Last post on Apr 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM
You are in the Acura RL
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Sedan
#2218 of 7385 Mark, Jeff and Lexusguy
May 05, 2004 (12:42 pm)
Well guys, I am enjoying this 'new page' in the post. I believe that we are going to set a nice tone on expressing one's opinion in the best possible way!
Going on specifics for each one of you I guess I am in agreement with what each of you is saying. We clearly give preference to those aspects of car ownership that give us the highest 'satisfaction' and we cope with the fact that probably there is no single car that can give us 'it all'. Once again is when we fine tune to select the 'balanced solution' we individually prefer that our path may diverge a bit.
I recognize the european cars give you that extra kick on fast starts and accelaration that is not easy to find in Japanese vehicles.
I agree also that the pinnacle of technical execution on a lux cruiser may belong to Lexus, but still my actual 'voting with the wallet' goes to Honda products
Not that I feel any justification is due but since we are exchanging our ideas in this post I can suggest tha part of my preference is driven by the desire to contain 'capital expenditures'.
Yep! I may also have lost some of that desire for engine tweaking (or I may have transfered that labor of love in high-end electronic gizmos, such as having my own wireless network from the party room to the swimming pool, media servers to hear my 20,000 songs (all encoded from legally bought CDs), etc).
Most certainly I go into new car buying ~ every 5 years (with a 1 year step apart for the 2 vehicles we own) and I hate to apportion more than 80K for the fleet ( I still have to send the small ones through college and all that jazz). So with that self imposed cap I really work hard to find the best bang for the back, and honestly the lure of Honda/Acura products is too strong to resist for me.
So now that I bared my soul you can see how tantalizing is to hear that for 50K I can put myself in a new RL (I will be in the market at the end of 2006, now I am enjoying my 2003 Accord EX-L) with a lot of the things I like a new tranny that can kick 70% of engine trust to the rear axle, drive like curving roads did not exist and sip on gasoline like a beach goer with his ice cold lemonade (well I am not sure this last 'figure of speach' will work for everybody but if the hydrid model comes along that lemonade may last year around! lol).
But once again I believe loving other cars outside the Honda stable is perfectly legit and I would not mind driving several of them myself. It is just that when it said and done I seem to go back to an Honda car!
May 05, 2004 (2:02 pm)
So sorry to hear that. They used to do a similar thing at my office, but I convinced the headcheese to pay into an extra "car fund" to our salaries each year, rather than continuing to buy us Ford Tauruses. EVERYONE thanked me for that. Literally overnight, the lot went from pretty much all Ford Taurus to LS (mine), XJ8, an E500, two 540is, a CLK500, and a C320. Everyone is much happier.
Steve, I absolutely agree with you, the new RL looks to be a fantastic car, the best Acura yet. (and the TL is no slouch.) I'm also very interested in the new M45. 1400% increase in front end rigidity over the G35 FM platform! Plus zero front end lift like the G (.27cd) Someone posted an Autoweek review of just an early test mule, and they were VERY impressed. Handling is supposed to be a major step up from the G. Also, the autobox has been recalibrated, with wider ratios and a shorter final drive. I smell Euro killer.
#2220 of 7385 markcincinnati
May 05, 2004 (3:29 pm)
Regarding mods and performance, honestly the cheaper Jap cars like the Civic and Supra are the favorite of modders, not the German cars.
Not too many people are going to spend $50k+ on a car, mod it out and then race it. My bro, who is a mechanic and does this stuff, tells me older generation Honda Civics are the favorite of modders b/c the shell is so light.
Lower it, put in a turbo v4/i4 and it flies. His modded Civic can hit 180 real fast and blows away McLarens and Porsches easy. Before that the VW bug was the favorite of modders because it was the lightest car around. Of course, the bug was also completely useless in a crash.
Believe it or not, the key thing to sheer speed is not the engine, it's to be light. Even a weak v4 can overpower a v8 if the car is light enough.
Luxury accoutrements in the MB and BMW like CD players, air cond, catalytic converts, etc. tack on 200 to 300 pounds of weight which directly impacts acceleration. Plus all the sound deadening materials, the thicker and higher quality but also heavier European steel used in these cars also drags down their performance.
You have to remember that the Euro sites you look at are populated by enthusiasts who are not representative of the general population. IMO, which I can't prove one way or the other, most people buying MB or BMW do so for the prestige, not for the performance.
May 05, 2004 (5:42 pm)
May 05, 2004 (6:56 pm)
You're sort of correct. Except, the Supra is not a light car. Far from it. 3,505lbs. The 3000GT was a real porker, close to 2 tons in curb weight. By contrast, a 330i is 3,285lbs. And an A4 1.8T, despite the perception of being heavy because of the AWD system, is actually only 3,252lbs. I think the reason you dont see super tuned BMWs or Audi's is because of the cost, not necessarily the weight. These cars are world renowned for their handling, so I dont think its lbs thats holding them back. The BMW and Audi badge are considered luxury brands here. In Europe, they sell every day cars, like the A3, which is probably a popular car to tune there, like the Golf is here.
Ultimately I think the reason Japanese cars are the popular ones to tune though, are because they started it first. Not that Americans havent, but a different kind of tuning, we made hotrods, they put in turbos and wing kits. Drift racing came straight from Japan.
