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TOV Forums > 2nd Generation Acura RL > > Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed

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danielgr
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-26-2012 21:00
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Fan Koni wrote:
If the RL - ready for production verion - concept is ready in April, then I wonder if it will just be an update on the current car.
Like civic, CRV, accord coupe...
Meaning the new things coming from the new Accord will be in the TL.

I mean with the mini sales of the RL Honda may not invest too much, make a good update and is just focusing on the eSHAWD.
If this hybrid version kicks the E&5 hybrid Versions on V8 power & i4 efficiency then it should get enough attention to sell enough cars.

Its not that Honda plans to sell anyway near the total 5 series or E class numbers, so focusing on the hybrid niche is really the only option.


I really don't know what you are talking about, but I would expect Honda making an effort for its flagship sedan whose last FMC happened 8 years ago.

Also, I really don't think many in the world care about german luxury makers hybrid options. Those are nearly as rare as EV/FuelCell cars, a pure joke so that they can say "we make hybrdis"... Sure hope Honda's system is intended "to sell", provides decent value. The time for "technological showcase" passed over a decade ago, and by now anyone should expect "hybrid cars to show maturity in the market".

Besides, I don't think you have a clue of whatever Honda plans or doesn't plan. You may "think", "believe", but certainly whatever you think/believe regarding Honda plans doesn't make it "Honda plans are".
Fan Koni
Profile for Fan Koni
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-26-2012 22:10
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danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
If the RL - ready for production verion - concept is ready in April, then I wonder if it will just be an update on the current car.
Like civic, CRV, accord coupe...
Meaning the new things coming from the new Accord will be in the TL.

I mean with the mini sales of the RL Honda may not invest too much, make a good update and is just focusing on the eSHAWD.
If this hybrid version kicks the E&5 hybrid Versions on V8 power & i4 efficiency then it should get enough attention to sell enough cars.

Its not that Honda plans to sell anyway near the total 5 series or E class numbers, so focusing on the hybrid niche is really the only option.


I really don't know what you are talking about, but I would expect Honda making an effort for its flagship sedan whose last FMC happened 8 years ago.

Also, I really don't think many in the world care about german luxury makers hybrid options. Those are nearly as rare as EV/FuelCell cars, a pure joke so that they can say "we make hybrdis"... Sure hope Honda's system is intended "to sell", provides decent value. The time for "technological showcase" passed over a decade ago, and by now anyone should expect "hybrid cars to show maturity in the market".

Besides, I don't think you have a clue of whatever Honda plans or doesn't plan. You may "think", "believe", but certainly whatever you think/believe regarding Honda plans doesn't make it "Honda plans are".



Of course Honda will make an effort. But the question is how much, even if its the flagship sedan blabla, the product will have to make a profit, or only a little loss.

Or how else do you explain the 8 years since FMC??

Look at the sales figures 2011 for its main market.
Really how many cars do you think can Honda sell with the new RL?
Even if they get 10 times more - where does it get you?

Eclass 5,301 -6%; 62,736 +3%
5series 4,887 -3.1%; 51,481 +30.4%

A6 1,855 +124%; 11,124 +28.2%
MKS 1,376 +15.3%; 12,217 -15.3%
M 1,084 -37.7%; 10,919 -26%
GS 194 -75%; 3,746 -47.1%
DTS 166 -89.2%; 11,589 -37.8%
RL 50 -64.5%; 1,096 -46.4%


What ever you believe or not, Honda will not spend anything near BMW or MB on their truely global cars.
Globally the E Class is sold over 300K a year.

How many sales of the RL/Legend do you see outside of the US?
The E-Class outsells the RL about 200:1.

MB and BMW have both just shown their new hybrids - I/V6 & V8 combinations. This generation of their hybrids are not early stage "showcases" as you call it or tests with technology partnerships as others may see it.

Also you must not forget the Germans know more on the DI side of larger engines than Honda does.

Point is if these segment leaders sell at 2% of the line up with the new hybrid combinations and Honda can beat them on typical hybrid attributes, then it will draw a nice segment of customers to the brand.

BUT it will be a small amount of customers of the total segment in this size of cars.
So where should Honda focus if not on the hybrid niche?
sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-26-2012 23:12
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Yes Daniel, we can't expect Honda to sell to many RL/Legends. But how many iterations of an E Class or BMW5 can you buy? And how often do those manufacturers update those designs? Just expand the choices a bit and it would be interesting to see how sales may change. Perhaps we will see with this new model?
MasterOfDaDomain
Profile for MasterOfDaDomain
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 11:10
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If the low end is FWD, it'll be just a luxury Accord (and it probably is). And how it's going to be more value proposition than a TL? The size isn't that much different, one can already get a TL with all the electronics options, performance wouldn't be that much better as a FWD, and styling isn't going to wow people. What's the point?

I don't think Audi is selling that many FWD A6 models in the U.S.

With Lexus GS and infiniti M, the base models are very solid performance models, and people can either opt for a higher hybrid version or V8 in the case of Infiniti.

If Acura could only surprise us with a RWD RL.
Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 11:20
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That will change when the TL is replaced.

Hopefully, the Rlegendo will thrash the existing TL on looks alone, even with no engine!
lexusgs
Profile for lexusgs
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 12:30
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Not having a rwd platform for higher end cars is a major problem Acura is going to run into every time more and more in the future if they keep sticking to fwd Honda Accord platforms for everything and stubbornly won't do rwd. Their cars are too close together because they are all sharing one plank and require awd at the higher end to try to address torque steer, being criticized, etc. The only other platform they have to choose is the fwd civic which is even more downmarket where engine and power train options are limited.

The rest of the cars in the mid to upper end segment are rwd which is what most people and pretty all enthusiast want. They don't have to go to awd to deal with higher hp or bigger engines which means they are lighter, more balanced, and more fuel efficient. With Acura they have to go to awd to deal with hp over 290 because so they are really stuck either making cars more downmarket with fwd and lower hp to try to get them more affordable/more fuel efficient or deal with having to make them awd which means heavier, slower(in most cases), more complex, more expensive, and less fuel efficient.

Some say the A6 has a front wheel drive version but the A6 has never been a big seller in the US despite great reviews and the A6 offered a V8 with awd being very popular. I don't recall ever reading a review of a A6 without awd plus Audi has the flagship sized awd only, V8 only, A8 above the A6.

Back in the early 90's having a front wheel drive Legend/flagship was not as big a deal because it was only making 230hp, the competition was only making around 250hp or 260hp with V8s if they offered them(some lux makes did not offer V8s in mid level cars at that time) so torque steer was not much of an issue. Now it is totally different with 6 cylinders in that class making over 300hp and V8s or hybrids making at least 340-420hp which means rwd or awd will be fine but fwd is a big no no unless you significantly reduce power or basically give the customer less car.

It is becoming a lose lose situation now with higher regulations and Acura being so obsessed with a silly "green" image for them to make anything above a TL or even to give the TL more power/performance. It will be so difficult for Acura to try to compete in anything above a TL if they don't have a rwd platform.

They should have seen this coming a long time ago but they are so short sighted in their product development. Look at this new 7 speed DSG, it sounds really nice but it seems like it is built into and totally dependent on the new hybrid awd system. Why would they not make a DSG that does not need the hybrid system so it can be offered on lower priced cars? The DSG will have limited use and a limited market making it very expensive if it is only offered with eSHAWD. Why did Honda not design the original NSX to be able to fit a larger engine in its space or a S2000 that could fit a small V6 or be offered as a regular coupe or even small sports sedan. While these cars were excellent the design was so specific to what they were/engine size that they unfortunately had little room to go and ended up stagnating. Updating power/engines was very limited and they were killed after poor sales. This kind of short sightedness is so prevalent with Honda and one of the main reasons they have so many issues and problems with Acura.

I really hope with the new NSX they left room in it this time for larger or different engines(NA or turbo V6, V8, V10) instead of designing it again so specific for its powerplant that it would be almost impossible to put something else in it. That would again mean it can't be updated without enormous costs and complexity which means they won't update it and will let it again stagnate. The main reason I wanted the HSV10 was because it would give Acura a front rwd platform that could be shared with other cars and would solve much of their problems with trying to stick everything on fwd Accord platforms, then again knowing Honda they designed the platform for the HSV10 to be so specific for that sports car it could not be developed into a sedan or coupe without enormous costs and complexity.

