The 2004 Acura 3.5 RL luxury sedan made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show today. Already one of the most comprehensively equipped vehicles available, the RL becomes the first luxury sedan to feature XM Satellite Radio and a navigation system as standard* equipment. For 2004, the RL also receives many interior enhancements, including an upgraded sound system and driver's side power lumbar support, that build on the car's already unparalleled level of craftsmanship and quality.
"We pride ourselves on selling comprehensively equipped vehicles that feature the latest technology both under the hood and in the cabin," said Dennis Manns, assistant vice president, Acura sales. "With the addition of XM Satellite Radio and the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ as standard equipment, the RL sets new standards in the luxury sedan segment."
The addition of XM Satellite Radio lets RL drivers choose from over 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, many of which are commercial-free. Programming includes 70 music channels, 30 channels devoted to sports, talk, children's programming and entertainment, and one premium channel which is available for an additional fee. XM hardware is embedded in the car's audio system. When XM is being played, a display shows the current station, song title or artist's name. A three-month subscription to the XM Satellite Radio service is included with purchase and customers are able to continue the service or cancel any time after.
While the RL has offered a DVD-based navigation system as a factory-installed option on previous models, the 2004 RL features the new, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition as standard equipment. One of the most sophisticated, yet easy-to-use navigation systems on the market today, the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition provides mapping coverage of the continental United States, and features an easy to read 7-inch, color LCD display. The 2004 version features a variety of new features and greatly enhanced capabilities including a newly developed voice recognition system with 130 commands, upgraded graphics and an expanded database with more than seven million points of interest.
The RL's elegant cabin environment boasts abundant interior room, hand-selected leather-trimmed seating, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, which for 2004 adds power lumbar support. Also for 2004, the RL receives several trim enhancements including a redesigned center console, meter panel and steering wheel, brushed metal and chrome interior accents and a wood-pattern shifter knob. Both the instrument panel and the navigation system screen are trimmed in premium burled camphor wood.
To complement the addition of XM Satellite Radio, the Acura/Bose® Music System receives a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, two additional speakers (bringing the total number to 10) and retuned amplifiers for even better sound reproduction. A long list of standard comfort and convenience features includes an Automatic Climate Control System with air-filtration system, a HomeLink™ system (which allows the driver to operate a garage door or house lights with a press of a button), heated front seats, an auto-down/ up driver's side window 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 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 handsome exterior of the RL, with a long, sloping front hood and short rear deck, reflects Acura's attention to detail and craftsmanship. A sharply chiseled front end, Acura's signature grille and wrap-around headlamps clearly display an aggressive nature. Subtle chrome trim accents the understated, yet decidedly elegant styling.
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 at 2800 rpm 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. Complementing the powerful engine is a sophisticated, computer controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control for exceptionally smooth shifts.
The double-wishbone suspension 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 aluminum-alloy wheels. To maximize the driver's enjoyment of the car's 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). Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is also standard.
To provide the latest in safety and driver confidence, the RL is equipped with OnStar"service. 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.
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.
* XM Satellite Radio and the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition are not installed on RL models sold in Alaska and Hawaii - service for these states does not exist at this time.