Acura’s premier sedan. The new Acura RL ! image

Acura’s flagship, the new RL sedan, again proves that refined luxury need not be replete of performance adrenaline. The new 2009 Acura RL combines added performance, improved technology, more aggressive styling and safety features to Acura’s premier sedan that was already top tier amongst luxury performance sedans. It would be hard to find a production car at any price that offers more advanced electronic technology or drive system sophistication. Now, the new 2009 RL allows the driver to be even more connected to the world-through improved connection with the road along with improved electronic connectivity to the world around them.

The previous RL offered an abundance of consumer friendly technology for the driver and passengers including satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink® Real-time traffic information, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® cellular phone connectivity, DVD-Audio stereo entertainment, Active Noise Cancellation, and GPS-linked solar-sensing automatic climate control. The 2009 RL furthers cutting edge technology with the addition of new high-tech items including AcuraLink® weather, a new Note function for XM® Radio, Traffic Rerouting™, Active Sound Control, Smart Entry, Bluetooth® Audio and HandsFreeLink® that now features over 700 voice commands along with substantially improved voice recognition. Technology abounds in the drivetrain in the form of improved Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, a revised steering rack system, upgraded coil springs, better performing shock absorbers, larger rear stabilizer bar, and more aggressive wheels and tires. Performance improves with the RL thanks to a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine that incorporates the first ever SOHC use of VTEC® valvetrain actuation for both the intake and exhaust valves.

For 2009, Acura will again offer three different trim packages on the RL:

RL: in addition to the potent new 3.7L V-6 engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, the RL is equipped with standard Bose® Surround Sound audio system, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® connectivity and solar sensing climate control.

RL with Technology Package includes: Acura Satellite Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink® Real-time traffic, AcuraLink® weather, rear view back-up camera, Active Front Lighting System (AFS), ventilated front seats, and a wood/leather steering wheel and shift knob.

RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™: on top of the Technology Package, the CMBS™ equipped model includes Acura’s Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and genuine wood instrument panel trim.

CMBS uses a millimeter-wave radar unit mounted inside the RL’s new power plenum front grille to detect vehicles ahead to monitor potential rear-end collisions, to alert the driver when the likelihood of a collision increases, and to help reduce the impact on front occupants by pre-tensioning the front seatbelts and applying the brakes should a collision prove to be imminent.

RL with Technology Package plus CMBS™ also adds the convenience of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The ACC also uses the radar system mounted inside the front grille to measure the distance between the RL and the vehicle directly ahead. To compensate for varying traffic flow, ACC continually adjusts vehicle speed by automatically applying throttle or braking to maintain a consistent following distance interval.

The innovation built into the new RL begins with the most powerful engine ever offered in an Acura sedan. An all-new 3.7-liter V-6 engine develops 300 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque thanks to an innovative new VTEC™ valvetrain system for both the intake and exhaust valves, a higher compression ratio, along with a special dual-stage magnesium intake manifold that enables the intake to function as a single- or dual-plenum manifold design based on engine operating parameters. In addition to developing improved power and torque, the RL engine meets tough CARB ULEV-2 emission standards and delivers good fuel economy. The RL’s engine bay appears more upscale thanks to a new surround panel assembly that reduces visual distractions and focuses attention directly on the all-new 3.7-liter V-6 engine.

To handle the higher power of the 3.7-liter engine, a new version of the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission is fitted to the 2009 RL. Featuring new “smart” F1®-style steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and a new straight-gate console mounted gear selector, the RL driver now has more gear control than ever before.

The RL’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system returns for 2009, but is now quicker responding and better performing. There are numerous traction advantages of all-wheel drive, yet SH-AWD™ does a key function that is not available with traditional AWD systems- SH-AWD™ utilizes torque vectoring to increase the rotation speed of an outside rear wheel during aggressive cornering to help the car turn more effectively while under power. This “yaw” function reduces the cornering load on the front tires to minimize understeer, to improve handling balance, and to escalate total cornering grip.

The 2009 RL’s new exterior styling is not only more aggressive, but delivers excellent aerodynamics and reduced rear lift at high speeds. The RL’s more athletic style foreshadows the power beneath the new blow-formed aluminum hood. The RL’s shape is taut and athletic, and its acceleration and cornering performance allow it to challenge the most capable German and Japanese sports sedans. Comfort, quietness and ride quality are also on a par with performance sedan competitors. For 2009, eight exterior colors are available-5 of which are new-including a new pearl pigment process that improves luster and shine.

