HEADLINES

RL Prototype Highlights New ACE™ Body Structure For Enhanced Safety
Crash Compatibility Body Designed For Greater Safety in Collisions Between Vehicles of Differing Size, Weight and Structural Design

The Acura RL Prototype, which debuted today at the New York International Auto Show features the innovative Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure. This unique new design enhances protection of occupants during a frontal collision, while reducing aggressivity to other vehicles. The ACE structure will make its Acura debut on the 2005 RL luxury performance sedan, which will be introduced this fall.

The ACE body structure takes vehicle front frame construction beyond conventional safety protocols -- such as the NHTSA NCAP 35 mph frontal barrier test or the IIHS 40 mph off-set frontal crash -- to deliver significantly enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions, especially those involving a frontal collision between vehicles of differing heights, weights and frame construction.

The ACE structure uses the engine compartment to efficiently absorb and disperse collision energy during a vehicle-to-vehicle collision. It features a new frame structure composed of a highly efficient energy-absorbing main frame, a bulkhead (upper frame) which absorbs the upper part of the collision energy, and a lower member that helps prevent misalignment of the frames of the vehicles involved. This design disperses collision forces over a larger frontal area, which enhances energy absorption of the engine compartment, reduces the chance of deformation of the passenger compartment and results in enhanced occupant protection. At the same time, by reducing the chance of vertical or lateral misalignment between the RL and other vehicle's safety structures, ACE reduces the RL's aggressivity toward other vehicles during a frontal collision.

During a frontal collision, a conventional body structure generally concentrates the loads from the impact through two pathways running longitudinally through the lower portion of the frame. The ACE structure's front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways - and away from the passenger compartment.

The ACE body structure is a crucial new component of Acura's ongoing commitment to the concept of Safety For Everyone, which seeks to provide high levels of occupant protection for all Acura vehicles as well as reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles and increased safety for pedestrians.

In addition to the application of the ACE body structure, Acura will implement the following safety technology:

  • All Acura vehicles will feature Front Side Airbags and Side Curtain Airbags as standard equipment before the end of calendar year 2006.
  • Acura will further expand the use of technologies to reduce injuries to pedestrians including specially designed hood structures, front frame construction and breakaway wiper pivots.

For media inquiries regarding the ACE body structure, Safety for Everyone or any Acura vehicle, please visit www.acuranews.com