It is just frustrating reading that the new RL will again most likely be suffering from the same short sighted planning and issues they have had for over a decade. It is likely going even more downmarket with a lower hp fwd base version that will be closer to a TL which probably means the TL goes more downmarket with less power/performance. We are hearing very lukewarm impressions of its styling that is basically looks the same with some Hyundai and Buick thrown in. The only version buyers are going to want eSHAWD, 400hp, 7 speed will most likely be a very expensive option to a car buyers don't really want in that class, fwd with less then 300hp. Have they not learned anything? Are they aware the competition is getting more fierce and going more upscale or has Honda(Ito) just thrown in the towel and given up.

I hope my predictions are wrong.

MasterOfDaDomain
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 13:34
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Let me also add something about AWD: I'm a BMW owner also and often showered with stats, and I know that a very large percentage of BMW sedans sold in the snow belt and further south have Xdrive. Right now every version of 3 and 5 has Xdrive, and even 6 and 7 have also. Adding X3 and X5, BMW get a lot of Xdrive buyers - people who simply want peace of mind and don't want to deal with snow tires (and they could add the snow tires for better traction).

For Audi, that's more of a given with Quattro.

The reality is that people buy AWD luxury cars. I see lots of IS250 AWD around Pacific Northwest. Acura would be stupid not to recognize this and ditching one of the best AWD systems from the new RL.
longhorn
Profile for longhorn
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 14:07
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Acura has no A8,7 or S class vehicle. So one must compare it to A6, E and 5 series. Include the Infiniti M and Lexus GS and FWD ES in that group too.

I predict the new RL will hold its own very well in that segment. Making the interior RL larger goes hand in hand what Lexus has stated its doing. Lexus has stated they have the Buick LaCrosse in its sights for the next FWD ES. The LaCrosse conquest numbers include alot of former ES owners.
auto_enthu
Profile for auto_enthu
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 16:09
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longhorn wrote:
Acura has no A8,7 or S class vehicle. So one must compare it to A6, E and 5 series. Include the Infiniti M and Lexus GS and FWD ES in that group too.

I predict the new RL will hold its own very well in that segment. Making the interior RL larger goes hand in hand what Lexus has stated its doing. Lexus has stated they have the Buick LaCrosse in its sights for the next FWD ES. The LaCrosse conquest numbers include alot of former ES owners.




Currently it is TL which is direct competition to ES.
But, with nextgen TL downsizing and nextgen ES increasing its size, it leaves a void in Acura camp to capture FWD family size luxury sedan market around $35k-$38k. But I doubt if RL FWD will be right to compete here, because RL is supposed to be much upscale and much costlier than ES and LaCrosse.

And if RL FWD is sold with starting price well under $40k, it could very well overlap a lot with the TL's price range.

Whether RL will have FWD or not, I'm hoping RL will also offer non-hybrid AWD.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what Acura will do here.


dampflok
Profile for dampflok
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 17:37
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lexusgs wrote:
I really hope with the new NSX they left room in it this time for larger or different engines(NA or turbo V6, V8, V10) instead of designing it again so specific for its powerplant that it would be almost impossible to put something else in it.
I fully share this sentiment, and there's definite cause for concern, namely, the transverse engine orientation (also a characteristic of the first NSX). Recall that with the Accord hybrid, they were forced to go with the V6 even though an I4 would have made more sense, because the I4 plus IMA hardware didn't fit. Conversely, the longitudinal engine orientation of Miatas allows domestic V8s to be swapped in.

WingZ
Profile for WingZ
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-27-2012 22:48
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danielgr wrote:
WingZ wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Mikeydred wrote:
All this speculation that the RL or whatever they decide to call it will be a failure is a little premature. If we learn anything from the three concepts at Detroit, Acura can surprise us and I think we all can agree that was a pretty good showing. I think it great Acura is moving forward with offering new products and with this one they decided to go conservative, but I suspect it will look good in the flesh. Who's to say they wont dust off the old SH moniker and add 4WS to make the product a little more sporty. Also, most PR announcements from Acura after the auto crisis indicated v8 was canned, but i don't recall anything about RWD, maybe just maybe (but that would be contrary to the e-sh=awd set up) Or maybe they are just going for luxury over sport, after all the whole line up doesn't have to have to be sport intentions first. A soft cruiser wouldn't be bad and may capture some older buyers with cash to spend.
That is why I love this site and the sensible comments we enthusiast post, I have noticed that Jeff and Andrew have been somewhat quite since Detroit, they probably know a little more about what's in the pipeline and we may be in for surprises, or disappointment. Time will tell!
Also all this whining about Acura not this not that, they are doing better than a lot of premium brands. Who have brands like Saab, Lincoln and to some extent Jaguar on the verge of extinction. Infiniti is also lost and yet many claim they are Tier one,go figure.



All that I know about the RL was posted in December (on the 12th, I believe)- no real RL news since then.

We will see the concept or prototype (or whatever they're going to be calling it) at the New York auto show. Production versions of the ILX and RDX will be revealed in Chicago, so you'll know what the interior of the ILX looks like then. Interestingly, they're revealing these 2 cars to the public before the media gets their first crack at them in March.

But to possibly restate what I said about the new RL, the photos they showed to us made it look a lot like a slightly enlarged version of the current RL. As I recall, the taillight shapes are pretty similar and the general headlamp shapes are also similar, except there are multiple LED elements housed within the headlamps. Overall it's a pretty reserved design, it generally looks good but it doesn't jump out of the photograph at you.

It will feature the sport-hybrid AWD system, and it's all but a certainty that it will use the new earth dreams Direct Injection SOHC V6. This powertrain is quite nice - under normal operation, you start out in pure EV mode and it gives a very refined, luxury feel. The 7-speed dual clutch transmission provides plenty of sport and refinement. The biggest knock against these automated manual gearboxes is always the low speed operation and the EV mode of this system completely mitigates that issue, so you end up with the seamless and almost instantaneous shifting benefits of the DSG without any of the drawbacks. Refinement. And the updated V6 is quite stout - acceleration of the test mule felt quite strong. It might not be much quicker than a current TL, but how much quicker does a luxury car really need to be, especially when this one will be more refined, more efficient, and more capable in terms of handling?

The current RL is actually a really nice car. Unfortunately it presents a troubling value proposition for too many people. For the money, it's not really a standout in any category: styling, performance, driving excitement, efficiency, roominess... It just falls flat on pretty much all of those. It's competent, but that's it.

The new RL won't be pushing the envelope on styling (unless you feel that cars of this stature should exude conservatism and class, as opposed to trying to set the latest fashion), but all the other categories will get nice bumps and hopefully the price doesn't increase too much and HOPEFULLY nothing comes at the expense of the RL's current quality levels. The differences are subtle but if you examine and compare an RL to a TL, you will see a lot of areas where money went in the RL's favor.




Jeff isn't the 2013 RL basically debuting all the new tech that NSX 2.0 will have?

Only FWD set up on the RL that makes sense is the version that would be this ED set up

"# Mid-sized vehicles equipped with this system are scheduled to begin production, starting with the plug-in hybrid model in 2012 and the hybrid model in 2013.

and

Combination with a high-output 120kW motor allows for superior environmental performance and driving enjoyment."

I thought this set up would be for the next TL unless it's for the Accord??

I don't think anyone had (and if they did they clearly spend more time on worthless forums and little in TOV rumours&news section) doubts about the eSH-AWD version.

The question being risen on this thread is "what will be below it"? Is there going to be an FWD version (like on the Audi A6), a regular (non hybrid) SH-AWD version (like in the current model), or both?

Then each participant obviously has his/her own opinion on both what will Honda do and what should Honda do. Personally I'm among those believing that:
- RL access point is going to be lower (with no SH-AWD, because most of the competitors sales are 2WD)
- RL value is going seriously up, echoing Jeff's concerns with the present gen, which I just stated similarly at the begining of this thread.

