Spied: 2011 Acura RL rear-wheel-drive sedan test mule

The Acura RL received a facelift a few months ago in preparation for the 2009 model year, but that hasn't stopped Acura engineers from proceeding full speed ahead with a complete redesign for the 2011 model year. The all-new RL will be the first ever Acura to use a rear-wheel-drive platform as its basis. Our newest spy photos show a test mule for the new chassis, with body components donated from the new TSX.

Recent rumors also indicate the car will come equipped with Acura's first ever V8 -- a 420 horsepower 4.8-liter range-topping unit. Other more economical engines are also expected to be offered. An optional RWD-based version of Honda's SH-AWD system is expected to be offered.

The RWD nature of this car is plain to see. Take note of the large space between the front door and the front wheel, for example. While the test mule pictured looks like a Frankenstein TSX, the final RL will have completely new styling unique to it. Since the Advanced Sedan Concept was unpopular to say the least, designers are believed to have gone back to the drawing board.