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.