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Acura RL



  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "I still dont like that RL trunk hump"

    I don't know... I guess it pays tribute to the BMW 7-series design, but shows that it can be well integrated into the lines of the car, rather than looking like they took a piece of plywood, painted it the same color as the car, and plopped it on top of the "real" trunk lid. ;)
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "Perhaps my thinking is out of date (with all the recent advances in turbo-charging), but I've always thought that turbo power mixed with manual transmissions was the thing to avoid. IIRC, the automatic allows the turbo to spool while changing gears, but the manual does not (or something like that)."

    Well, back in my "true" talon95 days, when I drove an Eagle Talon TSi AWD, I had the manual. And I remember that the enthusiast magazines criticized the automatic versions of those turbocharged cars, because the shifting and the turbo kicking in never seemed to coordinate well. That phenomenon can be kept under control to a pretty good degree with the greater control of the manual.

    Back then, well before the era of 255 hp. family/pseudo sports sedans, that car's 210 hp. was pretty much up there. And I remember that while the turbo coming on in an engine that powerful was quite the rush, the "indirectness" of the power flow sometimes make it feel like I didn't have much control over the acceleration. That's why I'm such a fan of the Accord V6... similar power with much smoother power delivery.

    But then, with the Accords, I also made the transition from many years of driving only stick to an automatic. I was spending way too much time in stop and go traffic while commuting, and it got to the point where the degree to which the stick was a pain started to outweigh the degree to which it was fun.
  • jeff88jeff88 Posts: 94
    Stop and go traffic also soured me on manual trannys, that's why I like todays' semi-autos. Almost as nice as a manual and fully auto for stop & go. However currently, my commute is mostly backroads and I would love to have a 5sp again. The 1st auto I ever owned (for me) was the rl.

    Back when I bought an '87 saab 900s I was initially looking at the 900 turbo and after a couple of test drives, decided on the slower 16v 4 without the booster. It was not at all a fast car; one had to keep the revs high to move along. The handling and daily driving characteristics were much less of an adventure though. Today's turbos, particularly mated to diesels, don't have that sudden blast of power, that sometimes occurred when you weren't quite ready for it in the older turbos. Recall that the turbo on the 900 kicked in around 2500 to 3000 rpm. 0-20 pretty much stunk, 20 to 60 was a rocket ride!

    For me, it's never been about the raw performance #'s, it's been more about how the car runs and performs over the daily experience. Having a bit extra on tap for those time we want to let loose, then absolutlely yes. For some reason, I've always been more attracted to lambish looks with a bit of the wolf underneath.

    As for the hump on the rl, if it means more trunk space then great! I'm definitely a fan of the new looks and specs, will be interested to read about the 1st test drives.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "If that was true, then cars like the WRX and Lancer EVO would all come with automatics."

    Obviously, there are other reasons for offering manuals. I didn't mean to suggest that the choice is black or white.

    I was speaking to the issue of spooling the turbo, which may happen faster in an automatic (assuming what I recall is still true of today's turbos). While things like hard launches, the driving experience, and drivetrain efficiency may be enough to compensate for the slower spooling, my understanding suggests that turbo lag is less significant with an automatic.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I wouldn’t call the rear end styling in these BMWs “humpy” either:

    BMW 645Ci
    BMW 745i

    The only issue I have with those rear ends is the way trunk lid sits on the top. The gap distracts from the “flow”. (Similar issue with new 5-series).

    Here is a side view of the 2005 RL’s rear end
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Turbo lag certainly is real -- however, several of the Europeans and Japanese have virtually eliminated the lag.

    In my experience, the "drive-line lash" of automatic transmissions (or the lash that CAN be part of an auto's characteristics) does not mitigate turbo lag, it exacerbates it.

    The turbos that have the torque start low and stay for a long time are often virtually undetectable as being turbos and thus can be used with little fanfare with both autos and manuals.

    Some cars have massive turbo lag and sloppy slush box auto transmissions -- mate these two traits and driving can be quite, shall we say, unnerving or as we used to say in college "a rush!" (but not in a positive way).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Right, usually by pairing larger engines, with smaller, twin turbos, or superchargers. The trouble with mating small fours with essentially no torque down low with a big turbo that needs to spool up (WRX) is that with an automatic, starting at idle, the car really wouldnt go anywhere until it hits 3,000 rpm or so.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Which is one reason the WRX is rarely sold with an automatic. That car just screams for a manual tranny.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    May be “hybrid” is in the future of turbocharged engines. :-)

    Spool it up using a tiny electric motor, until the exhaust catches up.
  • nhontrannhontran Posts: 1
    Would be nice if they have a new engine!
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The old 5.5/V8 SOHC.
  • altersysaltersys Posts: 56
    Actually those dont look like 20" wheels at all... More like 17"s
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Before anyone did this, I would suspect that a supercharger would be a more "sane" approach -- and no turbo lag, that's fur shure!
  • cedar33cedar33 Posts: 3
    The volumes that have been written and the tears that have been shed over the deck lid on the BMW, and now the ’05 RL, has me puzzled. Today’s leading-edge design is founded in aerodynamics. The wind tunnel tests and computer simulations are extremely critical. With performance, fuel economy, and styling at odds in any top-shelf design, engineers are playing a larger role in the final product.

