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Recently spotted at the Nürburgring is this prototype sedan, identified by the European press as the next-generation Honda Legend - sold in the U.S. as the Acura RL.

The current Acura RL has conservative, upright styling with a tall front grille, flat roofline, and a traditional boxy shape. Even though the prototype is heavily disguised, one can clearly see the all-new, stylish shape of the new RL. Note the low front hoodline and the very rounded shape of the front end. Also note the very short trunk lid, giving the car a sporty "long hood, short trunk" style. The low-profile tires on large aluminum wheels hint at a transformation from conservative to sporty for the new RL.

There is speculation that the new RL may upgrade from V-6 engines to V-8, or that it may go from front-wheel drive to four-wheel drive, but these are just unconfirmed rumors at this time. The new model is expected as a 2005 model.

source:TCC
 

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Finally! How old is the current RL? But they seem to be going the way of the S class Benz: smaller and smaller and smaller... :(

Unless Honda makes more amazing breakthroughs in efficient motors, AWD is still a bit much for a crusin' sedan.
 

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I read that they confirmed 4WD with control over front and rear axles and left/right wheels(first ever?)
Drawing:

 

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can't see much from the heavily disguised prototype -- it should be awesome since the TL has raised the bar pretty high in terms of styling and performance.
I owned the last generation Legend and it was one of my favorite cars, before the RL made it less sporty and more Buick-like.

I thought the next generation RL will be introduced alongside the next generation NSX, since there were rumours that they might share similar engines. I hope it's worth the long wait.
 

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As is, I don't like it at all.
 

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HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!!!

http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=219695

Don't try to link off vtec.net. They won't let you and you'll get the red X.

New York 04/07/2004 -- Powertrain
1. World's first Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive System(TM) (SH-AWD(TM))
2. 3.5 liter VTEC V-6 engine
3. 300 horsepower
4. 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted F1(R)-style paddle shifters
5. LEV2-ULEV emissions system

Body/Chassis
1. 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension
2. 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-piston calipers and slotted rotors
3. 20-inch alloy wheels with 255/35R20 Michelin high performance tires
4. Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), which features low beams that swivel based on steering wheel input for increased illumination
5. Aluminum and high tensile steel construction

Interior
1. AcuraLink(TM) Satellite-Based Communication System
2. Leather - trimmed interior
3. Genuine wood trim
4. Acura/Bose(R) DVD-Audio system
5. HandsFreeLink' wireless telephone interface
6. XM(R) Satellite Radio
7. OnStar(R) service
8. Acura Keyless Access System(TM)

Safety
1. Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE(TM)) body structure
2. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA(R))
3. Front, side and side curtain air bag systems

Dimensions
1. Length - 193.5 inches, 4915mm
2. Width - 72.6 inches, 1845 mm
3. Height - 57.1 inches, 1450 mm
4. Wheelbase - 110.2 inches, 2800 mm
 

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hoypinoy1234 said:
HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!!!

http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=219695

Don't try to link off vtec.net. They won't let you and you'll get the red X.

New York 04/07/2004 -- Powertrain
1. World's first Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive System(TM) (SH-AWD(TM))
2. 3.5 liter VTEC V-6 engine
3. 300 horsepower
4. 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted F1(R)-style paddle shifters
5. LEV2-ULEV emissions system

Body/Chassis
1. 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension
2. 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-piston calipers and slotted rotors
3. 20-inch alloy wheels with 255/35R20 Michelin high performance tires
4. Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), which features low beams that swivel based on steering wheel input for increased illumination
5. Aluminum and high tensile steel construction

Interior
1. AcuraLink(TM) Satellite-Based Communication System
2. Leather - trimmed interior
3. Genuine wood trim
4. Acura/Bose(R) DVD-Audio system
5. HandsFreeLink' wireless telephone interface
6. XM(R) Satellite Radio
7. OnStar(R) service
8. Acura Keyless Access System(TM)

Safety
1. Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE(TM)) body structure
2. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA(R))
3. Front, side and side curtain air bag systems

Dimensions
1. Length - 193.5 inches, 4915mm
2. Width - 72.6 inches, 1845 mm
3. Height - 57.1 inches, 1450 mm
4. Wheelbase - 110.2 inches, 2800 mm
Its a shame this car has a lot to offer but falls short from the design in the picture. Guess I'll have to check it out next week at the NY Auto show.
 
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