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2011 RWD Acura RL Spyshots

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http://www.leftlanenews.com/acura-rl-future.html

The Acura RL received a facelift a few months ago in preparation for the 2009 model year, but that hasn't stopped Acura engineers from proceeding full speed ahead with a complete redesign for the 2011 model year. The all-new RL will be the first ever Acura to use a rear-wheel-drive platform as its basis. Our newest spy photos show a test mule for the new chassis, with body components donated from the new TSX.

Recent rumors also indicate the car will come equipped with Acura's first ever V8 — a 420 horsepower 4.8-liter range-topping unit. Other more economical engines are also expected to be offered. An optional RWD-based version of Honda's SH-AWD system is expected to be offered.

The RWD nature of this car is plain to see. Take note of the large space between the front door and the front wheel, for example. While the test mule pictured looks like a Frankenstein TSX, the final RL will have completely new styling unique to it. Since the Advanced Sedan Concept was unpopular to say the least, designers are believed to have gone back to the drawing board.

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with gas prices so high right now I doubt acura would transform the rl into a rwd with a v8

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And yet another Japanese automaker helps itself to GM's rear-drive lunch. Someone at GM had better start taking notes.

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What's this? An Acura worth getting interested over?

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I'm gonna copy what I posted over at TOV:

Some interesting differences to the platform compared to the TSX. It is pretty apparent that there is less front overhang, however in the shots below it is easier to see. The front wheels are at least 5-6 inches farther forward from the door, and are possibly a couple inches closer to the front, than on the TSX, although it is hard to tell because it looks like they've butchered the front bumper/head lights a fair amount. Of course the RL will have a different body completely, but this does give hope to a shorter overhang. Most exciting for me is the length of the hood, which just might indicate a longitudinally mounted engine.

Also, the TSX body has been stretched in 3 areas. The trunk is the most obvious stretch, which looks like about 3-4 inches. The front looks like it has been stretched 5-6 inches. There is also a stretch in the middle through the back doors, which is covered better, looks like at least 4 inches. Overall it looks like the TSX's body has been stretched a bit more than a foot.

The Acura Vigor and Legend at one point had very short overhangs and longitudinally mounted engines (still FWD though). This mule looks like its going back to that look, and is very promising for a longitudinally mounted engine.

1991-95 Legend coupe:

acuralegendcoupe.jpg

Also, the cobbled together exhaust system seen in the other shots would indicate that there is a fair amount of work going on in the rear differential. Hopefully this means they are preparing it for RWD duty.

Most people agree this vehicle will use SH-AWD, which isn't bad as it should be, based on rumors, RWD-biased now. Also hoping for a FR RWD only model as the base, which will reduce weight and drivetrain loss.

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uh... does this have stretch marks?!!! :lol:

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uh... does this have stretch marks?!!! :lol:

the good kind, from growing muscle, not from getting fat! :AH-HA_wink:

I sure hope it packs a 420HP V8. The base engine will probably be a 3.7L V6. Even that will be pretty quick when combined with RWD and hopefully a 6-speed auto.

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with gas prices so high right now I doubt acura would transform the rl into a rwd with a v8

Can't be that much worse than an AWD setup with a 300hp V6...?

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another boring Acura. Yawn!

Based on what? It's a mule.

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WTF?

I applaud Honda Acura finally getting a clue and developing RWD product

but at the same time Honda & Acura have shot their mouth off on MANY

an occasion about their disdain for RWD and their commitment to FWD &

Front-biased-AWD. They're always putting their foot in their mouth. <_<

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WTF?

I applaud Honda Acura finally getting a clue and developing RWD product

but at the same time Honda & Acura have shot their mouth off on MANY

an occasion about their disdain for RWD and their commitment to FWD &

Front-biased-AWD. They're always putting their foot in their mouth. <_<

When have they expressed their disdain for RWD? Their very first automobiles were RWD. The NSX and S2000 are both RWD.

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When have they expressed their disdain for RWD? Their very first automobiles were RWD. The NSX and S2000 are both RWD.

I could be wrong, but I believe when the original RL came out in 1996, they said something to the effect that RWD was not that relevant to them, or that FWD was sufficient.

Then they crossed themselves up a bit with the current RL by adding AWD.

And now they're looking at rear-drive. Go figure.

