2003 Acura 3.5 RL -- Introduction

As the flagship sedan in the Acura lineup, the 2003 RL boasts impressive levels of power, handling and luxury, allowing it to compete easily with the Mercedes E320, BMW 530i, Audi 3.0 A6, and Lexus GS 300.

The RL's 3.5-liter V-6 engine is the biggest engine to have ever powered an Acura sedan. This potent powerplant generates 225 horsepower while at the same time, delivering impressive fuel efficiency and low tailpipe emissions. The RL is classified by the EPA as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV).

A firm, enthusiast-oriented suspension enhances the 2003 RL's handling responsiveness and stability. Wide wheels and tires enhance cornering grip, while a speed-sensitive, power-steering system improves handling feel. For superb control in all driving situations, the RL is equipped with Acura's highly sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, which helps provide both traction control and stability assistance.

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) are kept to minimum levels through extensive use of insulation in the engine compartment and under the dash.

A standard OnStar® system provides drivers with 24-hour voice access to a live OnStar advisor, who can provide emergency assistance. An available OnStar route guidance concierge and a Virtual Advisor feature allow the driver to obtain news updates and sports scores and even listen to e-mail using a hands-free, voice-activated Internet connection.

Outside, the 2003 RL gets a new taillight lens with a clear turn signal portion, redesigned alloy wheels and three new colors.

The 3.5 RL comes fully equipped. Standard features include leather seating surfaces, a power moonroof, an Acura/Bose Music System with six-disc CD changer, an Automatic Climate Control System, heated front seats and door mirrors, and the HomeLink® remote control system.

For 2003, the RL gets a new interior color, Slate, as well as three new wood trim colors Auburn Camphor, Golden Camphor and Black Camphor.

Also available is the DVD-based Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System, which offers route guidance to almost any destination in the continental United States and information on more than 3.7 million points of interest.

The high-performance, technologically advanced 2003 Acura 3.5 RL provides:

  • A potent, refined, four-valves-per-cylinder engine, delivering 225 horsepower
  • A highly tuned suspension system for responsive handling
  • A bold exterior style, using a prominent, pentagonal grille and high, wide "shoulder lines" for a distinctive Acura look and feel, coupled with excellent aerodynamic performance, created, in part, by lower side sills that help reduce lift and provide stability in gusty wind conditions and at high speeds.
  • A spacious interior feel and sophisticated amenities, including a state-of-the-art Acura/Bose" Music System, an Automatic Climate Control system, and other best-in-class amenities
  • The added control of a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system
  • The latest in safety advances and technology, including a dual-stage front-passenger's air bag, driver's and front passenger's side air bags with occupant height and position sensors in the front passenger's seat, and front seat belt pretensioners
  • High levels of noise isolation
  • The OnStar in-vehicle communications system

The Acura 3.5 RL combines engineering excellence with an array of state-of-the-art standard luxury features and amenities.

The 2003 model is powered by an all-aluminum, 3.5-liter, single-overhead-camshaft, V-6 engine with four-valves-per-cylinder that delivers an impressive 225 horsepower. Direct ignition, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), a three-stage Variable Induction System, and a variable silencer combine to enhance drivability, low- and high-end response, and overall performance. A balancer shaft eliminates primary couple vibration, resulting in extremely smooth engine operation at any rpm. The V-6 performs so efficiently it qualifies the RL for Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) status.

Complementing the powerplant is an electronically controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission that uses Acura's innovative Grade Logic Control system to provide exceptional shifting smoothness. Grade Logic Control greatly reduces gear "hunting" when driving uphill and enhances engine braking on downhill slopes. A gated shifter gives the driver an intuitive sense of shifter position.

The front-wheel drive powertrain design provides lighter weight, enhanced packaging efficiency, and handling stability. The 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension has been carefully tuned to deliver handling quickness and stability without sacrificing the RL's renowned ride quality. Special low-friction suspension joints and dampers provide superb ride compliance while hydraulic bushings in the rear suspension reduce road noise. For 2003, the RL is fitted with redesigned alloy wheels with a new polished-look finish.

The steel unit-body chassis of the 3.5 RL is lightweight yet extremely rigid, offering superb resistance to vibration while also providing a firm platform on which to maximize the performance of the suspension system.

The RL offers the very latest in safety advances and technology, including a dual-stage, front-passenger's air bag, driver's and front passenger's side air bags with occupant height and position sensors in the front passenger's seat, and front seat belt pretensioners.

The OnStar system offers the latest in-car communications and services available.

The available Acura DVD-Based Satellite-Linked Navigation System - which incorporates a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, an on-board inertial guidance system, and a detailed mapping database that stores route information for the continental United States on a single high-density DVD - can guide the driver to virtually any destination with ease and precision. The 7-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen is mounted in the upper section of the center console for easy viewing

The 3.5 RL comes equipped with an unusually long list of standard luxury features, including an interior trimmed with soft leather and burled camphor wood; an acoustically tuned, eight-speaker Acura/Bose® Music System (including a six-disc, trunk mounted CD changer), a HomeLink™ remote control system; an automatic climate control system; and a slide and tilt power moonroof. For 2003, the RL is available with a new interior color, Slate, and with three new interior wood trim finishes, Black Camphor, Golden Camphor and Auburn Camphor.

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