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 |  Oct 27 2010, 8:00 AM

First there were rumors that Honda would axe the Acura RL, and then came the official word that it wouldn’t, but here is the first sign that the RL continues to carry on – even if the car has become irrelevant.

While it’s not official for North America, Honda in Japan has announced that the Acura RL (still sold as the Legend there) will get a refresh for the 2012 model year that includes a new 6-speed automatic transmission. This may help the RL pick up a few extra buyers as the added gear should help improve both fuel economy and acceleration. Then again, perhaps its just a bigger sign of how irrelevant the RL is when the supposed luxury car is only now getting a 6-speed transmission – something Ford offers on the $13,000 Fiesta.

A selection of other upgrades and trim changes for the RL are made for 2012, plus it gets a unique new invention: an in-wheel silencer that is designed to absorb road imperfections.

No changes are slated for the 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 engine.

If anyone at Honda is listening, we’re certain the addition of a more Honda-like grille (rather than the Acura beak) would help sell a few extra cars here as well.

[Source: TOV]