Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Acura RL



  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Hi, Andrew,
    I don't think comparing a $65K LS430 with supposedly $45K vehicle like RL is even proper. I won't even start here. I have ridden in more than 5 Lexus LS from 1995 to 2004. A boat is a boat. Even for an extremely quiet one, or a fast one. Nothing wrong with it. I haven't tried the Ultra package. No comment there. 0-60 is not everything about sporty sedans. It is more about driving dynamics (road holding, weight balancing, unsprung weight, suspension configuration, overhang, turning circle, etc) to me, I care less about straight line performance as long as it is reasonable quick.

    As Chris Bangle said (not that I like his designs), "Driving is not about getting from A to B. It is about getting from A to B while having fun doing it." "Fun" does not mean "quick".
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I find it amusing when people focus so much on weight bias (on paper) without considering how the chassis is set up and how the car actually performs.

    Shifting weight from front to rear does not guarantee a shift from understeer to oversteer (most rear heavy cars like NSX, Porsches do not oversteer easily, in fact they understeer until pushed). This is where suspension setup can play a role.

    In its compact platform (RSX), Acura uses “reactive link” double wishbone set up, and while it is not as advanced as the 5-link (Watt link) double wishbone set up in the midsize offerings (RL should have it), the purpose is to provide a passive steer. Even my 1998 Accord has it, and despite the car being nose heavy (60-40 split), the car can be made to turn the rear around under throttle while cornering. OTOH, I have tried the same on some RWD cars (Mustang) with near 50-50 split, but they tend to understeer more (with a tendency to snap oversteer, not good).

    And how does it matter an AWD is based on a FWD or RWD platform? As long as it works, and works well, who cares! Audi Quattro (and Subaru AWD) may have been designed for implementation in cars that were front drivers, but that does not take away anything from how they actually perform.

    By making AWD standard in the RL, Acura has managed to appeal to audience that would be wary of RWD, those that prefer AWD, and those that would have otherwise dismissed it as a front driver. And that’s good! But as I mentioned earlier, Acura went a step further and implemented the system better than anybody anticipated (at least on paper for now).
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    2001 Acura CL-S could do 0-60 in 5.8s. 2004 TL has done it as well. But thats not the end of it, is it? Based on early rumors, RL is expected to weigh around 3750 lb. Would be nice if it does. That would make it lighter than the current RL with a lot more power and features! I anticipate a 0-60 run of 6.5s, and thats not bad, because in some tests, LS430 has achieved the same.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    This is so good, it bears repeating:

    "By making AWD standard in the RL, Acura has managed to appeal to audience that would be wary of RWD, those that prefer AWD, and those that would have otherwise dismissed it as a front driver. And that’s good! But as I mentioned earlier, Acura went a step further and implemented the system better than anybody anticipated (at least on paper for now)."

    By the same token, I now find the Chrysler 300C and the Cadillac STS and the upcoming BMW 5 series also coming in AWD, now are worthy of my shopping list.

    The Acura's implementation, as noted -- on paper -- would appear to be a technological leader, too.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Hi, Robert:
    By comparing weight distribution, I assume the suspension setup are equally capable no matter they are d-wishbone or multi-link. Granted, weight distribution alone won't cut it. You must agree that given the same suspension setup, I would take 50/50 for neutral steering and sharp turn-in/out. I didn't ignore suspension, just assume they are equal during comparison. Just to clarify.

    On a side note, NSX has been well-known on race tracks for being an over-steerer due to its heavy tail of course. Suspension can only compensate so much within its limit. Beyond that pure physics takes over.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    No offense to mopar people, but I give the 300C a big fat "meh". .77g on the skidpad. Thats hardly the kind of "agile dancer" status that a 5 series or possibly the new RL has. Yes it has a ton of horsepower for the money. So does the the GTO. Horsepower without any kind of cornering ability is just a glorified Camaro.

    Yes Andrew the LS430 is S500 quick, and in the past its sole mission has been a cloud to seperate you from the world and get you where you are going and FAST. However, the '04 car with the 18" wheels and the sport suspension is.. gasp.. FUN to drive.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    But usually suspension is not equal. They are designed to match the chassis. A 50-50 split does not guarantee a sharp turn-in/quick/balanced response. The rest of the chassis must help.

    NSX generally understeers, and it might take turning off the traction control to induce oversteer on power. IMO, though, mid engine/RWD layout is the best bet for responsive steering and fun ride. Optimum for braking (weight shifts front), acceleration (weight shifts to the rear) and of course, low polar moment with the single most heavy item... the engine/transmission right in the middle of the chassis.

