Specific objectives for the second-generation Legend chassis performance called for more active, driver-oriented handling characteristics, reduced noise and vibration, and improved braking feel. The suspension design and most parts are identical on Legend Sedan and Coupe models; stabilizer bar thickness and shock valving changes enhance the sporting character of the Legend Coupe and the Legend Sedan GS.
A fundamental factor contributing to the excellent handling of the second-generation Legend is its more rearward weight distribution. Acura chassis engineers consider this 60/40 (front/rear) balance the ideal distribution for a front-drive automobile with sporting aspirations.
The Legend powertrain incorporates a unique aluminum front subframe. This is not only lighter, but more rigid compared to the steel subframe of the first-generation Legend. It is mounted to the main structure at eight optimum points with specifically tuned bushings designed to isolate vibration and distribute loads throughout the structure.
While similar to the previous layout in concept -- double-wishbone geometry -- the front suspension is an all-new design. Widely spaced upper and lower wishbones give precise suspension action, with the coil-over spring/damper units free of the binding caused by the side-loading inherent in less sophisticated strut-type designs.
The rear suspension is also redesigned, featuring upper and dual lower lateral arms carried on a steel subframe. Two tubular trailing arm elements, bolted together into a unit, provide fore/aft location and counter braking torque. This system reduces unsprung weight by almost 20 lbs, and it is also more rigid overall.
Shock Absorbers and Stabilizer Bars
Sophisticated gas-pressurized shock absorbers also contribute to the riding comfort and handling of the Legend. They feature an exclusive progressive valve mechanism. In this design, the valve opens and closes progressively, rather than being simply open or closed. This improves the shock absorbers' response to quick wheel movements and results in better rebound control as well. In both cases tire-to-road adhesion is enhanced.
Stabilizer bar diameters have been matched to the suspension geometry, springing and shock absorbers of both the Legend Sedan and Legend Coupe. The tubular front bar is 1.13 in (28.6 mm) in diameter on both the Sedan and the Coupe; wall thickness is 3.5 mm on the Sedan, and 4.0 mm on the Coupe and the Sedan GS, owing to their sportier handling personalities. The rear bar on all models is tubular, with a 0.75 in (19.1 mm) diameter, and a 3.0 mm wall thickness.
Taken as a whole, this suspension system enabled the Legend engineers to realize the dream of any serious chassis engineer --to boost handling precision and ride comfort at the same time.
The Legend features rack-and-pinion steering with a speed-sensitive, variable power assisted system. For optimum steering feel, the variation in power assist is highly linear. The system's vane-type assist pump has high capacity for immediate response to quick steering wheel motions, and operates very quietly.
Four-wheel disc brakes match the high performance and 60/40 weight distribution of the Legend. The ventilated front discs are 11.0 in (280 mm) in diameter and 23 mm thick on the Legend Sedan Land LS, and 28 mm thick on the Legend Coupe and the Sedan GS. At the rear, the solid discs are 11.0 in in diameter.
The Legend Coupe and Sedan GS feature dual-piston calipers, for enhanced braking performance.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Standard in all models is the Acura-designed Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), which has four wheel-speed sensors and three channels. This system modulates each front wheel individually and modulates the rear wheels as a single entity. To ensure maximum reliability, this system uses a separate accumulator and brake fluid reservoir system. Even in the event of a complete loss of ABS brake fluid, the primary braking system will still continue to operate and provide normal braking force.
In operation, the four wheel-speed sensors monitor changes in wheel speed. If the sensors detect impending lockup under hard braking, they signal the control unit which then very rapidly modulates brake line pressure. By creating this pumping motion in the brake line pressure, it allows the wheels to continue rotating and thus allows the driver to retain steering control under maximum braking effort.
Wheels and Tires
The Legend Sedan Land LS and the Legend Coupe L are equipped with cast-alloy 6.5 JJ x 15 wheels, fitted with 205/60R-15 91V V-rated tires. The Legend Coupe LS and the Legend Sedan GS feature 6.5 JJ x 16-inch alloy wheels with Michelin XGT-V4 All Season 215/55 R16 91V tires. The tire package offered on the Coupe LS and the Sedan GS has been specially developed to provide a more responsive, sporting feel, enhanced cornering performance, and added steering precision.