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Acura RL



  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Wow, most enthusiasts on these forums ridicule the RL since it's the weakest "flagship" of the premium brands and think the new 2005 RL refresh is a must success for Acura to be viewed as playing in the same league as MB, BMW, Lexus.

    Yet its clear the old RL still has its fans, such as Heywood's sister-in-law.

    Heywood, I'm not knocking the '04 RL, but it is the last model year of an old design, and there are a lot of new cars that have come out since then.

    I think Lexusman is giving you great advice and you should really consider the cars he is suggesting. It's an expensive purchase, and your sis-in-law will be living with the results for 10 years, why not be absolutely certain it's the car you want?

    CPO means "Certified Pre-Owned". I think CPO is a good idea for German cars, which are typically quite pricey and relatively unreliable compared to Japanese cars.

    Lexux, OTOH, is a pretty reliable vehicle and if you can find one used with good service records, I don't think you need to go the CPO route with Lexus. Also, most Lexus drivers typically don't drive their cars hard, which is what ruins a car, so your chances of getting a good reliable used Lexus are pretty good.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    True. Its just that a certified Lexus would give that extra ounce of piece of mind, even if theres very little chance of problems anyway.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    2004 RL is no slouch. It is one of the most dependable "flagships" around, comes loaded like a mid-priced luxury sedan should (yeah, it is missing couple items its lesser brethren have, but makes up for it in its own ways). Its only weakness is that it was not designed to be athletic. But then, neither are the other cars being mentioned here.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    While possibility of seeing a full size Acura sedan is slim (in the near future anyway), the new RL is pretty close to being a full size (if it has 103 cu. ft cabin volume).

    The new RL shares one of the best platforms around, so that ain't going to be a big deal either. V8 or not doesn't have to be an issue either since a hybrid possibility is more likely. 350 HP/350 lb.-ft or so, and AWD, in a full size package is doable.

    But before that happens, we may see a hybrid RL, and then, the future of "sedans" (as opposed to light trucks) in a lineup may also dictate things.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    well nobody is ever unbeatable, that's the beauty of nature, all things that go up go down, said that, lexus has still a long ride before it becomes beatable.

    about the retooling to create different sized cars, i doubt. i have a masters in robotics and i can tell you, we have come a long way in the last 15 years, today's productions lines are so flexible, if they wanted, they could turn out 5 completely different cars on the same line, at the same time, right one after the other, having said that, it may not make the most economic sense to do it, but from a re-tooling point of view, its far too easy... and honda has been one of the companies on the forefront of these flexible production lines, if not the pioneer.

    if i don't write again for a few, have a super and safe holiday weekend.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    which big 3 automakers are you talking about? things changed recently, toyota is #2 now and chrysler doesn't figure anywhere anymore ;)
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    excellent post steve, but i agree and disagree.

    shorter chain hydrocarbons have lower molecular weight and hence are more likely to be in gaseous or liquid state and hence require less energy to transform chemically. higher molecular weight hydrocarbons require more energy to ignite and combust, meaning, they don't pre-fire.... you said as much.

    now i differ on the result. i am not saying 91 is cleaner than 87, all i'm saying is, the engine has more predictable (relatively) firing and hence the engine has less "knocking". the word knocking really must come from the ages when even a slight amount of trouble with the "petrol" would cause the engine to physically "knock around"... anyway, intrisically, if you look at the force vectors of a knock, they are random and dissipate in different directions than the classic line of piston movement in a cylinder that causes more or less cyclical movement on the stroke... anyway, so in my interpretation, less knock leads to a more balanced engine performance that leads to the ECU calculating things differently leading to good mileage and/or better power.

    having said all of this, i still go back and agree with your final note that we must identify a gasoline we like and stick with it, because that offers a far higher degree of predictability than buying 91 at 15 different gas stations with different brands.