My guess is that the extremely promising Hyundai Genesis might be scaring them a touch.

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I could be wrong, but I believe when the original RL came out in 1996, they said something to the effect that RWD was not that relevant to them, or that FWD was sufficient.

Then they crossed themselves up a bit with the current RL by adding AWD.

And now they're looking at rear-drive. Go figure.

My guess is that the extremely promising Hyundai Genesis might be scaring them a touch.

Well it became relevant to them when the RL sales started declining, and in 2006 when overall sales started declining. For some reason the masses started believing that RWD is a requirement even though 98.333% of them wouldn't be able to tell the difference between FWD/RWD anyway.

The RL started declining in sales well before any word about the Genesis came about.

The next RL and GT/NSX will likely share the same RWD platform. Honda probably doesn't want to spend a ton of money developing another unique platform for their halo car, and sharing it with the RL makes sense.

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another boring Acura. Yawn!

Since when is 420 horsepower and RWD boring?! :nono:

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Well it became relevant to them when the RL sales started declining, and in 2006 when overall sales started declining. For some reason the masses started believing that RWD is a requirement even though 98.333% of them wouldn't be able to tell the difference between FWD/RWD anyway.

The RL started declining in sales well before any word about the Genesis came about.

I have not driven any cars in the RL's class other than the STS, but I'm pretty sure most people can tell a difference between FWD and RWD on midsize or large cars when they aren't going in a straight line.

RL sales didn't really decline that much, they went from like 500 a month to 300 a month :P

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On many an occasion when asked why they are such losers and make

high end luxury cars that send all or most of their power to the FRONT

wheels Hon-cura (PR, engineers/product planners)had some nasty

things to say about RWD.

It was always the same lame, plaid out and weak defense.

b-b-b-b-b-but FWD is better for fuel economy and it's more efficient for

packaging & weight savings... and my personal favorite:

WE WILL NEVER BUILD RWD TRUCKS/SEDANS BECAUSE IT'S BAD FOR MOMMY EARTH!

Any yet they still tried to sell those tarted up Accords and Civics as

"luxury-sport-sedans" with an Acura emblem being the biggest distinction

from the pase grocery getter Honda equivalents.

So I guess it is cool that they have seen the light, more RWD product is ALWAYS good,

but at the same time it pisses me off cause I hate hypocrites and now there's ANOTHER

company that has admitted that FWD is a plague, the the biggest achile's heal of

modern cars just as GM is again trying to ram W-body redesign Ver. 3.075 down our

collective throats while the tooling for Zeta is doomed to be as underutilized as the '90s

B-bodys and '80s G-bodys.

:angry: x :angry: to the seventh power

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It looks like the GT/NSX will come out in 2010 and be the first of the new RWD Acura's. That is the vehicle which was running around Nurburgring with a chopped up S2000 body wrapped around it (rumored 550HP V10, RWD-based SH-AWD, etc). After that car, every new Acura introduction is supposed to be "tier 1". The RWD RL will come out in 2011. The next TL, barring any drastic changes in the automotive world, will probably come out RWD in 2013 or 14, and who knows about the next TSX. I am still hoping Acura will release a new compact model. Now that BMW has the 1-series and Audi the A3, I feel like Acura made a big mistake dropping the small car. I wonder if Acura will make a RWD small car. A luxury version of the S2000 makes perfect sense to me, yet they don't seem to want to take that route. If any of you have seen the engine bay in an S2000, there is MORE than enough room for an inline 6, or possibly a V6. A retractable hard-top shouldn't be too difficult. It will kick the pants out of the SC and Z4.

On many an occasion when asked why they are such losers and make

high end luxury cars that send all or most of their power to the FRONT

wheels Hon-cura (PR, engineers/product planners)had some nasty

things to say about RWD.

It was always the same lame, plaid out and weak defense.

b-b-b-b-b-but FWD is better for fuel economy and it's more efficient for

packaging & weight savings... and my personal favorite:

WE WILL NEVER BUILD RWD TRUCKS/SEDANS BECAUSE IT'S BAD FOR MOMMY EARTH!

These are all great opinions, but can you link me to any articles or press releases with quotes from Honda directly talking about RWD?

now there's ANOTHER company that has admitted that FWD is a plague

You're acting as if Honda is suddenly going to change their entire lineup to RWD, when it fact it will be just Acura, and it will be a gradual process. FWD is better than RWD for most applications and for most consumers. There is certainly a sizable population of car enthusiasts who can truly appreciate RWD (the engineers at Honda being a part of that population), but they make up the minority.

