friction.

    However, with traffic being what it is, I'd guess most people (especially those living in metropolitan areas) will see slightly worse gas mileage in an AWD system, maybe not enough to make a material difference.
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