    When I used to live in AZ, I'd mostly buy chevron with techron. i'm still hunting around for a good gas station in central jersey, though in my pre-AZ life, I used to hang my car's thirst mostly at one particular mobile station just off of route 287 exit 2... things change, now the only good thing about that particular station is the donuts... hehe

    i think i've strayed far enough from the RL topic, but then again, i've atleast mentioned the RL word twice in this post... ;)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Great education. But, praytell, why does the fine print in my manual and in the brochure claim (and I can't quote it chapter and verse) lower torque @ 91 than at 93 octane?

    My service manager, obviously NOT at your understanding level (somewhat to a lot below, I'll wager) says, fundamentally, what I said in a previous post: "the engine computer 'senses' the higher octane and advances the spark thereby improving the power [sic]." Of course the limit of advance is relatively small, but, if it is virtually insignificant, why bother putting power (torque) and accelerative claims in print for 91 and 93 octane (German car, BTW)?

    Uh, please answer in English -- I too, am NOT at your level of understanding, fur shure!
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Hi everybody,
    realtive to the last few posts: You are all correct. I guess my points were standard setting, but details outlined are true.
    Now that said, the argument of 91 vs. 87 in term of combustion 'predictability' is real but not any longer relevant (the issue of 'battere in testa' a.k.a. knocking) has been solved since early '90 or so by deplyoment of new engine materials/engineering.
    As to the manual recommendation, I had mentioned indeed (or may be I forgot doing it!!) that there are a few manufacturers producing enginess that have 'adaptive capabilities' to detect octane composition and vary the engine prefromance accordingly. Typically in automotive press the most cited example is some of Ford engines.
    Going back to the RL and all powerplants from Honda I am not aware of the existance of such capability so I would stick with my earlier advice!
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    ok lets see... i'll attempt english.

    Case 1: 87 octane fuel, which means 87 out of 100 good molecules and 13 below quality molecules. (this is vague, not homogenous behavirour, but bear with me) now, lets say at time 0, your engine piston started compression and 43 milliseconds later, the 13 below quality molecules fired, and then then at 52 milliseconds, the rest of the 87 molecules fired. what did you get? two distinct explosions inside the cylinder chamber, the first 13 molecules created a mini-blast that upset the cylinder compression and then the 87 other molecules fires 9 millsecs later to create the bigger explosion that really pushes the piston out to power your engine.

    Case 2: 91 octane fuel... here you got 9 poorer quality molecules and 91 good. lets say at 43 millsec the 9 fired and at 52 millsec, the rest of the 91 exploded/combusted. so the initial misfire/knock is smaller, 9 instead of 13 molecules and the subsequent explosion is bigger, with 91 molecules instead of 87. obviously you are going to get more power out of 91 molecules burning instead of 87, given all the other things remain same.

    Now of course, this is all dynamically happening and the spark is not necessarily happening at 43 ms or 52 ms. in an old style distributor engine, how the point was set decides exactly when in time the spark is fed. the spark itself lasts several milliseconds. in a new engine the ECU decides when to spark and the spark "start time" can be varied... the spark length is still several milliseconds long and i am not sure how much that lengh is managed by the ECU but it could be and i would not be suprised. The point of moving the start time of the spark is really to "supress" the misfiring. This is how it works. Lets say at 42 ms, your poor quality molecues fire and you know that because you designed the engine. now suppose you delayed the spart from happening till say 50 ms. then what you are essentially doing is preventing a knock from happening or reducing the knock delta to 2 ms from the original 9 ms. the knock is still there, but its smaller. please note that a knock can never be eliminated. this is because not every molecule of gas is going to explode at the same time. it always happens as a series of chains. one or more molecules of gas will explode, create energy and provide that energy to other molecules to explode. and on and on. never ever will the entire contents of the cylinder combust at the same instant. this chain behavior is where most of the recent advances in HP are coming from. traditionally, no engine ever completely burns all the fuel dumped into the cylinder. as the percentage of unburnt fuel reduces, power for engine goes up. just for demonstration, the 95 EX V6 accord pumped something like 190 hp from 3000 cc engine, the latest EX V6 pumps 240 hp from approximately the same size of engine (viz. 3000 cc)... when manufacturers are pushing to increase power from the same engine using all the variable cam and this and that, they are essentially running after trying to burn those last few unburnt fuel molecules... that's where all the gizmos and technology comes in. question is, its also making cars heavier and with the law of diminishing returns at some point, you just won't get any more benefit anymore.

