High-Tech Cars for '05
Thinking about trading in the old
Malibu for something jazzier? The 2005 Acura RL and the 2005
Audi A6 take automotive technology to such new heights that they
make most other cars seem like horse-drawn carts. I took both
cars for extended drives and checked out their high-tech
equipment. These are just a few of the features that you
probably won't find on your old boat.
Walk up with the remote in your pocket and
touch the door handle; the door unlocks. You also don't need to
pull out the remote to start the car; just turn a knob on the
With a 300-horsepower V6 engine, the RL seemed
plenty quick, but still land-bound. You can, however, shift it
manually via Formula 1-style paddles behind the left and right
steering wheel spokes.
The RL uses the onboard GPS and a solar
sensor to calculate the position of the sun and adjust the fan
speed to compensate for heating from direct sunlight.
Featured are a ten-speaker Bose
surround-sound system; a six-disc in-dash changer that plays
DVD-Audio, SACD, and MP3 CDs; and XM satellite radio. Sound
quality is phenomenal, aided by a very powerful amplifier.
The RL displays satellite-based real-time traffic
information on its 8-inch LCD, providing info on accidents,
construction, and traffic speed in 20 metro areas. Too bad it
doesn't work with the car's GPS system to direct you around
jams. The nav system responds to voice commands, as do the audio
and climate-control systems.