Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Sedan
Apr 23, 2004 (8:31 am)
I find it amusing when people focus so much on weight bias (on paper) without considering how the chassis is set up and how the car actually performs.
Shifting weight from front to rear does not guarantee a shift from understeer to oversteer (most rear heavy cars like NSX, Porsches do not oversteer easily, in fact they understeer until pushed). This is where suspension setup can play a role.
In its compact platform (RSX), Acura uses “reactive link” double wishbone set up, and while it is not as advanced as the 5-link (Watt link) double wishbone set up in the midsize offerings (RL should have it), the purpose is to provide a passive steer. Even my 1998 Accord has it, and despite the car being nose heavy (60-40 split), the car can be made to turn the rear around under throttle while cornering. OTOH, I have tried the same on some RWD cars (Mustang) with near 50-50 split, but they tend to understeer more (with a tendency to snap oversteer, not good).
And how does it matter an AWD is based on a FWD or RWD platform? As long as it works, and works well, who cares! Audi Quattro (and Subaru AWD) may have been designed for implementation in cars that were front drivers, but that does not take away anything from how they actually perform.
By making AWD standard in the RL, Acura has managed to appeal to audience that would be wary of RWD, those that prefer AWD, and those that would have otherwise dismissed it as a front driver. And that’s good! But as I mentioned earlier, Acura went a step further and implemented the system better than anybody anticipated (at least on paper for now).
#2108 of 7386 andrewtran71 #664
Apr 23, 2004 (8:35 am)
2001 Acura CL-S could do 0-60 in 5.8s. 2004 TL has done it as well. But thats not the end of it, is it? Based on early rumors, RL is expected to weigh around 3750 lb. Would be nice if it does. That would make it lighter than the current RL with a lot more power and features! I anticipate a 0-60 run of 6.5s, and thats not bad, because in some tests, LS430 has achieved the same.
#2109 of 7386 Re: [robertsmx #667] -- words so nice, worth reading twice!
Apr 23, 2004 (9:33 am)
This is so good, it bears repeating:
"By making AWD standard in the RL, Acura has managed to appeal to audience that would be wary of RWD, those that prefer AWD, and those that would have otherwise dismissed it as a front driver. And that’s good! But as I mentioned earlier, Acura went a step further and implemented the system better than anybody anticipated (at least on paper for now)."
By the same token, I now find the Chrysler 300C and the Cadillac STS and the upcoming BMW 5 series also coming in AWD, now are worthy of my shopping list.
The Acura's implementation, as noted -- on paper -- would appear to be a technological leader, too.
#2110 of 7386 Re: [robertsmx #667]
Apr 23, 2004 (10:28 am)
By comparing weight distribution, I assume the suspension setup are equally capable no matter they are d-wishbone or multi-link. Granted, weight distribution alone won't cut it. You must agree that given the same suspension setup, I would take 50/50 for neutral steering and sharp turn-in/out. I didn't ignore suspension, just assume they are equal during comparison. Just to clarify.
On a side note, NSX has been well-known on race tracks for being an over-steerer due to its heavy tail of course. Suspension can only compensate so much within its limit. Beyond that pure physics takes over.
Apr 23, 2004 (10:30 am)
No offense to mopar people, but I give the 300C a big fat "meh". .77g on the skidpad. Thats hardly the kind of "agile dancer" status that a 5 series or possibly the new RL has. Yes it has a ton of horsepower for the money. So does the the GTO. Horsepower without any kind of cornering ability is just a glorified Camaro.
Yes Andrew the LS430 is S500 quick, and in the past its sole mission has been a cloud to seperate you from the world and get you where you are going and FAST. However, the '04 car with the 18" wheels and the sport suspension is.. gasp.. FUN to drive.
Apr 23, 2004 (11:03 am)
But usually suspension is not equal. They are designed to match the chassis. A 50-50 split does not guarantee a sharp turn-in/quick/balanced response. The rest of the chassis must help.
NSX generally understeers, and it might take turning off the traction control to induce oversteer on power. IMO, though, mid engine/RWD layout is the best bet for responsive steering and fun ride. Optimum for braking (weight shifts front), acceleration (weight shifts to the rear) and of course, low polar moment with the single most heavy item... the engine/transmission right in the middle of the chassis.
To keep this on topic, don't we wish RL was the production version of Acura DNX (Honda Dual Note)? (Dual Note was mid engined sedan, but with AWD using electric motors)
#2113 of 7386 Re: bragging rights [andrewtran71 #664] by ceric
Apr 23, 2004 (11:13 am)
Yeah, alright. I agree. It's not fair to compare the LS to the RL. They are not even in the same class.
I have test driven the GS300. I guess the RL should be compared to that, although I think the GS is still a lot quieter and more cushioned on the steering wheel.
I don't know. It just cracks me up when those Acura sales people tell me that the the LS 430 is the primary competitor of the RL and how the RL is a luxury cruiser like the LS.
Yeah, I'm not into performance driving. I guess Acura not being a huge company can only afford to please a certain crowd. Lexus/Toyota is a much bigger company so they try to please a wider variety.
#2114 of 7386 2006 is going to be so exciting
Apr 23, 2004 (11:13 am)
I am going to get a new car in 2006 because both Corvette, and RL have come out more than 1 year, and the new BMW 4 series arrival(Man, I sure would like to get the new M4). I like BMW for its legendary chassis and handling, Corvette's unbeatable value in its class, yet I think I am going to get the new RL for its quality as I will own the car for next 10 years. On top of all this, the hybrid is going to change the auto industry if they can perform on par or even better than its counterparts.
It is so exciting.
Apr 23, 2004 (11:35 am)
Just to clarify... When I wrote that the RL was being fitted with AWD to silence the "we want RWD" crowd, I didn't mean to imply that it was purely a PR move.
No, no, no. SH-AWD has the potential to be a huge factor in how well the car performs.
What I was writing about was the lack of a non-AWD model. If Acura produced a FWD version without SH-AWD, then the PR might read, "A great car, but only if you buy it with with SH-AWD." By making it AWD-only, they eliminate any qualifications. The same PR reads, "A great car. Period."
Apr 23, 2004 (11:53 am)
Someone asked about the system employed in the SH-AWD system to distribute torque. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mystery to me. I can describe it's function, but not how it achieves the results.
Honda has a gizmo ahead of the rear differential (more or less part of the diffy), which they call an acceleration device. This is what allows the front axle to be driven at a different speed than the rear axle. It also adjusts the power output from a default 70/30 bias to 30/70 based on yaw sensors, steering input, tire slippage, and throttle position.
Another part of the differential (between the rear half-shafts) takes care of directing torque away from the inside wheel and pushing the outside wheel faster. They commplish this using wet multi-plate clutch packs and electromagnetic couplings to pull those clutches together. These eletromagnetic couplings are one of the items that Honda claims is a "world's first" for AWD design.