For the 2007 model year, the Acura RL, a luxury performance sedan, comes with an audio system auxiliary input jack as standard equipment. A rearview camera is new to the option list for RLs equipped with navigation systems. The RL also is available for 2007 in three versions: standard RL, the RL with a special Technology Package, and the RL with a special "collision mitigation" braking system and run-flat tires.
Acura re-introduced its RL as an all-new model for the 2005 model year, with a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive technology, engineered to provide enhanced traction in various weather and road conditions. The RL-the first Acura equipped with a keyless access system that allows drivers to lock and unlock doors, open the trunk, or start the vehicle without using the key-was little changed for 2006 or 2007. Thus, the RL continues to have a wedge-shaped body design and an interior that features leather seating, genuine wood trim and backlit gauges. It also is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that pumps out 290 hp, yet is rated at 18 mpg in city driving and 26 on the highway. The engine is linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted by racing-style paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
For 2007, the RL with the Technology Package includes satellite navigation as well as active front lighting, with low beams that swivel as much as 20 degrees to provide better illumination during cornering. The top-of-the-line version is the RL with Technology Package plus CMBS and PAX Tires. CMBS stands for Collision Mitigation Braking System. This version includes radar-based active cruise control. If the system determines that the closing rate between the RL and the vehicle directly ahead has decreased beyond an acceptable level, it applies light braking. If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it can tighten front seat belts and apply the brakes in an effort to mitigate collision damage. The version also is equipped with Michelin's PAX wheel and tire system that allows the RL to continue to be driven as far as 250 miles at 50 mph following a tire puncture.
The Acura RL competes in the Midsize Premium Conventional segment, which consists of 12 models. Buyers in this segment look for quality, performance, and reliability, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Lexus ES-Series(75,987 units sold), BMW X5 (56,756), and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (50,195). The Acura RL sold 11,501 units in 2006, a decrease of 34.5 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Premium Conventional segment include the Lexus GS-Series, Cadillac STS, Infiniti M-Series, Volvo V70, and Audi A6.