The rest, well, we will see, but to me "making it sell" (what both points above aim at) is a good move, and consumers won't care if it's FWD, SH-AWD whatsoever provided they get good value for their money (and one of the serious misses of the current SH-AWD system, highlighted many times by Acura executives in recent PR stuff, is that it added significant cost/weight/complexity without delivering much on the "perceived value for customers"; bottom line, tech is not great by itself, and it's up to consumers to decide how valuable it is).

The mags will have the all mighty hybrid to play around and say fancy stuff, but as always with any car most sales will be done down the ranks.




Thanks Daniel but wouldn't it be counter intuitive to offer a lesser drive train just make it again compete with the TL?? Most sense would be to save the old SHAWD system for the current TL till it runs it's course.

Wow does Jeff really think the RL will go up that much? What happened to smart luxury? I thought they were trying not to do the really expensive stuff since they weren't doing rwd or larger engines?
lexusgs
Profile for lexusgs
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 11:52
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longhorn wrote:
Acura has no A8,7 or S class vehicle. So one must compare it to A6, E and 5 series. Include the Infiniti M and Lexus GS and FWD ES in that group too.

I predict the new RL will hold its own very well in that segment. Making the interior RL larger goes hand in hand what Lexus has stated its doing. Lexus has stated they have the Buick LaCrosse in its sights for the next FWD ES. The LaCrosse conquest numbers include alot of former ES owners.



The Legend/RL and ES are two different cars competing in different levels/prices. One is common entry level and the other is the company's flagship so they should not be compared to each other. The TL and even V6 TSX are competitors to the ES. The ES is priced in the 30's while the RL in the 50's. The RL has always been Acura's flagship and the ES has always been a lower priced entry level sedan that had 2 more prestigious sedans above it. If the ES is getting bigger and more upscale then the RL should be going even bigger and more upscale to keep it above the ES and not go downscale to try to compete with it. If the RL starts competing with the ES that can be seen as a sign of failure and Acura just giving up.

Audi can get away more with offering a fwd A6 because the A6 does not share a platform with a lesser family sedan, Audi has several cars above the A6, the A6 is not Audi's flagship sedan, etc. Audi's don't even sell very well in the US and the fwd A6 sales are very small with little interest so I don't know why many people say Audi having a fwd A6 making it okay for Acura to do it.

The other competitors sell much more 2wd versions then awd but the competitors are rwd which is what that market/enthusiasts wants and demands. A 2wd RL will be on the same platform as a Honda Accord and it will get criticized for being even more like a fwd just with more power.
NoSpinZone
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 12:59
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I see all the soccer moms, trophy wives, and old lady's that drive large luxury sedans and I wonder whether they would be able to tell you what wheels were driving the car.
ciwai08
Profile for ciwai08
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 15:13
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lexusgs wrote:


The Legend/RL and ES are two different cars competing in different levels/prices. One is common entry level and the other is the company's flagship so they should not be compared to each other. The TL and even V6 TSX are competitors to the ES. The ES is priced in the 30's while the RL in the 50's. The RL has always been Acura's flagship and the ES has always been a lower priced entry level sedan that had 2 more prestigious sedans above it. If the ES is getting bigger and more upscale then the RL should be going even bigger and more upscale to keep it above the ES and not go downscale to try to compete with it. If the RL starts competing with the ES that can be seen as a sign of failure and Acura just giving up.

Audi can get away more with offering a fwd A6 because the A6 does not share a platform with a lesser family sedan, Audi has several cars above the A6, the A6 is not Audi's flagship sedan, etc. Audi's don't even sell very well in the US and the fwd A6 sales are very small with little interest so I don't know why many people say Audi having a fwd A6 making it okay for Acura to do it.

The other competitors sell much more 2wd versions then awd but the competitors are rwd which is what that market/enthusiasts wants and demands. A 2wd RL will be on the same platform as a Honda Accord and it will get criticized for being even more like a fwd just with more power.


You do have some valid points, and legitimate concerns, but I wouldn't go bonkers with over-reacting at least until the concept is released in April. You state that a 2wd RL will be on the same platform as the accord, but do you know this for a fact? I don't, and I don't have any expectations about what form it will take, but it could be a longitudinal fwd arrangement like the Legend. The comparisons of the renderings to the Equus, are most likely due to the rear drive proportions of this layout; and a longitudinal arrangement might also make use of some of the sunk cost/development of the rear drive platform that was scrapped. You're saying if the ES is going bigger, then the RL should be going bigger too. No, it doesn't, not if its going bigger on the interior dimensions which is what they're claiming. If the front wheels are pushed forward, interior space can be increased.

They would be going in somewhat uncharted territory if they were to go with eSHAWD/FWD versions, though there are parallels with the TL, and A6, you're right, it would be unprecedented for the flagship model. Your argument seems to be that the base model will drag down the higher performance eSHAWD in terms of perception, but I think it works the other way around.....as has been endlessly pointed out, the majority of buyers wouldn't even know what wheels drive the car, let alone drive anywhere near the performance limits--the base model satisfies this market. Engine and traction control systems would mitigate some of the detrimental factors involved with higher hp, beyond that in the days of the legend. The FWD version would be more nimble, lighter with better day to day, regular driving than cars in its interior capacity class--the 7 series. It wouldn't get as good track numbers or look as good on the spec sheet, but this is the kind of likeability that would place high in comparison tests. And for the enthusiast or more knowledgable buyers,there is always the eSHAWD to step up to and this model would gain more awareness through word of mouth and media coverage. It would work as a halo vehicle in having high technology content, and would be supplemented in this regard with the NSX. But seriously, right now, this is all fun and interesting to speculate over, but fairly useless because as I said earlier wait for the reveal before going bonkers.



myhui
Profile for myhui
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 15:18
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NoSpinZone wrote:
I see all the soccer moms, trophy wives, and old lady's that drive large luxury sedans and I wonder whether they would be able to tell you what wheels were driving the car.
Trophy wifes drive Porsche 911 coupes. They don't drive sedans. The more educated ones drive NSX's.
NoSpinZone
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 15:31
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Whenever I see what I deem to be a "yuppie nonenthusiast" driving an AMG Mercedes, a Porsche 911, or a M3, I get extremely angry.

I know it's none of my business what form of prostitution these women engage in (long-term being very legal), but it still manages to grind my gears.
Hondu
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 17:22
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ciwai08 wrote:
lexusgs wrote:


The Legend/RL and ES are two different cars competing in different levels/prices. One is common entry level and the other is the company's flagship so they should not be compared to each other. The TL and even V6 TSX are competitors to the ES. The ES is priced in the 30's while the RL in the 50's. The RL has always been Acura's flagship and the ES has always been a lower priced entry level sedan that had 2 more prestigious sedans above it. If the ES is getting bigger and more upscale then the RL should be going even bigger and more upscale to keep it above the ES and not go downscale to try to compete with it. If the RL starts competing with the ES that can be seen as a sign of failure and Acura just giving up.

Audi can get away more with offering a fwd A6 because the A6 does not share a platform with a lesser family sedan, Audi has several cars above the A6, the A6 is not Audi's flagship sedan, etc. Audi's don't even sell very well in the US and the fwd A6 sales are very small with little interest so I don't know why many people say Audi having a fwd A6 making it okay for Acura to do it.

The other competitors sell much more 2wd versions then awd but the competitors are rwd which is what that market/enthusiasts wants and demands. A 2wd RL will be on the same platform as a Honda Accord and it will get criticized for being even more like a fwd just with more power.


You do have some valid points, and legitimate concerns, but I wouldn't go bonkers with over-reacting at least until the concept is released in April. You state that a 2wd RL will be on the same platform as the accord, but do you know this for a fact? I don't, and I don't have any expectations about what form it will take, but it could be a longitudinal fwd arrangement like the Legend. The comparisons of the renderings to the Equus, are most likely due to the rear drive proportions of this layout; and a longitudinal arrangement might also make use of some of the sunk cost/development of the rear drive platform that was scrapped. You're saying if the ES is going bigger, then the RL should be going bigger too. No, it doesn't, not if its going bigger on the interior dimensions which is what they're claiming. If the front wheels are pushed forward, interior space can be increased.