    Coefficient of drag and down force dynamics are particularly significant, not to the box-on-wheels Hummer, but to cars like the BMW and new RL. I’m not an engineer, but I’ll bet that the deck lid that’s causing such gnashing of teeth is a result of thousands of hours of wind tunnel and computer testing. I believe that testing has shown that, without that particular shape, the car will lose massive amounts of loading. High-speed handling would become loose. Coefficient of drag would also increase unacceptably. Air dams and aprons do much the same thing at the other end.

    I’m doin’ a lot of betting here, but I expect this RL will have a c/d of .29 or less and the butt will have plenty of loading at speed. If we know the advantages of something, I believe most of us will come to embrace it. These cars cannot be designed with disregard of technical requirements. Remember when Audi had to stick that little spoiler onto the deck lid of the TT a couple of years ago? The stylists found out that the thing wanted to go airborne! Does this diatribe make any sense?
  • shotgunshotgun Posts: 184
    Your so called diatribe makes very much sense indeed! I'm just surprised that some of the more technically proficient contributors to this forum haven't mentioned this before. Although I find the BMW deck lid to be somewhat exaggerated and less than a thing of beauty, I do find the RL's iteration of the concept sufficiently muted and quite elegant...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Then how is Infiniti able to achieve zero lift designs in front and back without having to resort to the dreaded trunk hump?
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    Thanks for the pics. NICE FIND!!!

    To me, the RL looks alot more "substantial" in these real-world pics than in the promo stuff. I can't wait to see it in person!
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Just got back from vacation and was eager to see the new photos that Player posted. Thanks!

    Well, as I said a few months back, I think that the RL's side looks good but the trunk hump is just plain ugly, poorly styled, and derivative of BMW's newer 7 series. The intersection of the trunk lines with the side panels and tail lights simply do not flow together. Instead they are inexplicably juxtaposed and go off in disparate directions. To make matters worse, they me-too'd the roof antenna.

    The front of the car looks ridiculous. It looks more like an animal or Japanese warrior. A three year old Camry on steroids.

    All in all, to me it's an ugly car -- coming and going. What a disappointment this is for me.

    In my opinion, Acura (Honda) has done it again -- style designed a car by committee, lifting other brands styling details, including incredibly, BMW's deservedly impugned trunk hump and misaligned tail lights. What they should have been doing is approach this with some leadership and innovation, but apparently Acura and Honda are too conservative and careful to take chances -- style wise -- with anything bold and new. Yeah, I know that mechanically they are leaders, but stylistically, they are laggers.

    I spent a couple of days over at a Lexus dealership driving RX300s with my girlfriend, who is in the market for a CPO SUV. While there I asked about the new GS, due in March of '05. Based on what I see in the '05 RL photos, what I have seen of the new '05 GS, and the entirely upscale experience at the Lexus dealerships, I will likely be waiting for the new GS to debut before I plunk down upwards of 50 large.

    Bummed out and disgusted.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    The matter of fact is that it is nonsense to even bring up the aerodynamic of any car unless your car's average daily driving speed is above 150mph and we all know only very few cars has that kind of top speed and even fewer people will ever push their car to that top speed for very long period of time on the freeway or on the street.

    So, who cares what is the coefficient of drag or the down force that is needed to stabilize you car when your car is beyond 150mph. After all, you will probably never reach beyond 200mph in 99% of the mass production vehicles, so spoiler you see on any car is only for show.

    Speaking of spoiler, it is just a cheap way to make non-sporty cars look sporty.

    Unfortunately, being aerodynamic is not a technical requirement, rather it is a marketing strategy to get your money.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lower cd can translate into less noise at highway speed and increased mpg, not just ultra high speed stability.

    Legendman, cant recommend the RX highly enough. It's no drivers car, but most SUVs arent. However, its extremely comfortable, quiet, and luxurious. It has a great center storage compartment (the wife loved that) and ours has recently passed the 50K mark with a spotless record. Its pulled my XK out of a snow bank on more than one occasion :)
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    Very soon we will all die or become old and senile and the new kids on the block will love every inch of these designs that everybody calls ridiculous... for good or for bad...

