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Acura dealers expect cheaper RL

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Acura dealers expect cheaper RL

Kathy Jackson

Automotive News / February 20, 2006 - 6:00 am

ORLANDO, Fla. -- When Acura redesigned its flagship RL in 2004, it loaded on the goodies: all-wheel drive, navigation system, 10-speaker stereo and radar that warns drivers of an impending crash.

It has a price tag to match: $49,915 with shipping, about $6,000 more than the previous-generation RL.

Oops.

Now Acura has concluded that its slow-selling flagship needs help.

The division is considering a lower-content version of the car, some dealers say. Sales chief Dick Colliver told Automotive News that the RL's content will change next year but gave no details. He acknowledged that the RL "hasn't performed to expectations."

The RL lacks a V-8 engine, an amenity expected by many luxury buyers.

"It's at a price point in foreign territory for us," Mike McGrath, chairman of the Acura dealer council, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. "Maybe Acura doesn't have the brand image" to sell a vehicle at that price.

McGrath said the dealer council has recommended a model with less content. "It only comes one way: loaded," he said. "We need something in the low to mid-40s."

The redesigned RL was introduced in October 2004. In 2005 it substantially outsold the previous-generation model. But sales have slipped. In the four months ending January 31, Acura sold 4,899 RLs, down 25.6 percent year-over-year.

Link: http://autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?...B/60217081/1078

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I agree... you need to be able to pick and choose some options... not to mention, everything else seems to have available V8's, and as nice as you make your 6, it's just not an 8.

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The RL comes with a lot of neat techy stuff, hopefully AHM can increase the sales of the RL by making some of it options.

Problem is Honda doesn't have a V8.

Still, I see Acura as a "premium" brand rather than "luxury". Too ricey to be luxury.

The platform most likely won't fit a V8. If the RL can loose some weight in the process of losing some of the standard features, it should also help with the acceleration. The RL already accelerates just as well as other cars in its price range, a lot with V8's. That doesn't get past the "image" of a V8, but unfortunately that is nothing they can do with this platform, unless they develope a super conpact sub-4.0L V8 (which might not be a bad idea at all).

Lay off the rice.

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290hp just isn't that great any more for this class. Especially for $50,000. With the new IS350, G35, and their own TL (not to mention the Chrysler 300C), you can have the same performance (or better) in a vehicle around the same size but at a much cheaper price... even when including AWD. True you'll miss out on a few features, but those features don't justify $10,000+ premium over the above mentioned vehicles.

This is funny. Check this out:

Car & Driver's performance numbers for the 275hp "torqueless" $35,000 Lucerne CXS:

"60 mph comes up at just a tick under seven seconds (6.9), followed by the quarter-mile mark in 15.3 at 94 mph.""

Car & Driver's performance numbers for the 290hp $50,000 Acura RL:

"put the RL's acceleration to 60 mph at 6.7 seconds, the quarter-mile at 15.2 seconds at 94 mph"

If the Lucerne should be ashamed of its performance, then...

(MPG are also about the same too: RL 18/26, Lucerne: 17/25. There's V6 economy for you!)

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wasn't there a RWD RL concept with a V8 in it? IIRC it was at the Tokyo AutoSalon

I completely forgot about that! It was a Mugen designed vehicle, called the Legend Max. It had a 4.0L V8 and RWD rated to 500ps. If it was economically possible to produce it at a good price, I'm sure it would be a killer. Maybe with all the talk about the lacking RL sales, AHM will give us something like this.

More information and pictures

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Edited by siegen

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This is definatley an odd car...it has an outstanding interior, very high quality, one of the best AWD systems around, and is very refined.

BUT, and strange as it is, it is quite cramped inside, still lacking a bit under the hood, and VERY blandly styled. As far as the latter is concerned, it's never a good sign when your flagship vehicle is regarded as the most boring and bubbled car in the line, with the lower line TL, TSX, and even RSX always generally considered to be a lot better looking.

Even if it just had styling along the lines of the crisp and taut TL but a bit more exotic, and then interior room that you naturally expect in a car of this class, it would sell VERY well at $50k.

As is, it comes off as quite the odd mixture...

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>>'Mike McGrath, chairman of the Acura dealer council, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. "Maybe Acura doesn't have the brand image" to sell a vehicle at that price.'<<

Ouch- not a particularly reasurring admission. Not sure knocking a few grand off is going to do much- it's the value moreso than the actual price that's depressing sales IMO.

