Next Acura RL Will Not Have Electric SH-AWD As Standard
Today, TTAC was treated to what might be the first look at Acura’s newest flagship. While we saw renderings of the new car, we weren’t allowed to take photographs – but none of the information released was embargoed.
The new car is said to be about the size of a 5-Series but with the interior space of a 7-Series. Powertrain details didn’t go much further beyond a V6 of undisclosed displacement, a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox and Acura’s SH-AWD system (previewed on the Accord prototype seen in the above photograph) that uses two electric motors in the rear rather than a mechanical linkage to deliver power to the rear wheels and vector torque amongst the left and right rear sides. Acura officials said that the system would not be standard on the new flagship, even though the new technology will be a showpiece for Acura’s new direction as a brand.
Unless Acura has some new super-secret RWD architecture that nobody knows about, the new flagship will have to have an FWD variant. Acura officials wouldn’t comment on the matter, so we’ll have to wait until April’s New York Auto Show for the definitive answer.
Acura's only edge was SH-AWD. To now make it an option takes away from any glamour it had. Acura use to be a synonym for Luxury just as Lexus is and has maintained since 1990. If they are trying to tackle away 5 series sales, ain't gonna happen. This brand needs a complete enema. Its salvagable but get to it before it becomes the next Mazda premium brand...that wasn't.
Good Acura: Legend, Integra, NSX, gen 1 TL, MDX Bad Acura: everything else Want to know who the new Honda is? It's Hyundai and Kia. Honda, get your act together or Acura is toast in the next few years.
After 3 Audis I bought a used '08 RL with 5,000 miles on it because I tired of the Audi repair bills. The RL lacks German solidity and prestige, but Acura has managed to build a comfortable luxury sedan that handles incredibly well without a nut busting suspension and fragile low-profile tires. With SH-AWD handling is neutral. In sharp turns you can stomp on the gas and feel the car pivot around the corner. Acura put a lot of thought into this car, whether it's the aluminum major body panels, dual-stage exhaust, 90-degree opening rear doors or aerodynamic flaps covering the suspension parts. Problem is, that stuff is hidden beneath a plain Jane exterior. The RL is about artful subtlety which, unfortunately, doesn't sell many cars in the luxury category. OK by me. I paid a lot less than for a used A6 or E Class, and I know it will be as reliable as a garden rake.