The Acura RL is undergoing a mid-model refresh in Japan, where it is known as the Honda Legend.
As far as we can tell from Honda's Japanese release (thanks, Google Translate), the Legend will soon be getting a six-speed automatic transmission. That transmission will pair to the 3.7-liter V-6 producing 300 horsepower in the U.S. version, with SH-AWD.
The 2010 RL is rated 16/22 mpg city/highway. When the MDX -- with the same engine -- received the six-speed automatic, mileage improved by 1 mpg in the city and on the highway.
The other news for the JDM Acura RL is new technology involving the 18-inch wheels you see in the photo of the silver Legend. Honda says the wheels reduce tire noise. We'd hesitate to explain the technology using the jumbled English in the translated release, but an advancement making the RL quieter could help distinguish the car from the larger, more powerful, and less expensive TL sedan.
Honda hopes to sell just 600 Honda Legends per year in Japan, according to the release. For a comparison, the Acura RL has sold 1477 units through the first nine months of 2010.
Acura has yet to offer any information on the 2011 RL, which is also not yet rated by the EPA for mileage. A six-speed automatic is possibly in the cards for the 2011 RL. Do you think Acura will also include the noise silencer wheel technology?