They would be going in somewhat uncharted territory if they were to go with eSHAWD/FWD versions, though there are parallels with the TL, and A6, you're right, it would be unprecedented for the flagship model. Your argument seems to be that the base model will drag down the higher performance eSHAWD in terms of perception, but I think it works the other way around.....as has been endlessly pointed out, the majority of buyers wouldn't even know what wheels drive the car, let alone drive anywhere near the performance limits--the base model satisfies this market. Engine and traction control systems would mitigate some of the detrimental factors involved with higher hp, beyond that in the days of the legend. The FWD version would be more nimble, lighter with better day to day, regular driving than cars in its interior capacity class--the 7 series. It wouldn't get as good track numbers or look as good on the spec sheet, but this is the kind of likeability that would place high in comparison tests. And for the enthusiast or more knowledgable buyers,there is always the eSHAWD to step up to and this model would gain more awareness through word of mouth and media coverage. It would work as a halo vehicle in having high technology content, and would be supplemented in this regard with the NSX. But seriously, right now, this is all fun and interesting to speculate over, but fairly useless because as I said earlier wait for the reveal before going bonkers.






+1. Everything so far has been speculation and arm-chair quarterbacking. All we know is that someone said there may be/will be an RL base model.
auto_enthu
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-28-2012 23:19
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Some folks are mentioning that considerable number of E-class/5-series don't know/care if it is a RWD or FWD.
While that's true to some extent, Acura just cannot expect such buyers to come and consider new RL. The reason is, majority of those owners who don't know E-class/5-Series has RWD/FWD, are likely to have bought E-class/5-series for the kind of image these cars carry. They can spend $50k+ on the car and nothing is more prestigious than E-class/5-series in this price range. For instance, you'll see many realtors driving an E-class because image matters a lot to them, and yes, they are highly unlikely to have the knowledge of which wheels in his car are driven. But there is almost no way you can sell an RL to such people, even if motortrend says RL offers more value to money than E-class, for the simple reason that RL or Acura badge will just not add to the owner's image like an E-class Mercedes does.


lexusgs
Profile for lexusgs
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 00:40
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auto_enthu wrote:

Some folks are mentioning that considerable number of E-class/5-series don't know/care if it is a RWD or FWD.
While that's true to some extent, Acura just cannot expect such buyers to come and consider new RL. The reason is, majority of those owners who don't know E-class/5-Series has RWD/FWD, are likely to have bought E-class/5-series for the kind of image these cars carry. They can spend $50k+ on the car and nothing is more prestigious than E-class/5-series in this price range. For instance, you'll see many realtors driving an E-class because image matters a lot to them, and yes, they are highly unlikely to have the knowledge of which wheels in his car are driven. But there is almost no way you can sell an RL to such people, even if motortrend says RL offers more value to money than E-class, for the simple reason that RL or Acura badge will just not add to the owner's image like an E-class Mercedes does.





Good point, Acura is going to have to do a lot more with the RL then Mercedes or BMW have to do with their cars to sell in big numbers. Acura coming out with something mediocre or something even more downscale is not going to help them at all even if it has a lower price, they will most likely just get some TL buyers who want something a little softer.
lexusgs
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Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 01:22
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ciwai08 wrote:
lexusgs wrote:


The Legend/RL and ES are two different cars competing in different levels/prices. One is common entry level and the other is the company's flagship so they should not be compared to each other. The TL and even V6 TSX are competitors to the ES. The ES is priced in the 30's while the RL in the 50's. The RL has always been Acura's flagship and the ES has always been a lower priced entry level sedan that had 2 more prestigious sedans above it. If the ES is getting bigger and more upscale then the RL should be going even bigger and more upscale to keep it above the ES and not go downscale to try to compete with it. If the RL starts competing with the ES that can be seen as a sign of failure and Acura just giving up.

Audi can get away more with offering a fwd A6 because the A6 does not share a platform with a lesser family sedan, Audi has several cars above the A6, the A6 is not Audi's flagship sedan, etc. Audi's don't even sell very well in the US and the fwd A6 sales are very small with little interest so I don't know why many people say Audi having a fwd A6 making it okay for Acura to do it.

The other competitors sell much more 2wd versions then awd but the competitors are rwd which is what that market/enthusiasts wants and demands. A 2wd RL will be on the same platform as a Honda Accord and it will get criticized for being even more like a fwd just with more power.


You do have some valid points, and legitimate concerns, but I wouldn't go bonkers with over-reacting at least until the concept is released in April. You state that a 2wd RL will be on the same platform as the accord, but do you know this for a fact? I don't, and I don't have any expectations about what form it will take, but it could be a longitudinal fwd arrangement like the Legend. The comparisons of the renderings to the Equus, are most likely due to the rear drive proportions of this layout; and a longitudinal arrangement might also make use of some of the sunk cost/development of the rear drive platform that was scrapped. You're saying if the ES is going bigger, then the RL should be going bigger too. No, it doesn't, not if its going bigger on the interior dimensions which is what they're claiming. If the front wheels are pushed forward, interior space can be increased.

They would be going in somewhat uncharted territory if they were to go with eSHAWD/FWD versions, though there are parallels with the TL, and A6, you're right, it would be unprecedented for the flagship model. Your argument seems to be that the base model will drag down the higher performance eSHAWD in terms of perception, but I think it works the other way around.....as has been endlessly pointed out, the majority of buyers wouldn't even know what wheels drive the car, let alone drive anywhere near the performance limits--the base model satisfies this market. Engine and traction control systems would mitigate some of the detrimental factors involved with higher hp, beyond that in the days of the legend. The FWD version would be more nimble, lighter with better day to day, regular driving than cars in its interior capacity class--the 7 series. It wouldn't get as good track numbers or look as good on the spec sheet, but this is the kind of likeability that would place high in comparison tests. And for the enthusiast or more knowledgable buyers,there is always the eSHAWD to step up to and this model would gain more awareness through word of mouth and media coverage. It would work as a halo vehicle in having high technology content, and would be supplemented in this regard with the NSX. But seriously, right now, this is all fun and interesting to speculate over, but fairly useless because as I said earlier wait for the reveal before going bonkers.






Unfortunately expecting the worse case scenario from Acura these days is the safest bet if you don't want to be disappointed. Acura making the RL more downmarket by doing a lower hp fwd RL therefore making the TL more downmarket by cutting its power and performance is just something to expect of them(really Ito) after other blunders.

I think it will be a given it will be on a Honda Accord platform again because it just does not seem there is much interest from Honda to spend on Acura. If it is not on a Accord platform(modified Accord) it would have to be on the rwd platfrom that Ito foolishly killed. Why would Honda go through the trouble and expense to do a longitudinal fwd layout when it is still going to be fwd, still be criticized for being fwd, and still have the issue of torque steer to deal with. It would be a totally wasted effort when rwd would make so much more sense and would not cost that much if any more.

Back when the Legend/RL was on a fwd long. layout it only had 230hp at most so torque steer was not a issue, the competition was not putting out huge hp numbers either. Now pretty much 300hp is the minimum for a flagship sedan so torque steer will be a major issue requiring AWD to address unless they lower hp therefore giving the buyer less car and going more downmarket.

You are absolutely correct that many buyers don't know what wheels drive the car or what platform the car is on but magazines and reviewers do and they will point it out as a weakness, evidence of cost cutting, and if it has gone more downmarket which buyers often read before making a purchase.

I know full well many BMW and Mercedes drivers don't know what wheels drive the car, I had a girlfriend with a E48 3 series(gift) who did not know it was real wheel drive or that it had a inline 6 and a girlfriend who bought(mostly with dads money) a Mercedes SLK who did not know it was rwd but what they knew were the badges and the prestige of those badges earned from years of good reviews and them having the luxury prerequisites through their lineups, one of which is rwd. If BMW and Merc made cost cut fwd cars based on family sedans and never offered anything more then a 305hp V6 they would not have that prestige to get mostly clueless buyers to buy them in droves just for the badge.

Acura needs to try harder with their cars to try to lure badge buyers away from German makes, making even more downmarket Honda like cars is not going to cut it.