#2223 of 7385 and the civics were dirt cheap
May 06, 2004 (6:39 am)
think back to the time when the civic si of the past (i think 88-91), crx, were so dirt cheap when handed down by parent to child or sold as second hand... so tuning made absolute sense.
as for the bmw, will i buy a 3 again? surely, will i buy a 5 or 7, ummm unsure, that's where the RL comes in.
#2224 of 7385 Re: Steve. . . [markcincinnati #772]
May 06, 2004 (7:49 am)
Brilliant post(s) markcincinnati! Your comments have added a refreshing element of logic, civility, insight, and superb prose which is, to say the least, rare on most message boards. That said, and having already placed a deposit on an 05 RL but not being the most technically or mechanically astute individual I have a question:
Is it unreasonable to expect a 300hp VTEC to wring out more that 300 ft lbs of torque below the 4000 rpm range? Is this possible? And should that be the case - would that be equal to the performance of a V8 with similar power specs? The reason I pose this question is because Honda/Acura, being keenly aware of the criticism of not having a V8 in their arsenal, just might make a statement to the automotive industry to the effect - "We've always maintained that a V6 is adequate and we shall now demonstrate the veracity of our point via the 05' RL sedan which will render moot the notional concept that V6 powered automobiles cannot keep up with and in many instances exceed the performance of V8 powered cars..." or something to that effect.
I trust my fellow readers do not find my comments too naive...but the brother has to know!
May 06, 2004 (8:02 am)
Am thinkng that the vtec will not equal horsepower with torque. Most appear to be 5-10% reduced, i.e., 300 HP w/ 280 ft lbs. at peak.
Lexusguy, could not agree with you more -- would much rather have an "allowance" than a company car, particularly a non-taxed allowance.
May 06, 2004 (8:43 am)
I assume somewhere that the HP and Torque specs are detailed. Frankly, within reason, I could care less about the number of cylinders and to a lesser extent the HP. Torque however is a different matter.
Torque is what we buy and Horsepower is what we quote. I guess the bragging rights du jour require something north of 250 HP and certainly 300HP is a number that makes for good ad copy.
However what is important is the torque curve -- somewhat even more than the actual torque.
Let's say the torque of the new engine is 250 and it reacheds that peak at 2,000 rpm. That might feel more impressive than 300 at 3,800 rpm; and, the 0-60 time would (all things being equal) probably be better for the former than the latter.
Insofar as torque and number of cylinders is concerned, I would think that a V8 engine rated at 270 foot pounds of torque 3,500RPM and HP of 300 5,500 RPM would "perform and feel the same" as a V6 with identical or very similar specifications.
The V8 is, IMHO, needed for "marketing" -- personally I don't need it for power or milage. Indeed, I have had three great V8 cars over the past 6 years -- their main contribution to my pleasure behind the wheel has been NOT from their accelerative force or any other measurable (in seconds) performance issue, rather the ONLY laudible attribute of the V8 was the sound. The sound of an Audi 4.2 V8 at wide open throttle is fantastic, humbling, impressive, grin inspiring, etc.
The funny thing is, to make the point: the Audi A6 with a 2.7T V6 250HP and 258 foot pounds of torque and a 5 speed automatic is quicker than the Audi A6 with a 4.2 V8 300HP and 295 foot pounds of torque and a 5 speed automatic.
The argument goes, "yea but. . .at speeds over 90 miles an hour, the V8 really comes into its own and is stronger than the V6." Technically true, but practically speaking, what is the point again?
The new 300HP Acura RL engine, assuming it has a usable and impressive torque curve, will have nothing to be ashamed of in the real world. But, in the "perception is reality" world that sometimes gets in the way of "real reality" well, Honda might have been advised to have engineered a V8 for no other reason than "bragging rights."
Since I do plan to keep this new Acura on my short list, I can only speak for myself, I will not delist the Acura simply by virtue of its lack of two extra cylinders.
For the fun of it, take a look at the Volvo S60 Type R 6spd manual: AWD, 300HP, 295 foot pounds of torque (below 2,000 RPM) from a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder -- and a pretty sweet sounding one at that (well, until you get past about 5,500 rpms, where it starts to sound a little, uh, "coarse.")
As Mel Brooks says, "it's all about moichendizing. . ."
May 06, 2004 (9:41 am)
RL is likely going to get a revised version of the 3.5-liter V6 unit found in the MDX. Now, in MDX, the engine delivers 265 HP 5800 rpm and 253 lb.-ft 3500 to 5000 rpm (90% or more of torque is available from 2000 rpm).
So, at low thru mid range, the engine output should be the same if not better. The gain will be from mid range and above. A broader (and slightly higher) torque curve will be responsible for the additional 35 HP or so. But being lighter (by 700 lb. compared to MDX), the feel would be different. Iím guessing that the peak torque output would be rated 260 lb.-ft. And, 90% or so of it will be available at 2000 rpm.
So, torque is going to be near the top compared to its six-cylinder competition. But, 300 HP would close to the sedans with V8 competition. IMO, as much is a V8 about bragging rights, so is having horsepower as well. And thatís okay.