All-new in 2005, the Acura RL is unchanged for 2006, save for the way its horsepower ratings are measured. While the engine is unchanged, 2005’s specifications of 300 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque have been realigned to 290 hp and 256 lb-ft.
The sole engine choice is a 3.5-litre V6, mated exclusively to a five-speed automatic with sequential manual shift, paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. The RL also features Acura’s SH-AWD, short for Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive. Using steering angle and throttle sensors that compare the driver’s input to the car’s actual motions, it distributes torque where it’s needed, both front to rear, and side to side. It will also increase the rotation of the outside rear wheels during aggressive cornering to reduce understeer and improve cornering grip.
The RL comes in a single trim line, and includes four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS, tire pressure monitoring system, Xenon headlamps with active front lighting, headlight washers, fog lamps, speed-sensitive wipers, leather interior with eight-way driver and four-way passenger power adjust, heated and cooled seats, genuine curly maple wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD surround sound stereo with ten speakers, navigation system with bilingual voice recognition and wheel-mounted controls, HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, power sunroof, electronic tilt and telescopic wheel with two-position memory, and power rear sunshades.
The RL’s swooping body lines surround a luxurious interior that’s compromised only by a tight rear seat. It handles beautifully, accelerates with confidence, and its sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and roomy trunk may very well have you rethinking a small SUV.
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