2000 Acura 3.5 RL -- Introduction
The Acura 3.5RL is the flagship sedan of the Acura lineup. The product of an intensive research and development effort in which every nuance of the interface between driver and car was examined, the 3.5RL luxury sedan takes Acura to a new level of comfort, performance, refinement and human engineering. At the same time, the 3.5RL delivers an engaging driving experience with the confident handling, immediate response, advanced safety engineering and high levels of performance Acura drivers have come to expect.
Dramatic improvements in comfort, ergonomics, noise, vibration and harshness performance have made it the quietest, smoothest, most refined Acura ever built. The 3.5RL is a world-class luxury sedan, competing with the likes of Mercedes E Class, BMW 5- series, Audi A6, Lexus GS 300/400 and LS 400, and the Infiniti Q45.
The 3.5RL is powered by the largest engine with the most torque ever produced in an Acura sedan. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine develops its peak torque at an extraordinarily low 2800 rpm, giving immediate throttle response, authoritative acceleration and the on-demand power typical of a big-bore V-8, but with the light weight and packaging efficiency of a V-6.
In 1999, the Acura 3.5RL benefited from more than 300 modifications yielding significant advances in handling precision and ride quality, styling, passenger comfort, refinement and value.
The changes included an aggressively styled new exterior, and a more rigid chassis structure carried on retuned suspension and stopped by enlarged front disc brakes. On the safety front, Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps became standard equipment, along with driver and front passenger side airbags featuring innovative occupant-detection technology in the front passenger's seat. The passenger-side front airbag also benefited from a new dual-stage inflator.
Also, beginning in 1999, the 3.5RL has been offered only in one fully equipped trim level, with a greatly expanded list of standard luxury amenities including the HomeLink remote control system, heated front seats and door mirrors, six-disc CD changer, automatic day/night rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped magnesium-cast steering wheel with floating horn pad, sun visor extenders, and an illuminated center console utility box with 12-volt accessory power outlet and newly designed retractable cup holders.
For 2000, the 3.5RL's refinement continues, with the arrival of Acura's highly sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system as standard equipment, an easier-to-use and more capable optional DVD Acura Navigation System, and compliance with strict Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) environmental standards.
GENERAL CONCEPTS AND GOALS
The Acura 3.5RL is designed to provide:
- An unprecedented level of comfort along with top-rank driver and passenger amenities.
- The smoothest, most compliant ride of any Acura ever built, balanced with predictable, sure-footed handling and the security of a new Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system.
- The concept of "human linearity" taken to new heights; the subjective feelings and intuitive responses of drivers and passengers have been given top priority in all major engineering decisions.
- A torquey, highly responsive V-6 engine that gives the immediate acceleration, low-rpm power and overall performance typical of a V-8, but with the lightweight packaging efficiency and fuel economy of an advanced V-6.
- A subtle, roomy, "open-feeling" interior design along with a state-of-the-art Acura/Bose ® music system and other top-rank amenities.
- Air conditioning and automatic climate-control
- The strongest, most rigid sedan unit-body structure in Acura history, using a high percentage of two-sided galvanized steel for excellent durability and corrosion protection.
- A high level of advanced safety engineering, including dual front air bags with a dual stage passenger air bag, driver and front passenger side air bags with occupant sensor system, front seat belt pretensioners, front-door hip and shoulder pads and advances in interior padding, and Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights.
- Bold exterior styling, using a prominent grille and high, wide "shoulder lines" for a distinctive Acura look and feel, coupled with excellent aerodynamic performance with an emphasis on low levels of lift, predictable handling in gusty conditions and low wind noise at high speed.
- Environmentally friendlier construction, with non-CFC R-134a refrigerant and components designed and labeled for easy recycling.
The Acura 3.5RL is available exclusively as a four-door sedan in a single trim level featuring a full complement of standard luxury features and amenities.
Every 3.5RL is equipped with an all-aluminum, 3.5 liter, single-overhead camshaft V-6 engine with four valves per cylinder, producing 210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm and 224 lb-ft of torque @ 2800 rpm. Direct ignition, Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and a three-stage Variable Induction System enhance drivability, low-end response and overall performance. A balancer shaft is used to eliminate primary couple vibration, resulting in extremely smooth engine operation at any rpm. For 2000, the 3.5RL meets stringent LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) standards.
A four-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission is standard. "Grade Logic Control" software is used for improved acceleration and reduced gear "hunting" while driving uphill and to enhance engine braking on downhills. A gated shifter is used to give the driver a more intuitive sense of shifter position.
The 3.5RL features a front-wheel-drive powertrain design for lighter weight, enhanced packaging efficiency and handling stability. Four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension ensures optimum balance of precise handling and luxury ride quality. Special low-friction joints and dampers provide improved ride compliance while hydraulic bushings are used in the rear suspension for reduced road noise. Four-wheel disc brakes with ventilated front rotors provide excellent stopping, and an Acura-designed four-wheel ABS is provided as standard equipment. New for 2000 is a sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system that's specifically tuned to enhance the cornering and acceleration performance of the powerful front-wheel drive vehicle.
The unit-body chassis of the 3.5RL is engineered for excellent bending and torsional rigidity for improved handling precision, a more solid feel and optimal isolation of undesirable noise and vibration.
Significantly upgraded for 2000, an available satellite-linked Acura Navigation System employs GPS and gyroscope locating systems to provide audio and visual guidance. The new DVD format system has 14-times greater data capacity to speed route calculation time, while the big new seven-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) unit is mounted in the upper section of the center console for easy viewing.
The 3.5RL comes equipped with an unusually long list of standard luxury features, including an interior trimmed with soft leather and burled Tendo-camphor wood; an acoustically tuned eight-speaker Acura/Bose® audio system with AM/FM stereo, cassette and six-disc trunk mounted CD changer; HomeLink® remote control system; automatic climate control system; heated front seats; slide and tilt moon roof; rear-seat pass-through with ski boot; power tilt and telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel; power seats, windows and door locks; a two-program memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and mirror positioning; auto on/off HID headlights; 16-inch cast-alloy wheels; remote keyless entry and security system; and an anti theft electronic vehicle immobilizer system.