Acura RL to Reassert Flagship Position: Vans Agency and Acura Automotive Vehicles Finding

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Acura RL to Reassert Flagship Position

2010 Acura RLWhile attending the first drive event for the Acura ZDX in Los Angeles, I had dinner with several Acura executives and talked quite a bit of shop that had little to do with the ZDX but lots to do with the rest of Acura’s lineup. The most interesting tidbit I gleaned from the meal regards the positioning of Acura’s two larger sedans - specifically the TL’s assumption of the position of the sportiest, most powerful and, to many (especially enthusiasts), most desirable car in Acura’s lineup, a spot that used to belong to the RL and its forebear, the legendary Legend.

That Acura’s “Jan Brady” is talented and sexy is certainly not a problem in and of itself, but what about “Marcia,” the RL? Yeah, remember that, the so-called “flagship” of the brand? The execs on hand recognized that the similarly sized TL, which costs $35,915 for the 280-hp, front-drive version and $44,195 in loaded, 305-hp, all-wheel-drive form, offers a set of product strengths that renders the $47,640 RL - available only with a 300-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive - difficult to market at the very best and all but irrelevant at worst: a prototypical case of elders being eaten by their young.

We are assured by Acura, however, that when the new model arrives, which we expect within two years (Acura is annoyingly tight-lipped about future products), there will be more distance created between the two models. But don’t expect the next RL to emulate the rear-wheel-drive, V-8 formula of most of its competitors, which include the Hyundai Genesis, the Lexus GS460, and the BMW 550i. Rumors that have suggested such a scenario have long been disproved, and Acura spokesmen reaffirmed that at our dinner, asserting that the relatively low take rate of V-8s in the segment and what it sees as shifting sensibilities on the part of luxury car customers will render a larger, more luxury-focused yet still V-6-powered RL right where it needs to be, particularly if gas prices rise over $4 per gallon again. We’re not sure if we’re looking into the same crystal ball as Acura is, but in any case, it will be nice to see a more distinct RL in the future.

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Acura RL to Reassert Flagship Position
Acura RL to Reassert Flagship Position

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Acura Automotive Vehicles Finding

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