    To keep this on topic, don't we wish RL was the production version of Acura DNX (Honda Dual Note)? (Dual Note was mid engined sedan, but with AWD using electric motors)
  • Yeah, alright. I agree. It's not fair to compare the LS to the RL. They are not even in the same class.
    I have test driven the GS300. I guess the RL should be compared to that, although I think the GS is still a lot quieter and more cushioned on the steering wheel.

    I don't know. It just cracks me up when those Acura sales people tell me that the the LS 430 is the primary competitor of the RL and how the RL is a luxury cruiser like the LS.

    Yeah, I'm not into performance driving. I guess Acura not being a huge company can only afford to please a certain crowd. Lexus/Toyota is a much bigger company so they try to please a wider variety.
  • proeproe Posts: 157
    I am going to get a new car in 2006 because both Corvette, and RL have come out more than 1 year, and the new BMW 4 series arrival(Man, I sure would like to get the new M4). I like BMW for its legendary chassis and handling, Corvette's unbeatable value in its class, yet I think I am going to get the new RL for its quality as I will own the car for next 10 years. On top of all this, the hybrid is going to change the auto industry if they can perform on par or even better than its counterparts.
       It is so exciting.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Just to clarify... When I wrote that the RL was being fitted with AWD to silence the "we want RWD" crowd, I didn't mean to imply that it was purely a PR move.

    No, no, no. SH-AWD has the potential to be a huge factor in how well the car performs.

    What I was writing about was the lack of a non-AWD model. If Acura produced a FWD version without SH-AWD, then the PR might read, "A great car, but only if you buy it with with SH-AWD." By making it AWD-only, they eliminate any qualifications. The same PR reads, "A great car. Period."
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Someone asked about the system employed in the SH-AWD system to distribute torque. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mystery to me. I can describe it's function, but not how it achieves the results.

    Honda has a gizmo ahead of the rear differential (more or less part of the diffy), which they call an acceleration device. This is what allows the front axle to be driven at a different speed than the rear axle. It also adjusts the power output from a default 70/30 bias to 30/70 based on yaw sensors, steering input, tire slippage, and throttle position.

    Another part of the differential (between the rear half-shafts) takes care of directing torque away from the inside wheel and pushing the outside wheel faster. They commplish this using wet multi-plate clutch packs and electromagnetic couplings to pull those clutches together. These eletromagnetic couplings are one of the items that Honda claims is a "world's first" for AWD design.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    For the most part, I would expect a FWD-biased design like the new RL of Audi's line-up to have a front-end weight problem. That's simply because the engine is mounted ahead of the front wheels. With a RWD design, the front wheels can be moved fore and aft as necessary to achieve better balance. When the designers add AWD, they don't really have to mess with that balance very much.

    Proper suspension tuning can help alleviate that problem. Honda's Prelude and Integra Type R both held some serious g's when they needed to. Of course, those were both light-weight cars. The RL is not.

    That said, I'm expecting that the SH-AWD in the RL will come pretty close to eliminating the problem with other FWD-biased AWD designs. With the bulk of the power going to the outside rear wheel, this car will push its way around the corners in a way that no other sedan can. On paper, it looks like it'll one-up the Audi design. And it's not like Audi's are all that bad to begin with.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    We do know that SH-AWD can send up to 70% of the torque to the rear wheels, and up to 100% of it to one of them (and zero to the other). So, the torque split could be any combination like 0-100 / 12-88 / 50-50/ 60-40 / 90-10/ 100-0 and so on.

    Does any other AWD system currently in market capable of doing the same? How does the split work in different AWD systems (Audi, Subaru, Nissan etc.)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    If ya'all know -- for the new RL, that is?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    We don't know the F/R balance. We don't even know the weight, yet. The torque split is varied depending on conditions. As written above, it can be 70/30 or 30/70 depending on how hard you press on the gas, the yaw rate, or steering input.

    Robertsmx - No other production system is capable of routing torque from side to side "in the same manner".