    i also like steve's mention of the ford engine. i was just thinking... if you have a really fast smart sensor/computer on the engine, you can continously monitor the quality of fuel that is actually reaching the engine instantaneously and vary your firing timing to compensate almost instantaneously... that would also give you quite a fun zip on the engine.... just a thought.

    i hope this helps.
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Food for thought!!
    I do see the relevance of the shear dimensioning (car size, engine specs etc.). Yet, I am more interested in pushing the discussion on what this car represent in the overall strategy of the company behind it. In previous posts (or reading I was doing elsewhere) I got the impression that this is another step along the way to restate a whole phylosophy concerned with prioritizing on what we already now are the HONDA/Acura fundamental principle (performance, craftamanship, safety, fuel consumption economy etc). To make a long story short my impression is the the RL will not stay as the flagship vehicle for long!
    My bet is that the Rl will succeed to eat market share against the lux midsize antagonists (see the 7 comparo of jag, e series, 5 series, c300 etc. elsewhere in the auto press). After that and deploying the dual note extra 100 HP on hybrid platform ( the SOHC vs. DOHC in previous posts could also apply here) we will see the true "Legend".
    Well OK may be I am just day-dreaming but then........
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    the flagship market, atleast of the size of the 7's and S's is small. There's not space for everyone. however much i'd like to see an acura in that space, if they have to get a foothold, somebody else has to drop out. i doubt the 7 and the S would drop out easy, and hell no, the LS won't drop out easy... so who gives??

    In the US, the whole car market is driven by 3 factors in my opinion:
    1. Relatively low taxes on car sales, compared to rest of the world, so cars based purely on per capita income are cheaper in the US than most other places, maybe not all, but most
    2. Inexpensive gasoline compared to the rest of the world
    3. our increasing personal girths, myself included.. hehehe

    I doubt 1. above will change in the forseeable future... though what may happen is tax incentives on hybrids, still not a given.
    2. above, well its increasingly out of control of the largest buyer's bullying power, largely because as china buys more and becomes another huge hog after the same limited resource, our bully power is receding and it will erode to a point where we just can't ask for good gas prices. so $50 gas fillups per week are going to become standard
    3. above... the atkins diet worked on me for a while, but ahem...

    but overall all this means, in my opinion that the flagship 7/S/LS sized market is going to be relatively calm or flat if not decline. we have too many players already in that market, so acura may be smart to save money and stay out of it, despite the fact that TL & RL were sized lower and leaves space to speculate on a larger car.

