Official release from www.acuranews.com:
2011 Acura RL Delivers More Refinement and Improved Performance
12/21/2010 – TORRANCE, Calif.
The RL luxury performance sedan has long served as one of Acura’s most technologically advanced vehicles, and for 2011 significant upgrades have been made to again raise the bar. To further maximize the output of the 3.7L V-6 engine, the RL receives an all-new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission for 2011. In addition, the RL enjoys an even quieter cabin thanks to the first-ever use of a unique resonator wheel technology in a passenger vehicle.
Featuring bold looks, a 300 horsepower engine and Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system, the 2011 RL demonstrates that refined luxury is complemented perfectly by advanced technology and performance adrenaline. In addition to delivering luxury, style and performance, Acura’s top-of-the-line sedan keeps drivers more connected to their world (and the world around them) by featuring some of the latest in intuitive, easy-to-use, state-of-the-art technology.
Acura.com has rounded out it’s 2011 model line with the recent additions of the new 2011 TSX Sport Wagon and the refreshed 2011 RL.
While the TSX Sport Wagon gallery has photos we’ve previously seen before, the 2011 RL has some new and exciting shots.
Take a look at the new photos, pricing, specifications, accessories and the rest of the details at acura.com.
Acura’s Twitter account Acura_Insider just posted a photo of the refreshed 2011 Acura RL.
Now I could be out of the loop, but this is the first photo I’ve seen of it. The image isn’t the greatest quality, but you can still see it has the a new grill similar to the 2011 TSX.
I don’t know of the other exterior changes, but the 2011 should get the 6-speed automatic transmission and possibly 18 inch wheels equipped with wheel silencers and an upgraded navigation display/system.
UPDATE: I found another photo on AcuraZine from member TSX69 posted below.
[Image Source: Acura_Insider]
Honda Japan has recently released some details on the 2011 Honda Legend which should carry over to the 2011 Acura RL.
The RL is expected to be the first sedan in the Acura line up to receive the 6-speed automatic transmission. Currently the MDX and ZDX are the only vehicles which have a 6-speed.
Other additions include new 18 inch wheels equipped with wheel resonators or silencers to reduce in-cabin noise and a new navigation display/system.
The design doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t really knock my socks off either. I’m not sure where the image originated from, possibly just a Japanese magazine scan so I wouldn’t take the rendering too seriously.
There has been a lot of talk about the new third generation Acura RL rumored for 2012. Obviously a redesign is in order but there is a possibility of a new large hybrid engine.
[Source: Road & Track]
Rumor has it that Honda is set to kill its flagship model in Japan, the Honda Legend. This could also mean the end for the Acura RL which is the rebadged Legend here in North America.
The original story supposedly came from Japanese publisher Nikkei Business Publications which was then reported by Reuters. The rumor quickly spread through various sites including Autoblog and Autoweek. The story also suggested that Honda would discontinue its minivan model the Elysion, and offer only hybrid models of its Civic in Japan.
The RL which is Acura’s highest priced model has slowly been eclipsed by its “little brother” the TL in many categories. Since 2009 the fourth generation TL SH-AWD offered 305 hp which was 5 hp more than the RL, making it the most powerful model in Acura’s lineup.
Sales of the RL have been diminishing over the years and has even been out sold by the new ZDX in the past months. Once a strong luxury sedan competitor, Honda/Acura will have to try a different approach if they want to keep the RL alive.
Honda has made no official comment on its future vehicle lineup.
UPDATE: According to a blog post on MotorAuthority, the Manager of Acura Public Relations Gary Robins has made this statement:
“This morning erroneous media reports began to surface suggesting that Acura’s RL model would be discontinued. These reports are untrue. The RL continues to be the flagship for the Acura brand and we have no plans to discontinue it.”
A similar tweet was posted by Acura_Insider on twitter.
Hopefully this quote is accurate and the RL will get its chance to prove itself worthy of being Acura’s flagship model.