A flagship Honda Legend saloon – based on this new high-tech Acura RL shown at the New York show – will return to the UK line-up next autumn.
The BMW 5-series-sized saloon packs a 300bhp punch from a new 3.5-litre V6 and drives all four wheels with a high-tech transmission dubbed SH-AWD (Super Handling-All-Wheel Drive).
In its styling it is one of the first cars to draw influence – perhaps bravely – from the controversial BMW 7-series, with a toned-down version of the German car’s boot treatment.
With compact front and rear overhangs and a wide stance, the new Legend will be the sportiest and most attractive flagship that Honda has imported to the UK.
The new V6 has a 60-degree vee and is mounted transversely. The current Legend (RL in the US market) has a longitudinal 3.5-litre V6 with a wider, 90-degree vee. Thanks to the better package of the transverse V6, the Legend squeezes in more cabin space, despite a shorter overall length.
But the clever stuff in the flagship Honda is the four-wheel-drive system. It employs a planetary gearbox ahead of the rear differential to divert extra torque to the outer wheels, which Honda claims as a world first.