What is "AHM"?

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I test drove one a while back..loved the interior, but felt $40-45k would be a better price point. That said, I really, really liked the TL..if I were going to buy a FWD commuter car, it would be a loaded TL with the 6-speed manual...loved the interior and exterior, the size is right, etc.

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I test drove one a while back..loved the interior, but felt $40-45k would be a better price point. That said, I really, really liked the TL..if I were going to buy a FWD commuter car, it would be a loaded TL with the 6-speed manual...loved the interior and exterior, the size is right, etc.

EXACTLY. Not that I keep up with the happenings of the RL or even Acura all that much, but I've heard it mentioned SO many times that people who look at the RL still end up being more impressed with the TL, just because it's a more compelling (ESPECIALLY when it comes to styling) package for an extremely attractive bottom line.

That said, I'm always in awe of the RL's interior beauty when I see them at auto shows...too bad I can only fit in the front seat, and even then still feel a little cramped.

But, for $50k, it's the B-O-R-I-N-G styling that would keep me away from the dotted line, regardless of how nice it drove or what features it had.

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I completely forgot about that! It was a Mugen designed vehicle, called the Legend Max. It had a 4.0L V8 and RWD rated to 500ps. If it was economically possible to produce it at a good price, I'm sure it would be a killer. Maybe with all the talk about the lacking RL sales, AHM will give us something like this.

Honda/Acura is being run by a bunch of pu$$ys who think Americans can't handle RWD or even rear-wheel-biased AWD.

F*** the RL, always was and always will be an over rated Honda sedan. $50K? That's a joke right there.

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Honda/Acura is being run by a bunch of pu$$ys who think Americans can't handle RWD or even rear-wheel-biased AWD.

F*** the RL, always was and always will be an over rated Honda sedan. $50K? That's a joke right there.

Your posts are always fun to read :stupid:

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AHM = American Honda Motor Co.

Of course, I actually knew that.

But how curious to refer to the NA sales arm of the corporation rather than the official corporate name. Or did a succession take place I missed media coverage of?

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M45 totally wanks all over the RL. the M45 is a car i would look at as a real car, not an Accord that just went to the all you can ingest buffet......

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Your posts are always fun to read  :stupid:

Just being honest. I think Honda & Toyota are in a dead heat for the most over rated and over-glorified car manufacturers of all time.

Let's take a short trip down memory lane and remember Honda/Acura's most interesting/influencial models.

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Reg:

I could not have said it better myself. The M45 and Q are cars worthy of the Luxury & Presteige implied by their price, unlike the RL.

Damn Tripod... here's a "Sprocket".

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I'm patiently awaiting some pictures of that ME V6 garbage that is refered to as a "poor man's exotic" yet gets spanked by the cheaper Corvette.

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One Honda I've liked for the last 15+ years is this:

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And I'll own one sooner or later.. I've always liked styling, and love the way they drive...a friend of mine has a '91 that I've driven a few times, a very fun car on a windy road.

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Sixty, don't you have anything better to do than find pictures of riced out old Honda's? This has to be the 4th or 5th time. I would go find a couple mustang, camaro, neon, etc riced out pics, but I don't feel like wasting my time.

Haha, actually I do feel like wasting my time:

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This is an Escort with a mustang front I believe.

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It's hard to find a stock Neon picture on google, people must really like to rice these things out:

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And for good measure:

It's the bug off starship troopers!

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But how curious to refer to the NA sales arm of the corporation rather than the official corporate name. Or did a succession take place I missed media coverage of?

I refer to AHM when talking about things happening in the U.S.A., if they were to make a V8 RWD, it would probably only exist here, like the Ridgeline and Civic Coupe, or in Europe. The markets between here and Japan are very different. Now if you're talking about the Legend or the Mugen concept, that would be Japan, but don't expect Honda to follow in Mugen's (aka M-Tec) footsteps and build a RWD V8 Legend for their market. And it's also easier to say AHM, than Honda in America.

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Congradulations, you've found a Ford as hideous as the typical Honda Rice I see every day here in Mass. Ask XP, the rice in the Lowell area is at epidemic proportions.

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Moltar: Thanks for calling the NSX what it really is: a Honda, not Ah-Cure-Ah. :AH-HA_wink:

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