Acura has made it clear it wants to be a top tier luxury brand but to do this it will need to change its lineup to suit the tastes of wealthy buyers, who more often than not demand RWD cars with powerful V8 engines.

That’s why for its next-generation RL sedan due in 2010 Acura will make the car RWD and add a new V8 option. The information comes from an inside source who told Edmunds the new engine will displace 4.8L and output close to 420hp. It will also benefit from cylinder deactivation technology to help improve fuel consumption.

The new RL was originally meant to be based on the Acura Advanced Sedan Concept (pictured) from the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show, but it has since been completely restyled after scathing criticism of the original design. Expect to see more of an evolution of the design of the facelifted RL (pictured below), which was launched at last month’s Chicago Show.

With its new styling, powerful V8 and RWD platform, it looks as though Acura is finally capable of achieving the same success as Toyota's Lexus - and it will likely get a price tag to match. Expect to pay over $70,000 for the new RL when it debuts in 2010.

2009 Acura RL facelift