To further enhance handling and ride comfort, the new RL retains a fully independent suspension system with front double-wishbone and rear multi-link architecture. For 2009 the RL features higher rate coil springs, larger diameter rear stabilizer bar, stiffer subframe mount bushings and improved design steering rack components. To further improve handling and looks, new 18-inch diameter 7-spoke aluminum wheels are matched with more aggressive tires (replacing the previous 17-inch wheel/tire offering).

Inside, the 2009 RL features a more elegantly styled interior that includes more room for rear seat passengers, easier-to-use front seat belts, front door-mounted pull pockets, softer arm rests, redesigned vents, larger/clearer lettering for HVAC controls, and easier actuation of climate control functions. A revised steering wheel and genuine wood dashboard trim (included with the CMBS™ package) and metal-look accents is now fitted to the RL along with a transmission shift knob with simulated wood trim. Complementing the steering wheel are upgraded gauges that incorporate brushed metal accents for enhanced appearance. For 2009, additional insulation, a more high-tech design of Acura’s acoustic glass windshield, and a new Active Sound Control noise abatement system team to further reduce the RL’s already quiet cabin.

The RL’s perforated leather front seats now incorporate six levels of heated/cooled ventilation. Moreover, just like the driver’s seat, the passenger front seat now has 10-way power adjustability. For 2009, the center panel controls are now more intuitive and are surrounded by a new background color along with improved quality wood patterned panels. These interior upgrades are complimented by advanced electronics that include a satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Activation™ along with the innovative AcuraLink® satellite communication system with Real-time traffic and (new for 2009) AcuraLink® weather. The RL is the first vehicle on the market to feature in-dash integrated, continually updated real-tim weather information in a single-screen format. The spectacular Acura/Bose® 10-speaker Sound System with DVD-Audio returns but is now upgraded to include Bluetooth® Audio, a new Note function for XM® Radio, improved button legibility, a USB connectivity port, and even richer audio sound.

The 2009 RL retains Acura’s extremely rigid Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that features extensive use of high-tensile steel and lightweight aluminum components to take construction beyond conventional safety protocols while keeping overall vehicle weight in check. The ACE™ structure’s front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to help prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways-and away from the passenger compartment. For 2009, to enhance safety a new Active Headrest Restraint System is built into the front seats to improve neck and head protection in the event in a rear impact collision. To further aid in safety, the RL includes as standard a passenger seatbelt reminder, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and six airbags. These advances team to make the RL the most powerful, best handling, most luxurious and safest sedan Acura has ever built.

*Based on 2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

Powertrain Features

3.7-liter SOHC VTEC; V-6 engine

300 horsepower @ 6300 rpm

271 lb-ft of torque @ 5000 rpm

VTEC; (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) valvetrain for intake and exhaust valves

Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System

Variable flow exhaust system

11.2:1 compression ratio

High inertia dual-stage magnesium intake manifold

Direct ignition system

Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with multi-hole fuel injectors

Detonation/knock control system

5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, smart-style paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™)

CARB ULEV-2 emissions compliance

100,000 miles tune-up interval

Body and Chassis Features

New, more aggressive exterior body panels

Unit body chassis with extensive use of high-tensile steel and aluminum

Lightweight aluminum front and rear subframes

Independent double-wishbone aluminum front suspension with new springs and dampers

Independent multi-link aluminum rear suspension with new rear stabilizer bar

Electronically controlled, speed-sensing, variable boost power-assist rack-and-pinion steering

7-spoke, 18×8-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/45R18 M+S all-season tires

4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)

Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights

Active Front Lighting System (AFS)

LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination

Power moonroof with tilt, automatic open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation

Heated side mirrors with driver recognition, reverse gear mirror tilt-down and integrated directional turn signals

Comfort; Convenience Features

Acura/Bose; 10-speaker Surround Sound System with 6-disc CD, DVD-Audio, DTS® changer and AM/FM tuner

XM® Satellite Radio with a new Note function for XM; Radio

All-new Active Sound Control  interior noise reduction system

New USB port connectivity

MP3 auxiliary jack

A new Smart Entry™ keyless entry and start system

Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless interface is new for Bluetooth® telephones

Revised Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™

Upgraded AcuraLink® Real-time traffic

Time saving new Traffic Rerouting™

All-new AcuraLink® weather

Standard rearview camera on models equipped with navigation system

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) (included with CMBS™ package)

GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control

Driver and passenger 10-way power seats (8-way power seat plus 2-way power lumbar support)*

New front seats are now heated/cooled

Leather-wrapped steering wheel (Leather/wood steering wheel with Technology Package)

Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column with driver recognition

Multi-Information Display (MID)

