Leftlanenews.com has posted what seems to be an Acura test car that features a long bonnet signifying a longitudinal engine placement… Or in lament term, the engine is front to back, a typical engine placement for a rear wheel drive cars. This clear Acura Frankenstein car is predicted by Leftlanenews.com crew to be the 2010 Acura RL. More witty comments and link to pictures after the click.
Out of respect for LeftLaneNews.com and fear of digital copyright thingie, the pictures of the test mule will be smaller here, you guys can check out larger pictures of the test mule from the original link here. Now that’s done, let’s read some witty comments and analysis of the test mule.
It’s a no brainer really, the car is an Acura. No shit man… How do you tell? Are you psychic or something? Well, it’s obvious they are taking Acura TSX (Accord Euro) and stretch the trunk and bonnet area. Let’s take a look at the original car and the car in disguise. First let’s take it from the front…
Wow? Wow… Not much of a different, are you sure this is a rear wheel drive test mule car? From the front it doesn’t much different at all… Are you sure this is not a recycle picture? You seem to recycle a lot of picture. Okay, now let’s take a look from the side.
A Ha! Now there’s a biiiiiiiig difference between the test mule and the original car. The bonnet is longer, so does the trunk. Like any good rear wheel drive cars, the distance between the door opening and the front wheel arch is very distinguishable. This is because the engine is placed front to back (longitudinal) to allow perfect alignment with the transmission and crankshaft that will deliver power to the rear wheel. The current Acura TSX features a sideway mounted engine (transverse) that is typical for a front wheel drive car. This mule again shows how versatile Honda platforms are. First, the fat Accord platform was used as a mule for SH-AWD system featured in Honda Legend/Acura RL, Acura MDX, and Acura RDX. Now, again the Accord (Euro) which uses the same platform as the fat one is packed with a rear wheel drive system, something that is north and south pole like in real world. I wonder if the S2000 rear axle is used on the test mule… Considering it is the only front engine rear wheel drive car available to Honda (the NSX is rear midship)
It has been stated before by so many online and media publication that Acura is dead serious about making their brand inline with the top brands. They even admitted that Acura is still behind its competitor and just recently announced a plan to be a 1st tier brand. Becoming a first tier brand got to mean making available a product choice that is similar to other first tier brands (Mercedez, BMW, Lexus, etc). With the so called first tier brands featuring a rear- wheel- drive- full- size- top- of- the- line- no- holds- barred- everything- but- the- kitchen- sink- sedan, Acura will have to follow suit. It’s about following the trend and not wanting to change the established perception. Acura tried for soooooo long now, trying to change the perception that luxury can also be mixed with sensibility… But it didn’t work, and as the first Japanese brand to create its first ever luxury division in North America… Honda has failed so horribly with the Acura.
Honda doesn’t want to follow “the plea of the rich” whereby they have the money to burn and doesn’t care about fuel consumption and practicality. The rich and famous wants to burn fuel like they have no children… Honda says, Acura V6 is enough for you. The rich and famous wants to show bling-bling, Honda says, Acura bland styling is enough… Hey, you are driving the car, not looking it from outside. The rich and famous wants crazy antics and stuff they can’t use properly, Honda says, a four wheel drive system is enough. To hell with what Honda says, the rich and famous demands, and they couldn’t get it from Acura. So they go to the brand that listens… Toyota with their Lexus.
Lexus LS, a gas guzzling engine, producing torque that could move hills upside down. An automatic parallel parking system, a powered rear seat like in those Maybachs, a freaking 19 speaker systems, and a kitchen sink in trunk! (I’m joking about that one, but it’s a nice point). These are the amenities the rich and famous seeks, they want to indulge themselves, indulging in the best of money can buy. Well.. Currently, Acura cars except for MDX, are not the best of a case full of dead president faces can buy. You have the TL-RL fiasco, a similar car and a confused product planner (The RL is Japanese Honda Legend while the TL is an in house Acura design). You have the TSX, oh well, a rebadged Honda Accord Euro with maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany of its fancy features removed. The RDX, well… I don’t have much to say about the car, it’s good, but the turbo engine really needs direct injection to return better mileage. The NSX… Dead. Only the MDX currently holds the pinnacle of advancement Acura has to offer.
When Edmunds.com mention about next generation Acura RL will offer a V8 and a rear wheel biased Super Handling All Wheel Drive system, I just laugh and becoming bitter because it will never be done. But the proof is in the pudding some say! And this bad mix of raw ingredients, hope and tears is what it is… A fact. The first straight fact is that the car will be a rear wheel driven. Like the previous article, I mentioned that a 4WD system is a plug-in system. Therefore, a rear wheel biased 4WD system is a rear wheel drive car without the additional 2 tires powered by the engine. Now only the engine that is still in the wild. I know and anybody knows that Honda is making a 5 liter V10 engine for its next supercar. However, the rumors insist that the new Acura FR flagship sedan will have a V8 producing power that decimates the competition. A 4.8L V8 producing 420 horsepower is above every single V8 engine currently in production (Lexus LS 4.6L V8 (380 hp), Mercedes S-Class 5.5L V8 (382 hp), and Audi A8 4.2L V8 (350 hp))
It is actually very doable… Honda might really coming to the top Rambo style with gun a blazing and dramatic music (imagine John Woo film with George Lucas and Michael Bay, featuring Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a bunch of transforming robot ninjas, the justice league, Indiana Jones and Drew Barrymore with special appearance by Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and me).
Acura appearance back home in Japan is postponed by Honda, and it really affect the dealer morale. However, It’s very understandable. Lexus is not doing well back home, people are confused about why suddenly my Toyota Altezza is renamed to Lexus IS and now priced exuberantly high!?!?!? Gawd damn it! I want a continuation of this car! Why is my Toyota Celsior is now called Lexus LS and kills my bank account??!! Why is my beautiful Toyota Aristo is now called Lexus GS? Why is my Toyota Harrier is now called Lexus RX, why is my… etc… etc. It’s about changing names that people don’t get it with the Lexus. They are used to buying Toyota cars, a sensible car. Now it’s called a Lexus and Toyota expect people to pay more?? Hell no they won’t. It’s already perceived that Toyota = everyday car, Lexus = Toyota, Toyota =/= luxury brand. I see that Honda is dodging this perceived threat and wanted to come back home with products that is distinctly Acura.
The Acura has now the TL, the MDX, and the RDX that is truly Acura original. A second coming of Acura RL as an Acura not a rebadged Honda Legend might be the defining product that will cemented Acura place as a pure luxury automaker. There is the problem with Accord Euro as Acura TSX, but I’m betting the Acura version will have SH-AWD turbo or large V6 under the hood. In the end, do remember… The proposed V8 ful size sedan is due 2010… And what do you know, Acura release in Japan is the same year. Coincidence? Only time will tell.
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