  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    Thank you ksoman. Every good bit of info I believe will help, and you cleared up nicely what is going to happen to those octanes (and those that cannot be called such). While absolutely correct I wanted to repeat again that the events you detailed are negligible unless the disturbances you outlined upset specific boundaries of the engine performance. Those boundaries are typically set by the valves timing and occur only if your engine is out of whack. Excluding that condition you have the described processes confiined in a sealed chamber (a.k.a an equivalent to an ideal thermodynamic close system, I am referring now to the combustion process only, abstracted from all the rest). Now I guess one has to crunch lot of math to come to a correct assessment but I'll skirt that and just stress the point that the intrinsic differences between 87 and 91 octanes will not results in appreciable change in your engine performance (except if yours is one on the Ford like list) because the upsetting created by an earlier ignition by the shorter chain aliphatic compounds will just sum up to the total energy of the system just as much as the subsequent combustion of the 'octanes' (and the subtle changes in linear acceleration are overrriden by the crank inertial mass). So no energy is going to be lost intrinsically by having 13 rather than 9 part of non octanes compounds. So setting aside the idealized of conditions I depicted, as correctly pointed out is the 'amount of combusted fuel' that is more relevant to what you are going to see as output. In summary my point is the octane issue is relatively moot because of engine materials and design (as once again correctly pointed out, shaping the head of the piston and cylinders achieves a lot more in term of uniforming the ignition process and efficiency of burning the fuel than the octane 87 to 91 variation does) and that is why each major power boost in an engine design (that keeps unchanged volumes) is accompanied by just such redesigned components (valves included).
    So I'll tirelessly preach use the lower octane your car manufacturer suggests and just make sure is the cleanest one!
    One last note of the opening sentence. Sorry if my english fails at times (if the reference was in that direction). As foreing born and user of Italian as mother language I am letter blind for 5 out of 26 alphabet letters (j, k, w, x and y do not exixst in the italian alphabet) so I am severely prone to mix ups (grammar structure and punctuation being other sore points)!
    btw I wish everyone a very happy holiday weekend!
  • steveaccordsteveaccord Posts: 108
    I totally agree with your analysis (and unfortunately I know about increasing girths myself).
    In fact, although I hope we will see a new flagship by Acura I believe it will be a few years down the line. Mostly to assess those market dynamics you hit spot on!
    Have a great Memorial weekend!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You make some valid points. I think VW is currently questioning how long the Phaeton will remain a flagship. A super VW in the American market was probably not one of the smarter moves that company has made. I think it is more likely to see a larger car with a Honda badge on it, perhaps as a competitor to the Avalon? first.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >I think VW is currently questioning how long the Phaeton will remain a flagship. A super VW in the American market was probably not one of the smarter moves that company has made<

    Exactly right. It appears to me as a handsome car, but who would pay that kind of money for a VW badged car? That's Mercedes or BMW money we are talking about. Then too, the Germans and VW are not known for building trouble free cars.

    >I think it is more likely to see a larger car with a Honda badge on it, perhaps as a competitor to the Avalon? first<

    I think that's a great idea. You ought to write Honda and tell them just that. A man with your creative ideas and automotive marketing savvy could help them a lot. Seriously. But, I get the impresssion that Honda Motors is not looking for those kind of people. Nissan yes, Honda no.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I have spoken with an Acura rep (friend!) and he articulated that the price for the new RL with be approx. 6 % over the current one. If that holds true, it will be a steal!

  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    The new 05' RL will have auto magazines in an absolute frenzy - They will describe, with an unheard of number of superlatives - that this, the 05' RL, is what defines the absolute in motoring style, grace, sophistication, performance and value! This car, ladies and gentlemen, has lines that will endure...and will simply blow everything, in it's class - straight to hell...

    If the torque numbers come in over 270 - you will have an absolute "monster" on your hands - this car will be a classic!!!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Current RL runs at $45.6K + des charge. Adding 6% would push it near $49K. That is not a steal. Compare the price of M35-AWD and GS300-AWD to come, $49K may be a FMV, but not a steal. If Acura keeps it around $45K or below, now that is a steal. Remind you that TL is listed at $34K. The gap is too large for Acura, unless they intend to slot a TL-AWD in between at around $38K.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Shotgun, I feel your excitement. I also believe auto mags would be shocked at the sports car performance of RL in nice and shining sedan skin from SH-AWD. If RL can pull 5.6sec (0-60) with 0.9g road-holding, that is (I firmly believe it can). Now I only hope they can keep it below $45K, or add some unexpected features that we don't know yet... can't wait.
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    If the SH-AWD lives up to it's expectations and comes in right at $47,700 it will, indeed, be a steal! It's technology features, both drivetrain and cockpit, will be so far ahead of its competition that nothing can touch it! For anyone to complain about the level of pricing being above the 04' RL, has, less than a firm grip on reality! Acura/Honda knows where it stands in the mid-lux category and is responding appropriately - They know - that being anything less than the best in it's category - will be it's death blow! Go Acura!!! Kick a little [non-permissible content removed]...
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Ceric, I only wish, the car would come in under $45K but I doubt that it will. Actually if it does come in for less than $45K, it might loose some of it's cachet. You hit the nail on the head when you said "...I feel you're excitement..." because I really am excited about this ride my brother! I put down a $500 deposit a couple of weeks ago with Acura of Augusta so that I can get one of the first models available - my major dilema is color selection. Since Acura has mostly displayed silver variations of the prototype - I'm beginning to think that silver might be the optimum color for that style...your thoughts?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Re: Full page ad for IBM/2005 RL in NY Times (Score: 1, Normal) 05-29-2004 16:04
    Wester wrote:
    Kick-[non-permissible content removed] ad! The new 05' RL will have auto magazines in an absolute frenzy - They will describe, with an unheard of number of superlatives - that this, the 05' RL, is what defines the absolute in motoring style, grace, sophistication, performance and value! This car, ladies and gentlemen, has lines that will endure...and will simply blow everything, in it's class - straight to hell...

