For 2003, the Acura 3.5 RL luxury sedan receives a number of subtle refinements that highlight and enhance the car's already unparalleled level of craftsmanship, making Acura's flagship even more luxurious and sophisticated.
"The enhancements we've made to this year's RL are subtle, yet important," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, auto sales. "Last year, we boosted performance by increasing horsepower and retuning the suspension, while this year we're making the RL even more refined, which is crucial to our high-end customers."
The handsome exterior of the RL, with a long, sloping front hood and short rear deck, reflects Acura's attention to detail and craftsmanship. For 2003, the RL is available in three new colors - Carbon Gray Pearl, Polar Blue Metallic, and Champagne Mist Pearl, and features redesigned, alloy wheels and a new taillight design with a clear turn signal lens.
Inside, the RL's elegant cabin environment boasts abundant interior room and hand-selected leather-trimmed 8-way adjustable front seats. Both the instrument panel and the standard Acura Navigation System are trimmed in premium burled camphor wood. For 2003, the RL receives a new interior color, Slate, and three new wood trim colors: Auburn Camphor, Golden Camphor and Black Camphor.
A long list of standard comfort and convenience features includes an Acura/Bose® Music System with 6-disc CD changer, an Automatic Climate Control System with air-filtration system, a HomeLinkTM system built into the sun visor (which allows the driver to operate the garage door or house lights with a press of a button), heated front seats and a power glass moonroof. Pushing a button on the key fob locks or unlocks the door from up to 30 feet away, while another button activates a panic button feature, which remotely activates a security alarm and flashes the car's headlights. A standard engine immobilizer system prevents the engine from being started without the proper electronically coded key.
The RL's 24-valve, 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivers 225 horsepower and a broad, flat torque curve, which peaks at 231 lbs.-ft. for quick response at any speed. It utilizes a 4-valve-per-cylinder configuration, a three-stage Variable Induction System, and a sophisticated Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system to increase fuel efficiency and help the RL meet Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards. Outfitted with platinum-tipped spark plugs and a long-life timing belt, the engine is designed to run for 105,000 miles before requiring a scheduled tune-up.
Complementing the powerful engine is a sophisticated, computer controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control for exceptionally smooth shifting. When driving on steep grades, Grade Logic Control automatically holds the transmission in the proper gear to help eliminate unnecessary shifts and gear "hunting."
The race-bred, double-wishbone suspension - the foundation for the RL's renowned handling and smooth, comfortable ride - is tuned to deliver maximum handling responsiveness and stability while maintaining excellent ride quality. For enhanced cornering grip, the RL features P225/55R16 Michelin all-season tires on 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. To maximize the driver's enjoyment of the car's athletic chassis, the advanced, speed-sensing, variable power-assisted steering system is tuned to provide maximum road feel and handling control.
For enhanced stopping power, the standard front and rear disc brakes are equipped with a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). To further enhance braking power and feel, the system also features a dual-diaphragm master cylinder. Also standard is a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, which monitors traction control and stability functions by constantly comparing the driver's input with how the car is actually responding. The VSA system automatically modulates the front and rear brakes and/or manipulates the throttle as necessary when accelerating or cornering to help bring the car back onto the driver's intended path.
The steel unit body of the RL is extremely rigid and provides excellent resistance to vibration for a smooth, comfortable ride. Additionally, hydraulic engine mounts adjust their damping levels automatically to reduce the transmittal of engine vibrations to the cabin. Advanced insulation material under the hood, in the engine compartment and under the dashboard combine with honeycomb panels in the floor to help prevent road noise from intruding into the cabin.
To provide the latest in safety and driver confidence, the RL is equipped with OnStar - an advanced, 24-hour, in-vehicle communications and assistance service that gives the driver access to a vast array of available services. These services range from emergency roadside assistance to route and location guidance and concierge services. RL owners can choose to sign up for any of three service plans, all of which are available with Personal Calling and Virtual Advisor Internet at an additional cost. The Safe and Sound Plan service is included free of charge for the first year.
For occupant security, the RL is equipped with a truly comprehensive array of advanced safety features. Complementing the RL's highly rigid body structure and computer-designed front and rear crumple zones are front airbags with a patented dual-stage front passenger's airbag and automatic seatbelt pretentioners. In the event of a collision, the dual-stage inflator on the passenger side automatically selects one of two inflation rates based on the severity of impact. Side air bags for the driver and front passenger provide an extra layer of protection in lateral collisions. To further protect small front-seat passengers, multiple sensors in the front passenger seat determine the height and position of the occupant. If a child or small-statured adult leans into the side air bag's deployment path, these sensors prevent side air bag deployment. New for 2003, the RL's rear seat is fitted with the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child seat restraint system, which provides built-in lower anchors and ready-to-use tether anchors for secure, hassle-free attachment of LATCH-compatible child seats.
The fully appointed Acura RL offers only one factory-installed option: the DVD-based Acura Satellite Linked Navigation System. One of the most sophisticated, yet easy-to-use navigation systems on the market today, the Acura Navigation System provides mapping coverage of the continental United States, and stores information on more than 3.7 million points of interest on a single Digital Versatile Disc (DVD). The Navigation System's 7-inch, color.
LCD display has a matte-finish touch screen that reduces glare and fingerprinting, making it easy to read.
Like all Acura models, the 3.5 RL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, go to www.acuranews.com.