    The only thing I dont like about the new bmw 7 and the 5 is parts of the rear deck. Having test driven both a lot, i'm quite impressed enough to say that i'll easily overlook those flaws.

    I also love the little mouse in the center stack of the beemers. Back in 1990, I remember, I was struggling to use a mouse and i'm thinking, wow, maybe i'm not made to use such toys... today even 90 year old alzeimer's patients use mouse & windows successfully.

    Shame on us to keep complaining about technology. Like it or not, the tech waves just keep comming. Get up and learn to surf or get washed out, for good or for bad.

    I am not particularly impressed with the design of the RL, but I'm guessing so what, i'll die soon and my kids might love it, plus at 10000's of thousands lower than a comparable 5 series, i'll take it, most likely.

  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    That is not true... carelessly designed roads abound all over the world and one small flaw in the camber of the road will let your car experience the joys of flying instead of driving at speeds as low at 60-70 mph rather than 150 mph...

    As a person with engineering background, I completely attest to the stated view on engineering over design lately...

  • jeff88jeff88 Posts: 94
    Why are you driving an xk in the snow???!!!

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I'm surprised to see that people see so much resemblance between BMW 7-series (and 5-series? 6-series yes, but 5-series? C'mon) and not between Acura's own offerings from the past, a mix of Acura CL and TL (1996-98). I even see some resemblance in the rear to the outgoing RL! Thats evolutionary styling approach IMO.

    Unlike 2004 TL which I would call aggressive, the new RL's styling approach is understated, and thats been something that top end cars usually have. Of course, not everybody prefers understated looks as it can be "boring", perhaps a reason BMW stylists went from the understated elegance of this car...

    to this...

    Hard to figure out what people would like... especially, "eventually".
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Jeff, good question.

    "I also love the little mouse in the center stack of the beemers. Back in 1990, I remember, I was struggling to use a mouse and i'm thinking, wow, maybe i'm not made to use such toys... today even 90 year old alzeimer's patients use mouse & windows successfully."

    Right, so you're telling me that a 90 year old with alzeimers can figure out how to program a radio preset through iDrive? Sorry but thats just a plain bad design. You should not have to take a college course in "How to operate your BMW 101". Acura and Lexus have been showing them the proper way to do it for years and years, and the Germans just keep on ignoring them. :Frankenstein voice: Touch screen baaad! 800 confusing buttons or rediculous joystick control scheme goood!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I still can't understand why people think it looks like the new BMW. I mean, sure, the trunk being lifted off the fender is "similar", but the ugliest part of the BMW design is how high the trailing edge of the decklid rises. The Acura does not share that part.

    IMHO, if you want to make comparisons, this is the car to look at...

  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    >>Right, so you're telling me that a 90 year old with alzeimers can figure out how to program a radio preset through iDrive? Sorry but thats just a plain bad design. You should not have to take a college course in "How to operate your BMW 101".

    Every time I read a review of how great BMW is, I have to laugh because invariably, in the middle of the review they'll talk about Idrive and the five steps to set a radio station, or the eight steps to do this, etc., etc. I don't care how great a car is otherwise, if I have to pull out an instruction manual just to figure out how to do the most basic things, I just won't buy it.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    >>Legendman, cant recommend the RX highly enough. It's no drivers car, but most SUVs arent. However, its extremely comfortable, quiet, and luxurious. It has a great center storage compartment (the wife loved that) and ours has recently passed the 50K mark with a spotless record<<


    I agree, it's a great car. My folks have two, one in the Midwest and one in the Southwest, and all they've ever needed were oil changes and some new tires for the older RX. They are quiet, comfortable, capable and as far as SUVs go, a pleasure to drive.

    Nonetheless, my girlfriend seems to keep coming back to wanting a brand new car -- which would be her first. Her tastes are fairly simple -- we even drove a Mazda MPV -- which owners seem to love, btw.

    I should say that my one nit with the Lexus RX 300 (and one that editors/reviewers also impugned) was Lexus' incorporating what is now a navi screen with the car radio and HVAC controls. To paraphrase the Edmunds editors/reviewers, I hate it. It really takes your eyes off the road in order to manage either function.

    If we do get back to see the RX: To buy a CPO RX (2000, 2001) at or under $30,000 OTD (the budget) we have been seeing cars in the 35,000 to 40,000 +/- mile range. Do you think that's too much mileage for a used car?
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