Acura RL

Is this the car that will finally bring Honda’s luxury Acura brand to British shores? According to our sources, the image on the right provides the best insight yet into plans currently under review to do exactly that.ased on the chassis that underpins Honda’s four-wheel-drive Legend saloon, the model is being described as a replacement for the top-of-the-range Acura RL – a front-wheel-drive machine available in the US market.ower is from an all-new 4.8-litre V8 engine producing at least 420bhp, and the newcomer will also benefit from a dev­elopment of Honda’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) transmission, along with a special cylinder deactivation engine management system that cuts fuel use. The hi-tech drivetrain is able to channel power to individual wheels, and works as a highly advanced traction control package. This will provide the new model with tremendous stability on slippery surfaces.

Acura RL

Meanwhile, the engine’s cylinder management set-up uses electronic valve control technology, which can switch off some of the chambers to boost mpg. It means that at cruising speeds, the V8 can run on only four cylinders. But then, under full throttle, the system will reactivate all eight of them, enhancing performance.Other technology tipped to appear on the RL includes night vision, as well as an evolution of Honda’s Lane Keep Assist set-up, which is already offered in the Legend and Accord.A self-driving feature should also mean the car will be capable of park­ing itself, while a hybrid version of the Acura has not been ruled out. This would threaten to lure customers from rival Lexus’s petrol-electric LS600h.After making its first public appearance in the middle of 2010, the new RL is expected to land in American showrooms carrying a price equivalent to around £45,000.
According to sources at Honda, the firm’s domestic market in Japan will be the next target. If the launch there is successful, sales in the UK could follow as early as 2012


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