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Refreshed Acura RL

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2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
By Perry Stern
The brand’s flagship gets more power and new look for 2009 model.
Click image to enlarge
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
Click image to enlarge
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
Click image to enlarge
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
Click image to enlarge
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield
2009 Acura RL Photo: Rod Hatfield

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Acura chose the Chicago Auto Show as the venue to show off the freshened version of its flagship RL sedan. With a bold new grille, shapely headlights and clear-lens taillights, the exterior changes to the RL are immediately apparent. Most noticeable is the large Acura logo in the wide satin-finish trim piece at the top of the grille, which follows the styling cues first introduced on the MDX, the brand’s premium SUV.

 

On the inside, the updated RL has a roomier rear seat, softer armrests, redesigned vents and easier-to-use climate controls. The steering wheel has also been revised and is available now with genuine wood trim. Additional sound insulation and an Active Sound Control (ASC) noise abatement system help to make the cabin even quieter.

 

Front seats have also been fitted with an Active Head Restraint System designed to improve neck and head protection during rear impacts.

 

There are even more updates to the new RL that can’t be seen. Under the hood is a larger 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower — an increase of ten horses over the previous year’s model.

 

Teamed with the more powerful engine is a new version of Acura’s Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission. The Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) that was originally introduced on the RL has been enhanced for the 2009 model, which Acura claims will provide quicker response and better performance.

 

Also improving ride and handling are higher-rate coil springs, larger diameter stabilizer bars and stiffer subframe mount bushings. Wheels are now 18 inchers (as opposed to the 17-inch wheels previously) and fitted with high-performance tires.

 

Other improvements include the addition of AcuraLink Weather, which provides continuously updated weather information.

 

The 2009 Acura RL is expected to reach showrooms this spring.

 

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