By on September 21, 2012
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The next Acura RL will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Here’s what it won’t have; Rear-wheel drive, a V8 engine, non-derivative styling, an endorsement from Harrison Ford and the gyroscope-based navigation system that debuted on the first generation car. Here’s what it will have.

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27 Comments on “Next Acura RL Debuting At Los Angeles Auto Show...”


  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Holy cow was that first analog navigation system ever Rube Goldberg. The description sounds like one of those mechanical contraption puzzles you’d find in a game like Myst.

    • 0 avatar

      I still have the brochure for it…it’s in Japanese

      • 0 avatar
        chrisgreencar

        I’ve seen online descriptions of that system, but would love to learn more about it. However, from what I have read, the analog system that you linked to was not used on the Legend — it was offered much earlier, in 1981 on the 2nd generation Honda Accord! Not only was it gyroscope-based, it didn’t even use a CRT electronic display! It used maps printed on clear plastic that physically moved to show location (I think!) By the 1990s electronic navigation systems were beginning to be offered. GM offered it on 88s in the early ’90s, but it was not integrated into the dash and I don’t think it was GPS-enabled. The 1996 Acura RL, as far as I know, was the first production model in the USA to offer satellite navigation of the type we know today.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Of all the former very good to great makes, Acura has probably gone downhill the fastest and furthest on a relative % basis.

        Their new vehicles are overpriced abominations, completely devoid of any of the good characteristics they formerly held.

        They are hideous to look at, as salt in the wound.

        I used to take Honda seriously when they screwed up and hurriedly admitted it and pledged to fix it. Now, nearly their entire lineup (including Acura) is a pile of dung, and I allow them zero credibility regarding their statements of what they will do in the future.

        Derek, I know you probably want to chime in with a statement about Honda/Acura sales, and I could care less, because it’s irrelevant to the point I’m making (besides, Acura sales pretty much suck, and the RL, in particular, is so low volume it rivals some exotics). McDonald’s has sold billions of Big Macs, and each & everyone has sucked.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        if you were to tell me in 1992 that in the year 2012 i’d have a desk drawer with a couple of gps units that had touchscreen and had <sub 5 meter accuracy and had all the maps from Gibraltar to Siberia in it on a solid state memory card… all for under $50… i'd tell you to drop the doobie

        how things move so quick

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Tony I am with you, people get pissed with me because I use a cell phone as… a phone… and not as a replacement for my laptop.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    I’d be more interested if they brought 4WS back in the form of a certain other car, but perhaps I’m biased…

  • avatar
    Easton

    Sounds like one more boring sedan on its way. Why bother. I would think anybody with the means to buy one of these would be better off opting for the Genesis or 300.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      +1 …the styling of the new RL, and the rest of the Acura line, leaves me cold. It just doesn’t *look* upscale to me, which is a huge problem.

      Infiniti doesn’t seem to get much love around here, but I’d opt for the M over this new RL any day, and recommend anyone else do the same. As relatively tame as Lexus’ design language is, I still think they convey their luxury image far better than Acura’s attempts.

      For that matter, I guess I struggle with super-edgy, flat-creased designs in a luxury context – Cadillacs don’t appeal to me either. The TSX and this new RL just look ‘cheap’ to me, the TL still holds a little appeal from certain angles, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Easton

        Acura and Lincoln both take the half-a s s e d approach to building a luxury. 1. Take a mainstream sedan, slap a bigger chrome grille on the front, LED tailights in back, and a slightly higher quality of leather inside. If you’re Lincoln you don’t even bother to change the door handles. 2. Hype the crap out of your product and try to convince people to pay $5,000 more than the car it’s based on. 3. Wait for customers that never materialize. 4. Discount the hell out of the price to get rid of the product. 5. Scratch heads, blame the market, head back to the drawing board and start the process again.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree Infiniti is the bright spot in an otherwise beige Japanese near luxury lineup, they dare to be a bit edgy and have clean styling to match.

