Vehicle Profile: The 2012 Acura RL
As the longstanding flagship sedan of the entire model range, the 2012 Acura RL represents the best of everything Acura offers to drivers: Elegance, luxury, high technology, power and superb dynamics are all part of the successful equation.
The heart of the 2012 RL (MSRP $47,700) is its advanced 3.7-liter VTEC V6. With 300 hp and 270 lb/ft of torque, it packs the muscle one expects of a high-end performance sedan. The engine is mated to a six-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with paddleshifters, a Sport Mode, Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control. Even with so much power on tap, the RL boasts a 24 mpg highway rating, and on a full tank of gas, its cruising range can stretch beyond 400 miles.
Power is distributed to all four corners thanks to the RL’s standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which delivers the all-weather capability so many drivers seek while elevating the RL’s dry-road performance to even higher levels of excellence. Depending on the drive circumstances, SH-AWD actively transfers power and torque between the front and rear wheels, and under heavy, high-speed cornering, it can transfer up to 70 percent of the torque at the rear axle to the outside wheel. SH-AWD delivers stability and cornering performance that is simply beyond traditional two-wheel drive systems and many other manufacturers’ all-wheel drive systems.
Inside, the RL presents its occupants with the balance of luxury appointments and high-tech innovations that is an Acura calling card. Keyless entry and start are standard, as are integrated rear sunshades (power operated for the back window, manual for the rear side windows), Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity and perforated leather seating with heated seats in front. (Cooled, ventilated front seats are offered as part of the available Technology Package as well.)
An available GPS-linked Temperature Control System, part of the Technology Packages, uses the RL’s navigation system to track the position of the sun relative to the car. On the side of the car where the sun is shining, the RL’s climate control system will automatically adjust the heating or cooling settings to ensure maximum comfort for the passengers sitting on that side.
Drivers looking to be entertained will be pleased to find that a 10-speaker, 260-watt BOSE® surround-sound audio system is standard. Active Sound Control monitors cabin noise and uses the BOSE system to generate a noise-canceling frequency, canceling out the ambient cabin noise and making the cabin quieter. In addition to having an MP3/WMA-compatible CD/DVD-Audio player, the BOSE system also includes XM Radio and full iPod integration.
The available Technology Package adds the Acura Navigation System, which features an eight-inch in-dash display Zagat Survey restaurant reviews, and Acuralink Real-Time Traffic and Weather updates. Voice Recognition lets the driver control the navigation, audio and climate control systems using simple voice commands.
In addition to the various amenities inside, the RL offers a variety of driver aids as part of the Advance Package as well including Adaptive Cruise Control, which lets the driver set a time interval for the RL to maintain with the car ahead of it while the Technology Package includes rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera that displays the view aft on the navigation system’s eight-inch screen.
Safety is, as always, a critical component of Acura’s design philosophy. To that end, the 2012 TL has a comprehensive suite of six airbags including an Occupant Position Detection System that detects the front passenger’s height and seating position. If OPDS senses that the passenger is a child or smaller adult, and that he or she is leaning in toward the side airbag’s deployment path, it will deactivate that airbag entirely in order to help prevent injury. Antilock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist are also standard, and cars fitted with the Advance Package also receive Acura’s Collision Mitigation Braking System. This innovation uses radar mounted behind the front grille to ping the cars ahead and measure their speed and closing distance. If the system detects a collision is possible, it will use audible and physical alerts to warn the driver, and, if necessary, initiate braking independently to spur the driver to action (the system cannot stop the car on its own).
Great looks, a brawny V6, state-of-the-art all-wheel drive and a laundry list of useful and innovative technology features make the 2012 Acura shine atop the Acura lineup, upholding the company’s tradition of producing outstanding, driver-focused sports sedans.
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $885.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
** Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
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