I think a front wheel drive lower end/lower hp RL is going to hurt the perception of the RL and even Acura. If Acura is going to cut costs by using a Honda Accord Platform then SH-AWD should be standard and unless they are doing 2 different SH-AWD then the eSH-AWD should be standard if they want to show the world what they can do with that system. If eSH-AWD is not standard but an expensive option then the fwd version will get most sales from a possibly low selling model and it will be kind of a wasted effort for the eSh-AWD if not many people buy it or talk about it.

If Acura offered or was doing a larger rwd true flagship with a V8 option then it would not be such a big deal for the RL to have a fwd version but it does not appear they are so the RL is the top of the line Acura sedan and it should not be going more downmarket in my opinion.

If the RL is going more downmarket that will be just more of an excuse to keep the hp and performance down for the next NSX unfortunately.
Jesse
Profile for Jesse
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 03:48
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It's all about perception. If the top trim RL performs spectacularly, is given rave reviews, and comes out on top of the comparison reviews; those who will buy the base RL trim will buy it because of the name, the RL - the car that performs spectacularly, has rave reviews, and is the top dog in comparison reviews. The top trim RL will serve as the halo model that will attract buyers; the base model will be the so-called bread-and-butter trim and it won't carry the RL image. Again it's the model where people will buy it because of the top trim. Well of course, Acura shouldn't be slacking with the base trim.

Also, Audi is sticking to an FWD platform and it is not hurting their brand image at all. Acura can stick to FWD set-up. I'm fine with it as long as they know how to package it properly like Audi.

My concern is Acura's statement that the RL will have a midsize exterior dimension but has a full-sized interior dimension. Are they again trying to hit two birds with one stone? If so, I fear the RL will end up stuck in the middle - a competitive model but doesn't excel in either the midsize or full-size categories. I do hope I'm wrong.

Anyway, we're all just speculating ATM. We'll see in the New York auto-show.
owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 13:21
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Jesse wrote:
It's all about perception. If the top trim RL performs spectacularly, is given rave reviews, and comes out on top of the comparison reviews; those who will buy the base RL trim will buy it because of the name, the RL - the car that performs spectacularly, has rave reviews, and is the top dog in comparison reviews. The top trim RL will serve as the halo model that will attract buyers; the base model will be the so-called bread-and-butter trim and it won't carry the RL image. Again it's the model where people will buy it because of the top trim. Well of course, Acura shouldn't be slacking with the base trim.

Also, Audi is sticking to an FWD platform and it is not hurting their brand image at all. Acura can stick to FWD set-up. I'm fine with it as long as they know how to package it properly like Audi.

My concern is Acura's statement that the RL will have a midsize exterior dimension but has a full-sized interior dimension. Are they again trying to hit two birds with one stone? If so, I fear the RL will end up stuck in the middle - a competitive model but doesn't excel in either the midsize or full-size categories. I do hope I'm wrong.

Anyway, we're all just speculating ATM. We'll see in the New York auto-show.




You have to understand LexusGS's posting history. He is essentially a Honda hater of the first order, but he appears to make himself sound objective, when really, if you read between the lines, they can do no right as far as he is concerned.

Short of a RWD V8 copy of everyone else with no originality, he won't like it, and even then he would do an immediate course reversal and bash it for being derivative and not doing skillset XYZ better than brand A,B, or C. We have seen it all before.

Case in point #1: He repeatedly claims Honda couldn't possibly compete with a V8 by offering a V6. But here, we have a V6 that puts out ~315HP/280 lb-ft, which is less than a V8, but when coupled with whatever hybrid system Honda is cooking up, it is right near 400HP and probably about equal torque to the boosted V8's in the segment. It will offer all of that right off idle since the J series and the electric motors will be in full swing by ~2,000RPM. But still he bashes because they can't offer "V8 performance." Granted, the car may be a bit heavier as a result of the hybrid gear, but with BMW and Benz V8 offerings pushing 4500lbs plus, even if Acura only maintains the weight of the current RL, they are still 1/4 of a ton lighter. Even the M56 is well over 4,000lbs in weight, so the CURRENT RL is a relative lightweight, and Honda claims that the new SH-AWD is lighter than the old mechanical one.

Case in point #2: Even though we have heard strong rumors of Acura pushing the wheelbase out, which indicates that it will have virtually nothing identical to the Accord he claims it is a copy of, he persists with is unsubstantiated claims of it being nothing more than an Accord. They could put it on an entirely different platform and he would find a way to claim it is an Accord. Truth is, we really don't know. It might be a heavily modified Accord platform, but A) that isn't all bad and B) depending on how modified it is, it may be an Accord in lineage only. If they are planning to go global with Acura soon, then it may have a different platform. Perhaps Honda has given Acura a platform more akin to Audi's so that they can differentiate themselves from Honda a bit, much as VW and Audi did, even though they still share major componentry.

A further case is that Acura said E-SH-AWD wouldn't be standard on the car. For all we know, the mechanical version will be standard. That would make it not be 2WD, but it would also not make eSH-AWD standard. But instead, he resorts to assuming that the only solution is FWD. Maybe it is, but we just don't know, so to claim it is a quasi-fact is just more of him being him.

Case in point #3 are the assertions of it being "too small" by moving the wheelbase out a few inches, even if they keep the same total envelope they could get quite a bit more space. They never said it was the same size though, they said SIMILAR. That means that in addition to the wheelbase stretch, if they added a few inches in length, an inch or two in width, and MAYBE some height, they would likely gain all of the space they need to be on par with the BMW and Merc interiors. As someone already illustrated, the RL is 7 cubic feet shy of having the interior capacity of a 7 series, despite its much smaller exterior. Therein lies the main benefit to a transverse powertrain layout versus a longitudinal one. If they put most of that 7 cubic feet in the rear, then this car will be as capacious and as roomy as the 7 and E/S without having to add a huge amount of length. No telling what that might do to the trunk space though.

Personally, I think a lot of people are getting disgusted with car size. I know a lot of BMW faithful aren't happy with it right now, and I don't see too many people complaining about the exterior size as long as the interior size is where it needs to be. It is unlikely that people are going to complain about the size of a car if it is 500-600lbs lighter, smaller and easier to maneuver, but still feels spacious and luxurious on the inside. The current RL was never railed for being too small outside, it was railed for having a back seat that was too small, which is why most of that expansion needs to go to the rear. I think they are trying to minimize exterior space to minimize weight, which should maximize MPG. A 4,000lb car with 400HP and 450-500 lb-ft of torque will certainly be adequate in the power department, and with IMA integrating seamlessly with the powerband of the J series, I think it will make for a very competitive powertrain, assuming it isn't too heavy. That combination will give it a very seamless, smooth, and effortless acceleration curve, which was another area the RL was criticized. Cabin materials, build quality and fabrication are already up there with Merc and Benz.

What I think will also potentially appeal about the RL, if it is competitive in other ways, will be the likely enhanced reliability/ownership costs of such a car, vs the Germans which tend to be very complex and are notorious for having issues after a short time. I am not totally confident Honda can pull that off though, because of trends as of late.
Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 13:58
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Great post, Owe.

IIRC, the actual suspension hardware of the current model was all-new, bespoke and in ally, so the plank-sharing is purely at an intellectual property rights level - which some cannot grasp, ironically.

There is no real reason why it should be uncompetitive with a wheelbase & (small) trunk stretch.

Whether it will EVER get close to the cachet of the Germans in an increasingly vapid badge-obsessed market (worldwide) is a moot point.


sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 17:53
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Nick Graves wrote:
Great post, Owe.

IIRC, the actual suspension hardware of the current model was all-new, bespoke and in ally, so the plank-sharing is purely at an intellectual property rights level - which some cannot grasp, ironically.

There is no real reason why it should be uncompetitive with a wheelbase & (small) trunk stretch.

Whether it will EVER get close to the cachet of the Germans in an increasingly vapid badge-obsessed market (worldwide) is a moot point.





But just as Jesse stated, the only way to build cachet is to have halo models that do everything brilliantly, in every department - then the magazines will wax lyrical, and EVENTUALLY it will develop the brand. But Acura must realize it will take lots of time, and lots of work.

