Acura RL:

Acura RL – Minor Facelift for 2009

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The singularly underperforming Acura RL Executive Luxury Car receives a facelift for the 2009 model year. Shown for the first time at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, the RL becomes more distinctive and less anodyne, but arguably at the cost of good taste.

Acura RL 2009 FV.jpg

Acura RL 2009 F34.jpg

The new front end style certainly will be controversial but there may never be enough of this iteration of the RL to burn too many eyeballs. The fresh rear style is a mild re-do designed not to offend, but certainly does not turn heads.
Acura RL 2009 SV.jpg

RL’s Problem isn’t Styling So Much… It’s the Overall Concept – V6 SH-AWD Instead of RWD V8
The problem with this generation RL is not its styling, which has been bland and invisible at best, but with the overall concept of the car. Honda, adamantly refusing to build a rear wheel drive sedan to match its important competitors, resorted to Super Handling All Wheel Drive that resulted in a whopping weight increase sapping power from its V6 engine. The RL feels slow and cumbersome and, frankly, is pretty small for a car in this class. Owners want a larger trunk and larger rear seat that this minor freshening for 2009 cannot correct.
The photos speak for themselves. Carrying cues adopted on the MD-X with an overdone grille, RL tries to look contemporary but our guess is that it will continue to languish in the high four digit or low five digit sales range in the USA.
This isn’t to say Honda did not apply a list of minor detail updates to the car, but I’ll let their press release shown below the fold summarize those.
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Lincoln MKS Concept – Japanese Flavor for American Luxury

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The Lincoln MKS Concept shown at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit will likely be added to the Lincoln lineup in 2007 as a 2008 model year vehicle. Attending an early December 2005 review of Ford auto show concept cars in Dearborn, VehicleVoice and AutoPacific analysts were struck by the Japanese and European ambiance of the car. The MKS has the presence of an Acura TL with some styling cues from Chris Bangle’s BMWs.
The MK S is another derivative of the Volvo S80 platform which is also shared with the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego and Ford Freestyle. The MK S is all wheel drive and uses the Yamaha-Volvo 315HP 4.4L V8 engine found in the Volvo XC90 luxury sport utility vehicle. The MK S is deceivingly large with an 114-inch wheelbase and 204-inch overall length making it slightly larger than the Ford Five Hundred and substantially larger than the Acura range-topper, the RL. It is about the same overall length as the long wheelbase BMW 7-Series, but with a much shorter wheelbase.
While some of our staff would prefer for Lincoln to go the route of Cadillac with rear wheel drive platforms, the MK S appears to have the presence and credibilty to replace the Lincoln LS Executive Luxury Entry.
Now, the next question… what will the replacement for the venerable Lincoln Town Car look like and how large will it be? Will the next Town Car be the MK T?
Ford’s press release for the MK S is shown below


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