        If Acura was to get serious with RL, I’d like to see it taken back to a very different boxy styled Legend… and heck call it LEGEND, alphabet soup with model names is beyond stupid. Much like I tell Cadillac every night before bed, Acura you are not German nor will you ever will be… stick to your roots and what makes you unique.

  • avatar

    That ad is fantastic. Old Acura ads are always bizarre. The only thing bizarre about the brand now is the off-putting grille, which works reasonably well on the sedans but really does look like a cheese grater on the MDX.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Thank goodness for Infiniti. Japanese reliability and maintenance ease with German cutting edge performance at lower price points.

  • avatar
    markholli

    That ad doesn’t make any damn sense. It’s just a bunch of scattershot images. Why is the car on the boat all the sudden? Why?

    Harrison Ford’s only role is to walk up to the car and look at it…I don’t get it.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Dog paddling in a sea of sameness; semi-luxury car with the latest electronic doodads. So basically an overly complex navigation system that was barely better than a map was replaced with a GPS unit. Next slide please.

  • avatar
    2012JKU

    The Legend was the best looking Acura ever made. The current stuff is ugly junk by comparison! Course same could be said about most Honda products. The whole company has fallen hard since the early to mid 1990s.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The current Acura and Honda line-ups are proof that the only guy in the Honda organization that any cojones was Soichiro, and he’s been dead a long time.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Why bother with a road test? We’ve already decided it’s garbage, regardless of the exciting new technology, essentially hybrid SH-AWD.

    If it doesn’t have a V-8 and RWD, it can’t possibly compete with the paradigm of a 1990’s luxury sedan, so let’s not give it a chance.

    Honda is obviously a dead company walking. Ignore the facts that it was about the only carmaker that made money every year for the last five. Ignore how the Civic and CR-V are burning up the sales chart, or that the Accord is launching faster than any car in their history. Forget the fact that Acura pioneered reliable near luxury cars with the Legend, that the MDX pioneered 7-passenger luxury CUVs, that the Integra was so beloved.

    They had an ugly grill for a couple of years, the Civic Si is too refined and the Insight is lame. We should therefore never again consider Honda. They are dead to us, worse than Saturn, or Mercury or Oldsmobile. We get it now.

    • 0 avatar
      chrisgreencar

      LOL.. do I detect a bit of sarcasm? I agree — Honda has seen better days, but they’re still doing a few things right. I’m not giving up completely yet!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Forget the fact that Acura pioneered reliable near luxury cars with the Legend”

      Acura is near-luxury? This has me curious, so what is real luxury then, in a 2012 sense. If you make the argument Acura in 2012 is ‘near luxury’ I am with you, they just price their pretend luxury models to the moon and people buy them… but in the past I thought the brand was a step above the traditional ‘near luxury’ brands such as Olds, Buick, and Mercury.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Still, Acura was closer to the likes of Buick than Mercedes or BMW, but that was the intent of Honda when Acura was launched.

        The new RL should do better than the utter failure that preceded it, but it will have to battle it out with the likes of the XTS and the redone MKS.

        For those who prefer RWD, the next gen Hyundai Equus will launch in a couple of years, as well as the Kia Quoris, so the new RL, while likely to do better than its predecessor, will still be facing an uphill battle.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Acura initially competed with the cars that are gone now. They decimated Peugeot, Saab, and Alfa Romeo and pushed Audi and Volvo up market. I don’t know anyone that cross shopped Buick or Olds but instead bought an Acura. I don’t know a single Acura buyer in their 25+ year history that would have considered such a car instead. The Acura buyers I know, and I know quite a few very well, bought them instead of BMWs either because of value considerations or past experience.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        So Honda aspired to be Buick? Wow. Amazing the brand is still around, and i don’t mean Buick.

  • avatar

    Acuras are not even as good as Buicks, err Opels. Well – save your money – buy Buick LaCross. It is more fun to drive Kia than Acura.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      A Lacrosse started parking next to me on a regular basis, it has the same yucky looks as a current Acura sedan… I wonder if that’s what Opel modeled them after.


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