From Acura press: The 2008 Acura RL combines performance, technology, style and safety in an athletic 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.
All the while, none has made its driver more connected to the surroundings on the road – 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 be as consumer-friendly as possible.
The RL powertrain features a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 engine, VTEC® valvetrain operation, a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control, and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™. The crankshaft of the RL is positioned transversely (side to side) rather than longitudinally (front to rear), which allows the RL engine to be packaged more tightly for better handling agility, without sacrificing interior comfort.
The advanced VTEC® engine develops 290 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is EPA rated at 16/24 mpg* (city/highway) and it meets CARB LEV-2 ULEV requirements.
While not as powerful as some V-8 engines, the RL's high output V-6 is lightweight for better acceleration and more nimble handling. To more effectively put power to the ground, the RL comes standard with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that allow easy finger-tip-activated manual operation.
To maximize available traction and to provide exceptional handling balance, the RL comes standard with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), the first and only all-wheel drive system that distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels but also between the left and right rear wheels. The system's direct yaw control makes the cornering character of the RL exceptionally neutral when under power.