From Acura press: The 2005 Acura RL combines performance, technology and style in an athletic new luxury package that pushes the boundaries of automotive design on multiple fronts. No production car at any price has ever offered more advanced electronic technology or drive-system sophistication.
And none has made its driver more connected-with real-time traffic information, personal assistance, phone communication and audio entertainment. True to form for Acura, the many advanced systems of the RL are engineered to function smoothly, efficiently and intuitively. Similarly, the RL upholds another basic Acura tenet: comprehensive standard equipment. In the case of the RL, everything is standard. There are no factory options. The only available RL options are a few select dealer installed upgrades.
In creating this new luxury vehicle, Acura designers completely redefined the RL concept and repositioned it at the leading edge of its category. Its new shape is much more taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance is dramatically improved to challenge the most capable German sports sedans. Comfort, quietness and ride quality are also substantially improved. The 2005 RL serves clear notice that Acura has upped the ante in its category.
The innovation built into the RL begins with the most powerful engine ever offered in a production Acura. The new 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 engine develops 300 horsepower (a remarkable 33-percent increase compared to its predecessor) and torque has risen to 260 lbs.-ft. (a 12-percent increase). In spite of developing much more power from the same displacement, the new RL engine meets much tougher emission standards and delivers comparable fuel economy as compared to its predecessor.
The RL powertrain is a complete departure from that of its predecessor, the 3.5 RL. Though both vehicles feature 3.5-liter V-6 engines, the new RL benefits from VTEC, a 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control (in place of a 4 AT in the 3.5 RL) and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive in place of front drive in the 3.5 RL. Plus, there are hundreds of other differences, both minor and major. One of the most significant is that like other Acura vehicles, the crankshaft of the RL is now positioned transversely (side to side) instead of longitudinally (front to rear), as was the case in the 3.5 RL. This change allows the RL to be packaged more tightly for better handling agility, without sacrificing interior comfort.
The 60-degree aluminum-alloy 3.5-liter V-6 of the RL features architecture that's related to that of the powerplant in the 2004 MDX. Few parts are shared between the two engines, however; comprehensive changes give the RL powerplant an entirely different character than that of the MDX. This new engine is very lightweight and compact: Compared to the previous 90-degree V-6 in the 3.5 RL, the overall width (measuring across the "V") is 36 mm less, and the length (measuring along the crankshaft) is 61 mm shorter.