Power rear sunshade

Rear door side glass sunshades

Remotely activated retractable rear headrests

*Power lumbar support previously listed separately

Safety features

Advanced Compatibility Engineering; (ACE™) front end structure

Impact-absorbing crumple zones (front/rear)

Side impact door beams

Driver and front passenger dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)

Driver and front passenger side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)

Side curtain airbags for front and rear outboard seats

Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)

3-point adjustable height seat belts with front e-pretensioners and load limiters

3-point seat belts at all seating positions

Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractors (ALR/ELR)

New Active Head Restraint System front headrests adjustable for height and tilt

Remote retractable rear seat head restraints

LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with location and pressure indicators

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Brake Assist


The interior of the RL is more than just luxurious, sporty, and fully equipped with comfort and convenience features. Technology abounds in the form of the AcuraLink® satellite communication system that debuted the first ever U.S. application of Real-time traffic information as standard equipment. Standard on Navigation-equipped RL’s, this feature includes continually updated traffic information for 76 metropolitan areas that the RL driver can easily access to identify traffic congestion on major roadways. The traffic information is delivered in real time via graphics displayed on the RL’s navigation screen. This real time information allows the RL driver to re-route to clearer traffic areas without relying on sporadic radio traffic reports. For 2009, new technology comes in the form of Traffic Rerouting™, improved levels of restaurant information with Zagat® ratings, AcuraLink® Real-time weather information, and even a feature that allows for automated vehicle service appointments to be made while driving the RL.

Other RL technology features are equally appealing. As an example, the RL’s innovative Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is offered as part of the optional RL Technology Package plus CMBS™. With ACC, when cruise control is activated the system uses radar data to allow the driver to set and maintain a specific following distance interval between the RL and the car directly in front of it. Should the traffic speeds change, the ACC will compensate speed to avoid tailgating. If the driver’s response does not sufficiently reduce the risk of a collision, the CMBS™ system will issue a secondary warning consisting of audible, visual and tactile elements as well as light braking to alert the driver to take action. If the closing rate increases so much that a collision becomes unavoidable, CMBS™ can initiate hard braking to reduce the vehicle’s speed as well as pre-tension the driver and front passenger seatbelts to help reduce the severity of the crash.

The RL interior features luxurious styling, perforated leather-trimmed seats, and dramatic LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination. The 2009 RL further refines its premium nature with new wood trim for the dash and center console, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, redesigned 10-way adjustable (8-way power seat plus 2-way power lumbar support)* heated/cooled front seats, more spacious rear seats, and a more logical layout of HVAC controls with easier-to-read wording.

Premium technologies define the interior just as with the powertrain and chassis. Some of these technologies include: a GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control system; an Acura/BOSE® 10-speaker surround sound system with DVD-Audio 6-disc changer that provides 500 times the clarity of a typical CD system; USB port connectivity, AUX jack connectivity and DTS® changer; and standard XM® Satellite Radio with an all-new Note function for XM® Radio feature that allows the recording of up to ten seconds of music along with the name of the artist, song title, and even the XM® channel name that can be referred to at a later time.

*Power lumbar support previously listed separately
Premium interior features continue in the form of a new Active Sound Control system that is much advanced over the previous Active Noise Cancellation™ (ANC) system. Whereas ANC dealt specifically with the elimination of low decibel noise entering the cabin, the new Active Sound Control system has a much broader range including the elimination of unwanted high frequency noise. In addition, Active Sound Control is linked to throttle position and engine rpm to provide a quieter cockpit during normal cruising while allowing the 3.7L’s muscular sound to be enjoyed during higher rpm, more spirited driving.

Yet, interior technology doesn’t end with noise cancellation. When you want to be heard, a new high-directional array microphone system radically improves coverage area and voice “pick up” during noisy conditions- such as when the windows are down. In addition, standard Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® allows for hands-free phone interface that is compatible with many Bluetooth® phones (visit for a list of applicable phones) for a seamless cellular telephone communication experience while still devoting the driver’s full concentration on the task at hand-driving safely. Other interior technologies include a Multi-Information Display (MID), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with specific tire and pressure indicators, a Maintenance Minder™ system, and a new Smart Entry™ keyless entry and start system.

Premium items commonly only reserved for top end luxury vehicles, such as power rear sunshade and rear door side glass sunshades, are standard with the RL. Plus, to further separate occupants from unwanted outside noises, additional sound proofing insulation has been applied throughout the RL’s cabin.

2009 Acura RL Interior View

2009 Acura RL Interior View

2009 Acura RL Sedan View

2009 Acura RL Sedan View

More Acura 2009 Interior View

More Acura 2009 Interior View

2009 Acura RL back view

2009 Acura RL back view