RL sales didn't really decline that much, they went from like 500 a month to 300 a month :P

I know you're being sarcastic, but if you want to see the sales figures, you can find them all here. 2005, the first full year of the current gen RL's production, saw the most sales of the RL ever. It declined by 30-50% each year after that though. And the RL's sales have never been even close to the Legend's sales (although then the TL and RL together sell more than the Legend did).

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if the RL is RWD, then the TL can stay FWD, IMHO.

They need to bring back names, LEGEND, integra, vigor.

Edited by regfootball
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I have not driven any cars in the RL's class other than the STS, but I'm pretty sure most people can tell a difference between FWD and RWD on midsize or large cars when they aren't going in a straight line.

RL sales didn't really decline that much, they went from like 500 a month to 300 a month :P

This FWD/RWD issue has always been around......I remember when the first of GM's new downsized FWD luxury cars were introduced....and how many "traditional" RWD owners were dismayed.....claiming the cars wouldn't ride as good, tow as good, or be as reliable (fwd CV joints, etc.)

I think we are seeing the trend go full circle. More and more consumers are once again clammoring for RWD in their premium or large car choices...........or in other words, consumers are once again considering RWD to be "the" premium driveline configuration. Something Acura is seemingly realizing that they need to finally accept.

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Ah, so what they are saying is, that the gap between the wheel well and the door indicates that the engine is mounted longitudinally, just as it always has been the in the Legend/RL, and in the Accord Vigor (the original was an Accord with an extended front section behind the front wheel to accommodate a longitudinal engine and transmission) that developed into the TL. So what they are doing then, is not changing a damn thing.

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Ah, so what they are saying is, that the gap between the wheel well and the door indicates that the engine is mounted longitudinally, just as it always has been the in the Legend/RL, and in the Accord Vigor (the original was an Accord with an extended front section behind the front wheel to accommodate a longitudinal engine and transmission) that developed into the TL. So what they are doing then, is not changing a damn thing.

Just to set the record straight (and for myself):

The Legend, Vigor, '96-04 RL, and '96-98 TL had longitudinally mounted engines, but were FWD.

The 99-03 TL, and 04+ TL have transversely mounted engines and are FWD. The 05+ RL has a transversely mounted engine and is AWD.

The new 2011 RL will have a longitudinally mounted engine and be AWD. There is also the possibility of a RWD-only version, but I wouldn't bet on it.

What I do not know is what kind of relationship the Accord's platform had with the Legend, Vigor, TL, and RL of the past, if the Accord's engines have always been transversely mounted. I know the current RL, TL, and Accord's platforms are very similar. The new platform of the RL/NSX will be unique to Acura I believe, which is what Acura needs.

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You're the Honda-Acura fan, you have never read anything to that effect? :huh:

I've got a wife, ex, 4 y.o. daughter & 2.5 jobs so the last thing I have time for

is riffling through the internet & Auto-rags for a few select articles/quotes.

Anyone on this forum who tries to cll me out on B.S. should have learned by now

that I do NOT make &#036;h&#33; up. I'm not MDM, thankyouverymuch.

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Just to set the record straight (and for myself):

The Legend, Vigor, '96-04 RL, and '96-98 TL had longitudinally mounted engines, but were FWD.

The 99-03 TL, and 04+ TL have transversely mounted engines and are FWD. The 05+ RL has a transversely mounted engine and is AWD.

The new 2011 RL will have a longitudinally mounted engine and be AWD. There is also the possibility of a RWD-only version, but I wouldn't bet on it.

What I do not know is what kind of relationship the Accord's platform had with the Legend, Vigor, TL, and RL of the past, if the Accord's engines have always been transversely mounted. I know the current RL, TL, and Accord's platforms are very similar. The new platform of the RL/NSX will be unique to Acura I believe, which is what Acura needs.

Find the product "library" at Honda's Japanese site for the details. They make it pretty clear the original longitudinal-engine "Accord" differed from the transverse-engine version only from the firewall forward. Even then only what was needed for the new engine orientation was changed. I don't recall the year or the model, but it's all there.

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