Honda has announced plans to put the Acura RL out of its misery after this year. It’s no surprise. The RL was, supposedly, Acura’s top-of-the-line flagship sedan here in the States. It only carried a V6, but got a lot out of it, and with its remarkable torque-vectoring SH-AWD system, it could corner at high speed with barely any body roll. Tracking an RL was always a unique experience — 140 mph felt like 30 mph, and those heated and cooled seats made it seem serene and luxurious even at the limit.
But it looked like a big Honda. From 2002. Acura has produced some interesting designs in recent years, but it always kept its most expensive car looking very quiet and suburban and normal and invisible.
The more aggressively-styled TL offers all of the same technology at a lower price, and love it or hate it, it looks unique.
Honda also announced plans to kill of the gas-powered Civic in Japan, selling only the hybrid model there. A sign of the future?