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2003 Acura Lineup Features More Powerful MDX and Ultra Sporty 3.2 CL Torrance, Calif. - 9/18/2002
For 2003, Acura has made significant performance enhancements to two of its key models. The hot-selling MDX luxury sports utility vehicle receives a variety of engine enhancements that result in 20 additional horsepower, a new 5-speed automatic transmission and a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system tuned to work with the MDX's 4-wheel drive capabilities. To make it even more responsive and exciting to drive, the CL Type-S luxury performance coupe now comes with an available 6-speed manual transmission that not only provides the driver with the ultimate in control over the car's 260 horsepower engine, but also redistributes the Type-S model's weight rearward and shaves more than half a second off its 0-60 time. The 3.2 CL, the MDX, the 3.5 RL flagship sedan and the 3.2 TL luxury performance sedan, also receive enhancements designed to increase their already impressive levels of safety and refinement.

"The 2003 Acura lineup is our most powerful ever in terms of performance and variety," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, auto sales. "Key models like the RL and TL continue to sell well even with increased competition, while our new models like the MDX and RSX have become the performance benchmarks in their classes."


Since it was introduced just two years ago, the Acura MDX set a new standard for luxury SUVs and, in doing so, has garnered a host of prestigious awards. The 2003 version of the MDX features numerous enhancements designed to raise the bar even further. Most prominently, a 20 horsepower boost to the already formidable 240 horsepower engine gives the MDX V-8-like power in a state-of-the-art V-6 package. To handle the increased power, the MDX receives an all-new 5-speed automatic transmission, and a drive-by-wire throttle system. The suspension has been retuned for an even smoother ride, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and dual piston front brake calipers have been added and the dynamic torsional rigidity of the chassis has been increased by 35 percent to maintain the responsiveness of the MDX's handling.

Inside, the 2003 MDX receives several key upgrades. Most importantly, the Acura Navigation System has been improved with voice recognition capability, enhanced graphics, expanded U.S. database coverage and a tailgate-mounted rearview camera. When the MDX is in reverse, the camera transmits a picture from behind the vehicle onto the navigation system screen. The MDX also is now available with an optional, factory installed DVD rear entertainment system complete with headphones and remote control.

The 2003 MDX also receives three new exterior colors - Midnight Blue Pearl, Sage Brush Pearl and Sandstone Metallic - in addition to rear splash guards, redesigned alloy wheels and available rain-sensing windshield wipers.

3.2 CL

In response to demand from performance enthusiasts, the CL Type-S is now available with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. This lightweight manual transmission features the latest in Acura technology including:

  • A short stroke shifter for precise shift feel
  • Close gear ratios to ensure optimum gear availability for any situation
  • Multi-cone synchronizers for effortless shifts
  • A self-adjusting clutch to ensure a consistent pedal engagement point throughout the life of the clutch
  • Dual-mass flywheel for improved NVH performance

In addition, CL Type-S models with manual transmission feature a limited-slip differential to put the power to the ground with authority, and help maintain a more neutral handling balance. All 2003 CL models feature redesigned wheels, a revised grille with body-colored surround, revised headlights and new taillight lenses. OnStar® is standard equipment on CL models equipped with the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System.

3.5 RL

For 2003, Acura's flagship sedan receives subtle refinements that enhance its already distinctive styling. A new interior color, Slate Gray, is available as are three new wood trims: Auburn Camphor, Golden Camphor and Black Camphor. The 3.5 RL also receives three new exterior colors: Carbon Gray Pearl, Polar Blue Metallic and Champagne Mist Pearl. In the rear, a new taillight lens design features a clear turn signal portion. The alloy wheels also receive a new design. The 2003 RL is equipped with the Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child seat restraint system.

3.2 TL

The 225-horsepower 3.2 TL and its 260-horsepower sibling, the TL Type-S, feature a potent mix of power, handing and refinement that has made the TL one of the top selling luxury performance sedans for the past three years. For 2003, the OnStar communications service becomes standard equipment on TL models equipped with the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System. The TL also receives two new exterior colors: Redondo Red Pearl and Desert Mist.


Available in two sporty versions, the RSX and the RSX Type-S, the RSX offers a sophisticated combination of performance and refinement designed to meet the needs of discriminating, youthful driving enthusiasts. The RSX boasts a 160-horsepower, DOHC, 2.0-liter engine with an i-VTEC "intelligent" valve-control system, a 5-speed manual or 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, sport-tuned suspension and a fully-featured interior. The high-performance RSX Type-S bumps engine output to 200 horsepower, comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, and features sport-tuned suspension, standard leather seating and an Acura/Bose® Music System. For 2003, the RSX receives a new exterior color, Redondo Red Pearl.


The NSX has earned its status as one of the world's premier sports cars and continues its legacy into its 13th year of production. The exotic NSX is refined, fully appointed and features an open-top cockpit. It boasts all-aluminum construction and is powered by a DOHC, VTEC, V-6 engine coupled to a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission or 4-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission.

Acura offers a full line of premium performance vehicles through a nationwide network of nearly 260 dealers. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the exotic NSX supercar, the 3.5 RL flagship luxury sedan, the 3.2 TL luxury performance sedan, the 3.2 CL luxury performance coupe, the race-bred RSX sports coupe, and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.