    If the torque numbers come in over 270 - you will have an absolute "monster" on your hands - this car will be a classic!!!

    Acura Type S'in replied:

    By my calculations: with 300hp and a Max Torque rpm range of around 5800.......... that puts the 05' RL torque at 271ft/lbs of torque..........So put a BIG CHECK MARK on that!! The RL will probably do 60 around 5.5 seconds........ We all know how it's suppose to handle......... I can't wait to see how that Tranny handles quarter miles and how much gas mileage the V6 gets!!!!!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thanks for the complement. Though I'm not sure that they would hire me as just a guy that "digs cars".
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I have spoken with an Acura rep (friend!) and he articulated that the price for the new RL with be approx. 6 % over the current one. If that holds true, it will be a steal!

  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >which big 3 automakers are you talking about? things changed recently, toyota is #2 now and chrysler doesn't figure anywhere anymore ; <

    Last time I checked, the "Big 3" automakers in Detroit were GM, Ford, and Chrysler. I hadn't heard that Toyota had moved to the Motor City.


    "Out west, the smart money is on Chevron gasoline with Techron. Apparently the gas is so clean burning and has such a good detergent package that all of the big 3 automakers use Chevron gasoline exclusively when performing EPA mileage tests for their new car models.

    As Chevron is not manufactured east of Kentucky, the automakers have tanker trucks haul the gas back to Detroit for use in their new cars."
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Do any of you fortune tellers have a perspective on how difficult it will be to obtain the new RL after it hits the dealerships? Will there be a pent-up demand? A wait and see attitude?

    Will it make sense to wait until November or December to 1) get a better price and 2) wait for models that have some of the preliminary bugs worked out -- or will that take a new model year to happen?

    As a former manufacturer, my experience dictates that early production line product is more likely to have defects than products manufactured later.

    In addition to assembly line improvements, customer feedback provides for additional insights into inherent defects.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    shotgun, I also had my $500 deposit down right after NY autoshow. #001 at my local Acura dealer. I was leaning toward darker colors such as deep blue or black for larger cars. However, the displayed silver variants seem very nice also. I actually told my salesman to erase the color preference and leave it open. I would like to see it in deep blue, though. I have seen Honda's deep blue on Accord. I imagine it would look great on RL.

    To be honest, price does not matter that much to me as long as it is below $50K (as I was promised - "well below $50K"), the limit I set for it.

    I guess you and I would be among the first to post "real ownership" experience with RL on when it arrives. Can't wait.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Since RL arrives well before M35/M45, the real competition would be the GS300-AWD. I can see RL in high demand (e.g. MSRP) for several months if it stays around $45K+/-$2K. Much like the current demand situation with Navi equipped TL.

    There would be 1st year issues, no doubt. However, my excitement overtakes patience in this case. I am willing to go through it in order to enjoy the SH-AWD first-hand, and all the electronics goodies (bluetooth, XM-RealTraffic, etc.) that come with it. Given Acura's reputation on reliability, I don't think it would be bad.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think he was refering to the fact that Toyota slightly edged out Chrysler for sales numbers in the US at the end of last year, rather than location.
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