When the SH-AWD RL was released they had 90% of it right there. Had they had a performance model, with more power it would have been 99% on the money. Can they learn???
lexusgs
Profile for lexusgs
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 22:38
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owequitit wrote:
Jesse wrote:
It's all about perception. If the top trim RL performs spectacularly, is given rave reviews, and comes out on top of the comparison reviews; those who will buy the base RL trim will buy it because of the name, the RL - the car that performs spectacularly, has rave reviews, and is the top dog in comparison reviews. The top trim RL will serve as the halo model that will attract buyers; the base model will be the so-called bread-and-butter trim and it won't carry the RL image. Again it's the model where people will buy it because of the top trim. Well of course, Acura shouldn't be slacking with the base trim.

Also, Audi is sticking to an FWD platform and it is not hurting their brand image at all. Acura can stick to FWD set-up. I'm fine with it as long as they know how to package it properly like Audi.

My concern is Acura's statement that the RL will have a midsize exterior dimension but has a full-sized interior dimension. Are they again trying to hit two birds with one stone? If so, I fear the RL will end up stuck in the middle - a competitive model but doesn't excel in either the midsize or full-size categories. I do hope I'm wrong.

Anyway, we're all just speculating ATM. We'll see in the New York auto-show.




You have to understand LexusGS's posting history. He is essentially a Honda hater of the first order, but he appears to make himself sound objective, when really, if you read between the lines, they can do no right as far as he is concerned.

Short of a RWD V8 copy of everyone else with no originality, he won't like it, and even then he would do an immediate course reversal and bash it for being derivative and not doing skillset XYZ better than brand A,B, or C. We have seen it all before.

Case in point #1: He repeatedly claims Honda couldn't possibly compete with a V8 by offering a V6. But here, we have a V6 that puts out ~315HP/280 lb-ft, which is less than a V8, but when coupled with whatever hybrid system Honda is cooking up, it is right near 400HP and probably about equal torque to the boosted V8's in the segment. It will offer all of that right off idle since the J series and the electric motors will be in full swing by ~2,000RPM. But still he bashes because they can't offer "V8 performance." Granted, the car may be a bit heavier as a result of the hybrid gear, but with BMW and Benz V8 offerings pushing 4500lbs plus, even if Acura only maintains the weight of the current RL, they are still 1/4 of a ton lighter. Even the M56 is well over 4,000lbs in weight, so the CURRENT RL is a relative lightweight, and Honda claims that the new SH-AWD is lighter than the old mechanical one.

Case in point #2: Even though we have heard strong rumors of Acura pushing the wheelbase out, which indicates that it will have virtually nothing identical to the Accord he claims it is a copy of, he persists with is unsubstantiated claims of it being nothing more than an Accord. They could put it on an entirely different platform and he would find a way to claim it is an Accord. Truth is, we really don't know. It might be a heavily modified Accord platform, but A) that isn't all bad and B) depending on how modified it is, it may be an Accord in lineage only. If they are planning to go global with Acura soon, then it may have a different platform. Perhaps Honda has given Acura a platform more akin to Audi's so that they can differentiate themselves from Honda a bit, much as VW and Audi did, even though they still share major componentry.

A further case is that Acura said E-SH-AWD wouldn't be standard on the car. For all we know, the mechanical version will be standard. That would make it not be 2WD, but it would also not make eSH-AWD standard. But instead, he resorts to assuming that the only solution is FWD. Maybe it is, but we just don't know, so to claim it is a quasi-fact is just more of him being him.

Case in point #3 are the assertions of it being "too small" by moving the wheelbase out a few inches, even if they keep the same total envelope they could get quite a bit more space. They never said it was the same size though, they said SIMILAR. That means that in addition to the wheelbase stretch, if they added a few inches in length, an inch or two in width, and MAYBE some height, they would likely gain all of the space they need to be on par with the BMW and Merc interiors. As someone already illustrated, the RL is 7 cubic feet shy of having the interior capacity of a 7 series, despite its much smaller exterior. Therein lies the main benefit to a transverse powertrain layout versus a longitudinal one. If they put most of that 7 cubic feet in the rear, then this car will be as capacious and as roomy as the 7 and E/S without having to add a huge amount of length. No telling what that might do to the trunk space though.

Personally, I think a lot of people are getting disgusted with car size. I know a lot of BMW faithful aren't happy with it right now, and I don't see too many people complaining about the exterior size as long as the interior size is where it needs to be. It is unlikely that people are going to complain about the size of a car if it is 500-600lbs lighter, smaller and easier to maneuver, but still feels spacious and luxurious on the inside. The current RL was never railed for being too small outside, it was railed for having a back seat that was too small, which is why most of that expansion needs to go to the rear. I think they are trying to minimize exterior space to minimize weight, which should maximize MPG. A 4,000lb car with 400HP and 450-500 lb-ft of torque will certainly be adequate in the power department, and with IMA integrating seamlessly with the powerband of the J series, I think it will make for a very competitive powertrain, assuming it isn't too heavy. That combination will give it a very seamless, smooth, and effortless acceleration curve, which was another area the RL was criticized. Cabin materials, build quality and fabrication are already up there with Merc and Benz.

What I think will also potentially appeal about the RL, if it is competitive in other ways, will be the likely enhanced reliability/ownership costs of such a car, vs the Germans which tend to be very complex and are notorious for having issues after a short time. I am not totally confident Honda can pull that off though, because of trends as of late.



I thought we agreed to ignore each other, if you want to act like a little petulant girl and use my name in replying to other posts to try to attack me, make up things, and try to convince others I am someone I am not then have the balls to reply directly to me.

You complain, challenge, and try to attack me for being critical of Honda but in other threads you often say some of the same exact things I complain about that you have attacked me for saying, talk about a childish hypocrite and arguing just to argue. You are just wasting people's time when you do that. Stop attacking others and acting like you are the lone Honda authority here because you are not, you are just another person here with an often changing and conflicting opinion.

You are not even an Acura or luxury buyer, you like fwd small sporty 4 cylinders like civic Si's which means you are a Honda enthusiast and buyer. There is nothing wrong with that or what you prefer but stop acting like you know anything about the luxury market and attacking people who want what is required of a luxury make over what is suitable for a common lower end brand. Only someone who is completely clueless about luxury/performance brands and cars would attack a poster wanting a luxury brand to offer rwd, a V8, and a powerplant with well over 305hp. If you don't like rwd, flagships, V8s, high hp, luxury, etc then stick to buying and liking more mainstream brand like Honda's, Acura is supposed to be a upmarket luxury brand and you are clearly not interested in those types of brands or cars since you criticize them so much.

Please go on other cars sites, especially other Acura sites that are talking about the rumors/info for the new RL. You will see you are in the minority in your way of thinking and most agree with me that a new RL heavily resembling the current one and now a Hyundai and Buick with eSHAWD not being standard and possibly a downmarket lower hp fwd version being offered is not exactly garnering glowing enthusiasm or positive remarks at all. I am sure you consider all the other people who are critical must be all secret Honda haters and only you know what is best for Acura.

I will wait and see what they actually do and hope I am wrong in my predictions because I AM NOT A HONDA HATER like you falsely try to paint me as. Unfortunately from what I have read I am not having a good feeling about what they may do. I was hoping the RL would be a breakthrough car for Acura that would shut most critics up so I won't have to keep defending Acura which gets tiring since Ito has been CEO and making horrible decisions.
lexusgs
Profile for lexusgs
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-29-2012 22:57
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sadlerau wrote:
Nick Graves wrote:
Great post, Owe.

IIRC, the actual suspension hardware of the current model was all-new, bespoke and in ally, so the plank-sharing is purely at an intellectual property rights level - which some cannot grasp, ironically.

There is no real reason why it should be uncompetitive with a wheelbase & (small) trunk stretch.

Whether it will EVER get close to the cachet of the Germans in an increasingly vapid badge-obsessed market (worldwide) is a moot point.





But just as Jesse stated, the only way to build cachet is to have halo models that do everything brilliantly, in every department - then the magazines will wax lyrical, and EVENTUALLY it will develop the brand. But Acura must realize it will take lots of time, and lots of work.

When the SH-AWD RL was released they had 90% of it right there. Had they had a performance model, with more power it would have been 99% on the money. Can they learn???



Very good point, it is lost on some the value and need of a halo or flagship model that gets very good reviews and is aspirational to help the image of a brand.