    Vehicle stability systems can force an open differential to send more torque to an outside wheel by braking the inside one, but not like SH-AWD. Think about it. In order for a system like ESP or VSA to send 100% of the rear wheels torque to the outside, it would have to brake the inside wheel at 100%. Might as well throw an anchor out one side.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Actually according to C&D RS6 beat both E55 and M5 in handling department. I know M5 is an old model but it's still one of the best handling sedans on the road, and if 60/40 balanced car can beat it, I think it's pretty good.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Why would RL be as soft as LS430, it's not even built to compete with LS. Everybody knows that LS is softest ride on the road. RL's main competition is GS and M. And so you know TL 0-60 is 5.7, I don't think any lexus can beat that.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    GS430 is roughly at 5.7sec, 0-60.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, I think the Stage 5 turbo IS300 stands a pretty good chance of beating 5.7 seconds :). I read that C&D article as well, and I know they praised the RS6 more for its "road feel" but did it actually outperform the E55 on the testing? I know in terms of acceleration, the E is unbeatable.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Hi, Robertsmx:
    You said, "NSX generally understeers, and it might take turning off the traction control to induce oversteer on power. IMO, though, mid engine/RWD layout is the best bet for responsive steering and fun ride."

    In general, I agree with what you said about NSX. It is the massive oversteer once you go beyond the limit that is scary on the race track. This goes with mid/rear-engine layout. Again, suspension/tires can only reduce oversteer by so much. Let me just quote what Ayrton Senna's opinion on NSX as conclusion...

    "He (Ayrton) liked the car's handling but criticised its chassis for lacking steering feel as you wouldn't know the NSX's limits unless you really pushed it which would usually result in massive oversteer due to its mid-engine layout."

    Since this is not a NSX board, we should stop this topic. I have been a NSX-fanatic since 1991. Then, I became a BMW-fanatic 6 years ago. Now, I am more interested in new RL mainly due to its SH-AWD. It will be my next ride, if the test-drive goes as expected. BMW and Acura are both great powertrain companies. The transition should be smooth. Not to mention the better reliability that comes with Acura.
  • mowgiemowgie Posts: 2
    i am buying the 2005 rl....

    the wife has a 2001 v70 t5.

    i have shopped the e320awd and the bmw545..the xc90 and the v70r and this car wins.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If you could post your impressions of the car when you actually get it that would be great.
  • electronselectrons Posts: 16
    The RL is suppose to have over 300 hp from the 3.5 V6, tho I doubt the torque will be to the level of the thirsty V8 engines. Is it suppose to have the cyc management that other Honda products are coming out with during the same time frame?

    Every auto mfg has different market and segments or niche that they try to address. Comparing the Toyota concept against Honda's is completely different despite thinking that one company is larger than the other and therefore limits the marketing ability?? are you kidding me?

    the difference is quite apparent when you drive the Accord and the Camry. One car is a sport ride and the other car is a soft ride, both cars are relatively speaking close in total sales.
  • globusglobus Posts: 2
    My 1989 Legend LS was by far the best car I have ever owned(incld audi a6 V8,Saab 9000 cse,Bmw 530)
    It was comfortable ,had great acceleration,handling etc. I was really dissapointed with the old RL(cheap lexus wannabe)
    If the new Rl is anything like the old legends, I will definitely get one.I really hope it lives up to the hype.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think thats what Acura has in mind with the new car. Everyone I know with a Legend was disappointed by the old RL. As Infinti has well learned by now, you cant out lux cruiser the LS. The '97-00 Q45 tried to soften up to compete more directly with the LS400, and it was a flop. You just cant beat Lexus at their own game. If the styling of the current Q wasnt so just plain wierd, with its enlarged Subie bug-eye WRX front end and Audi A6 rear, I think it would be a lot more successful than it has been.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    This was posted by a gentleman who picked up a copy of BestCar mag in Japanese. His interpretation (not translation) posted at another website. This excerpt is the exciting part of it. I am glad that I have put down my order for the new RL. I knew the SH-AWD (with active outer rear wheel acceleration) would be ground-breaking.

    "The author of the article says he has been tracking the development of the RL/Legend since a development prototype was tested at the Nürburgring last year. According to the article, an RL/Legend test mule with a prototype SH-AWD system was tested at the 'Ring against a Skyline GT-R. The article states that the RL's lap times consistently bested the GT-R. The author makes the statement that the SH-AWD's performance dynamics are so innovative that he's convinced current systems from Nissan's GT-R, Subaru's Imprezza (WRX), and Mitsubishi's Lancer - leaders in AWD technology, are a step behind. He goes further and suggests that SH-AWD's performance handling dynamics are so ground-breaking that it threatens to surpass BMW's M5 class (hmmm - we shall see). "
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Definitely interesting, but I think the M5 is a bit of a stretch. The new car will have 4 more cylinders and 200 more hp, thats not so easy to take down.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    M5 to RL comparison may have been based on handling, not necessarily on power.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    yeah that makes a bit more sense. We'll just have to wait for the Edmunds first drive
Sign In or Register to comment.