The 2nd Gen RL was a very nice car when it was first released but it was a little sluggish and not much bigger then a TL to warrant such a high price to many. If it was a little longer with more room in the rear, had a 6 speed auto, and they bumped up the power in the base version to around 320hp-330hp or had a higher performance version in the 350hp or more range I think it would have been a much better seller.

It having SH-AWD was a major selling point at first and what made it unique and what convinced its buyers to spend 50K on it. Unfortunately it did not receive updates to keep it competitive over the years and the beaked facelift made things much worse, sales heavily stagnated as a result.

Not sure how this strategy of giving buyers less from Acura is going to work(no more SH-AWD in RDX, killing TSX for smaller 4 cylinder only ILX, possibly no SH-AWD standard in new RL, etc).
owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-30-2012 03:13
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lexusgs wrote:
owequitit wrote:
Jesse wrote:
It's all about perception. If the top trim RL performs spectacularly, is given rave reviews, and comes out on top of the comparison reviews; those who will buy the base RL trim will buy it because of the name, the RL - the car that performs spectacularly, has rave reviews, and is the top dog in comparison reviews. The top trim RL will serve as the halo model that will attract buyers; the base model will be the so-called bread-and-butter trim and it won't carry the RL image. Again it's the model where people will buy it because of the top trim. Well of course, Acura shouldn't be slacking with the base trim.

Also, Audi is sticking to an FWD platform and it is not hurting their brand image at all. Acura can stick to FWD set-up. I'm fine with it as long as they know how to package it properly like Audi.

My concern is Acura's statement that the RL will have a midsize exterior dimension but has a full-sized interior dimension. Are they again trying to hit two birds with one stone? If so, I fear the RL will end up stuck in the middle - a competitive model but doesn't excel in either the midsize or full-size categories. I do hope I'm wrong.

Anyway, we're all just speculating ATM. We'll see in the New York auto-show.




You have to understand LexusGS's posting history. He is essentially a Honda hater of the first order, but he appears to make himself sound objective, when really, if you read between the lines, they can do no right as far as he is concerned.

Short of a RWD V8 copy of everyone else with no originality, he won't like it, and even then he would do an immediate course reversal and bash it for being derivative and not doing skillset XYZ better than brand A,B, or C. We have seen it all before.

Case in point #1: He repeatedly claims Honda couldn't possibly compete with a V8 by offering a V6. But here, we have a V6 that puts out ~315HP/280 lb-ft, which is less than a V8, but when coupled with whatever hybrid system Honda is cooking up, it is right near 400HP and probably about equal torque to the boosted V8's in the segment. It will offer all of that right off idle since the J series and the electric motors will be in full swing by ~2,000RPM. But still he bashes because they can't offer "V8 performance." Granted, the car may be a bit heavier as a result of the hybrid gear, but with BMW and Benz V8 offerings pushing 4500lbs plus, even if Acura only maintains the weight of the current RL, they are still 1/4 of a ton lighter. Even the M56 is well over 4,000lbs in weight, so the CURRENT RL is a relative lightweight, and Honda claims that the new SH-AWD is lighter than the old mechanical one.

Case in point #2: Even though we have heard strong rumors of Acura pushing the wheelbase out, which indicates that it will have virtually nothing identical to the Accord he claims it is a copy of, he persists with is unsubstantiated claims of it being nothing more than an Accord. They could put it on an entirely different platform and he would find a way to claim it is an Accord. Truth is, we really don't know. It might be a heavily modified Accord platform, but A) that isn't all bad and B) depending on how modified it is, it may be an Accord in lineage only. If they are planning to go global with Acura soon, then it may have a different platform. Perhaps Honda has given Acura a platform more akin to Audi's so that they can differentiate themselves from Honda a bit, much as VW and Audi did, even though they still share major componentry.

A further case is that Acura said E-SH-AWD wouldn't be standard on the car. For all we know, the mechanical version will be standard. That would make it not be 2WD, but it would also not make eSH-AWD standard. But instead, he resorts to assuming that the only solution is FWD. Maybe it is, but we just don't know, so to claim it is a quasi-fact is just more of him being him.

Case in point #3 are the assertions of it being "too small" by moving the wheelbase out a few inches, even if they keep the same total envelope they could get quite a bit more space. They never said it was the same size though, they said SIMILAR. That means that in addition to the wheelbase stretch, if they added a few inches in length, an inch or two in width, and MAYBE some height, they would likely gain all of the space they need to be on par with the BMW and Merc interiors. As someone already illustrated, the RL is 7 cubic feet shy of having the interior capacity of a 7 series, despite its much smaller exterior. Therein lies the main benefit to a transverse powertrain layout versus a longitudinal one. If they put most of that 7 cubic feet in the rear, then this car will be as capacious and as roomy as the 7 and E/S without having to add a huge amount of length. No telling what that might do to the trunk space though.

Personally, I think a lot of people are getting disgusted with car size. I know a lot of BMW faithful aren't happy with it right now, and I don't see too many people complaining about the exterior size as long as the interior size is where it needs to be. It is unlikely that people are going to complain about the size of a car if it is 500-600lbs lighter, smaller and easier to maneuver, but still feels spacious and luxurious on the inside. The current RL was never railed for being too small outside, it was railed for having a back seat that was too small, which is why most of that expansion needs to go to the rear. I think they are trying to minimize exterior space to minimize weight, which should maximize MPG. A 4,000lb car with 400HP and 450-500 lb-ft of torque will certainly be adequate in the power department, and with IMA integrating seamlessly with the powerband of the J series, I think it will make for a very competitive powertrain, assuming it isn't too heavy. That combination will give it a very seamless, smooth, and effortless acceleration curve, which was another area the RL was criticized. Cabin materials, build quality and fabrication are already up there with Merc and Benz.

What I think will also potentially appeal about the RL, if it is competitive in other ways, will be the likely enhanced reliability/ownership costs of such a car, vs the Germans which tend to be very complex and are notorious for having issues after a short time. I am not totally confident Honda can pull that off though, because of trends as of late.



I thought we agreed to ignore each other, if you want to act like a little petulant girl and use my name in replying to other posts to try to attack me, make up things, and try to convince others I am someone I am not then have the balls to reply directly to me.

You complain, challenge, and try to attack me for being critical of Honda but in other threads you often say some of the same exact things I complain about that you have attacked me for saying, talk about a childish hypocrite and arguing just to argue. You are just wasting people's time when you do that. Stop attacking others and acting like you are the lone Honda authority here because you are not, you are just another person here with an often changing and conflicting opinion.

You are not even an Acura or luxury buyer, you like fwd small sporty 4 cylinders like civic Si's which means you are a Honda enthusiast and buyer. There is nothing wrong with that or what you prefer but stop acting like you know anything about the luxury market and attacking people who want what is required of a luxury make over what is suitable for a common lower end brand. Only someone who is completely clueless about luxury/performance brands and cars would attack a poster wanting a luxury brand to offer rwd, a V8, and a powerplant with well over 305hp. If you don't like rwd, flagships, V8s, high hp, luxury, etc then stick to buying and liking more mainstream brand like Honda's, Acura is supposed to be a upmarket luxury brand and you are clearly not interested in those types of brands or cars since you criticize them so much.

Please go on other cars sites, especially other Acura sites that are talking about the rumors/info for the new RL. You will see you are in the minority in your way of thinking and most agree with me that a new RL heavily resembling the current one and now a Hyundai and Buick with eSHAWD not being standard and possibly a downmarket lower hp fwd version being offered is not exactly garnering glowing enthusiasm or positive remarks at all. I am sure you consider all the other people who are critical must be all secret Honda haters and only you know what is best for Acura.

I will wait and see what they actually do and hope I am wrong in my predictions because I AM NOT A HONDA HATER like you falsely try to paint me as. Unfortunately from what I have read I am not having a good feeling about what they may do. I was hoping the RL would be a breakthrough car for Acura that would shut most critics up so I won't have to keep defending Acura which gets tiring since Ito has been CEO and making horrible decisions.



Here I am replying to you. I have been mostly ignoring you for years, but eventually, some points are worth addressing. I don't want Honda to mistakenly confuse that the only way forward is by copying everyone else, because over the last 10 years or so of the companies operation, I have stood by while people tell them it is so, and have watched them destroy the product that everyone loved (and consequently made them successful) because they drove more and more toward being less like Honda and more like everyone else. While I am not delusional in thinking VTEC.net is the epicenter of the universe, I do know that they monitor the site heavily for feedback. Thus, I like to make sure that propaganda doesn't always go without an opposing viewpoint.

1) I haven't been at all petulant. What I said about you is 100% true. You have had absolutely nothing nice to say about Acura in roughly the 10+ years I have been here. Meanwhile, you spew your incessant and never-ending religious mantra of V8, V8, V8. There is a difference between criticizing constructively and what it is you do. Your failure to see that is not my problem.

2) Funny that you don't like being "attacked" (I was actually observing) but then you attack me. You have absolutely no idea what I aspire to, nor do you have a clue what I like. I DO like small 4 banger cars like the Si. They are fun, they are lithe and they are full of character at a cheap price. However, I also like hotrods, muscle cars, antique cars, trucks, bikes, and luxury cars. Just because I currently own an Si doesn't mean I have zero exposure to anything else, or zero desire to own anything else.

You on the other hand ceaselessly setup a list of values that Honda will not meet and then use that as a basis to construct an argument against Acura to prove "objectively" how they can't succeed. It borders on the same level as AGW propagandists who setup hypothesis criteria and then collect data to prove the hypothesis, rather than letting the data objectively support or refute the hypothesis. But since you set up a list of criteria that you knew Honda wouldn't meet ahead of time, you can tell yourself you are objective.

We have covered all of this before:

Honda's IMA system is very likely to provide performance on par with ANY V8 in class (especially when you figure in the likely weight difference), but somehow, it isn't good enough. The whole purpose that you repeatedly support for a V8 is total acceleration, and linear/smooth power delivery. If this powertrain meets that goal, then how is it not worthy? Solely because you don't like the "H" word? Also, how do you explain everyone else's retreat away from V8's in all but the highest end models? I mentioned that up to 2-3 years ago, and there is plenty of evidence of it. Audi is replacing their "normal" V8 models with the supercharged V6, BMW is replacing V12 with turbo V8's, V8's with turbo I6's and I6's with turbo fours. How else do you explain a FOUR BANGER 5 series? Merc has followed the plan a little less, but in a few years that may be different. Where is Lexus' GS V8? The only V8 cars I can think of in the last 2 years has been the Equus and the M56. Cadillac is downsizing engines too. Personally, I would probably prefer the boosted route, but honestly, I don't think most people will care either way if the power delivery and NVH are there.

The RL is slightly too small now, but 7 cubic feet is not an insurmountable volume to add. If they stretch the car to have interior accomodations on par with the 7 series/S class, then how has this car failed size wise? P.S. The current RL is nearly 8" shorter than the 7 and almost a full foot shorter than the A8L, so it isn't like they don't have a bit of room to move up.

If they completely alter the "Accord platform" that you are so sure it uses, to the point of it being completely different, with a longer wheel base, different length and maybe even different proportions (if rumors of a Genesis like stance are to be believed), then how has this car failed by being "just another Accord?" Why do you not complain about BMW, Lexus, Mercedes and Audi all platform sharing amongst their models? Is it because you suspect it might be FWD based? If so, then why do you not slander Audi (whose brand cache is on a rapid upward trajectory) for having ALL FWD based platforms? Why are they not continually slandered for having a rebadged Golf, a FWD entry level car, and a midsize car sharing the same platform, which is essentially what Acura is? Why do you not continually slander them for having a ~55-60% front weight biased "flagship" with the engine sitting entirely ahead of the axle centerline that has to rely on AWD to make it competitive? Sounds a lot like the RL from a design standpoint, but somehow Acura sucks...

You pride yourself on being objective and criticizing Acura, but the problem isn't that you are unhappy with Acura, it is more that you are not nearly as sly about your bias as you believe yourself to be. You continually slander Acura for doing everything wrong, but don't leverage the same distaste toward others, when appropriate.

Frankly, Acura has some problems, mainly in styling and packaging size, but most of the requirements for a "luxury" car are not at fault for their issues. Certainly, having FWD based platforms is not the sole issue as Audi doesn't suffer the same problem, despite having the same platform philosophy.

What luxury buyers actually want is seamless performance, syrabitic features, unquestionable build quality and brand snobbery. Unfortunately for ALL of the Japanese lux companies, it is that last requirement that is hard to come by, as not one of them has actually achieved it (Lexus is closest, but is still not considered on the same level as BMW, MERC and Audi).

I agree that Acura has to improve in a lot of ways, most of which they have already confirmed. We have significantly more power, significantly more interior space, most likely better proportions (the main thing IMO that was "unluxury" about the appearance of the RL), hopefully better MPG etc, and you are already attempting to build a set of criteria against which to rail them yet again, when the car hasn't even debuted yet.
Hondu
Profile for Hondu
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-30-2012 09:38
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lexusgs wrote:
sadlerau wrote:
Nick Graves wrote:
Great post, Owe.

IIRC, the actual suspension hardware of the current model was all-new, bespoke and in ally, so the plank-sharing is purely at an intellectual property rights level - which some cannot grasp, ironically.

There is no real reason why it should be uncompetitive with a wheelbase & (small) trunk stretch.

Whether it will EVER get close to the cachet of the Germans in an increasingly vapid badge-obsessed market (worldwide) is a moot point.





But just as Jesse stated, the only way to build cachet is to have halo models that do everything brilliantly, in every department - then the magazines will wax lyrical, and EVENTUALLY it will develop the brand. But Acura must realize it will take lots of time, and lots of work.

When the SH-AWD RL was released they had 90% of it right there. Had they had a performance model, with more power it would have been 99% on the money. Can they learn???



Very good point, it is lost on some the value and need of a halo or flagship model that gets very good reviews and is aspirational to help the image of a brand.

The 2nd Gen RL was a very nice car when it was first released but it was a little sluggish and not much bigger then a TL to warrant such a high price to many. If it was a little longer with more room in the rear, had a 6 speed auto, and they bumped up the power in the base version to around 320hp-330hp or had a higher performance version in the 350hp or more range I think it would have been a much better seller.

It having SH-AWD was a major selling point at first and what made it unique and what convinced its buyers to spend 50K on it. Unfortunately it did not receive updates to keep it competitive over the years and the beaked facelift made things much worse, sales heavily stagnated as a result.

Not sure how this strategy of giving buyers less from Acura is going to work(no more SH-AWD in RDX, killing TSX for smaller 4 cylinder only ILX, possibly no SH-AWD standard in new RL, etc).



Who are you referring to? I don't think a single person in this thread disagreed that the RL with eSHAWD needs to be a great halo model and really wow the car rags/reviewers. The only real discussion has been whether the lower level model for the RL should be AWD or FWD and what "might" happen if it is FWD. Nobody knows the answer to this question at the moment.
MasterOfDaDomain
Profile for MasterOfDaDomain
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-30-2012 13:13
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Regular SH-AWD vs. FWD on the RL based model. Suffice to say, if this is even a point of debate in the Acura headquarters, then they still haven't learned anything after decade long of RL misery.

The main comparison will be with the new Lexus GS, which now has a F Sport model.

Wonder if the new RL gets adjustable shocks?
JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: 2013 Acura RL Previewed    (Score: 1, Normal) 01-30-2012 15:27
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MasterOfDaDomain wrote:
Regular SH-AWD vs. FWD on the RL based model. Suffice to say, if this is even a point of debate in the Acura headquarters, then they still haven't learned anything after decade long of RL misery.

The main comparison will be with the new Lexus GS, which now has a F Sport model.

Wonder if the new RL gets adjustable shocks?



You bring up the new Lexus GS - I think Acura and the upcoming RL may have caught a break with that car. I've looked at the GS pretty closely and even in the car show settings they just don't have any emotional impact. I'm sure it's a nice car and all but my goodness, Lexus went ultra conservative with the design and it just doesn't have much of a 'premium' or 'special' look or feel to it --- much like the current RL.

I'm not sure the NEW RL will be significantly better or pack a more emotional punch than the new GS, but I sure hope it does because the GS is a snoozer.
 
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