Acura is American Honda Motor Company’s luxury consumer division, marketing executive, performance, and high-performance vehicles.
The TL marque was first introduced in 1999, delivering an innovative combination of sportiness and luxury at a competitive price. It set the stage for a design philosophy that’s served well over the years; few options are offered, because most of what the target market requires comes fitted as standard. North American sales increased dramatically when a new, European-cued TL debuted in 2004, becoming one Acura’s best-selling vehicles.
The 2015 TLX
The factory has completely reinvented its TL badge for the 2015 model year line-up. An all-new sports sedan, called the TLX, is expected to arrive on forecourts in summer, 2014.
Replacing both the compact TSX sport sedan and the mid-size TL performance luxury sedan, the new mid-lineup, mid-size marque faces an unenviable challenge; both its predecessors were among Acura’s best-selling vehicles.
TLX debuts with a choice of two brand new powertrains:
- The entry-level 2.4-liter, 16-valve, direct-injected four-cylinder engine, with variable valve timing, delivers power to an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission (which electronically matches revs to downshifts)
- The upgraded 3.5-liter, 24-valve direct-injected V-6 is bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission
No manual transmission models are available. While performance or fuel economy figures are not as yet available, the base model’s engine is very similar to that currently found in the Honda Accord, which delivers an output close to 185 horsepower. The V6 upgrade delivers 310 horsepower in the current RLX, so expect something similar. In this context, note that sticker prices are also not available at time of writing.
Both 2.4- and 3.5-liter variants are available with two-wheel-drive, featuring Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer technology (which improves handling in corners by delivering toe angle control independently to both left and right rear wheels). Only the 3.5-liter unit offers the factory’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system, incorporating torque-vectoring control logic for improved safety and performance.
TLX brings major noise reduction improvements to the market, employing a combination of body sealing and rigidity with new levels of sound insulation. Acura’s unique electronic Active Noise Control promises “vault-like” quietness.
The cabin will accommodate five adults in comfort.
The full-production concept unveiled at Detroit’s 2014 Motor Show revealed:
- Exaggerated fenders, housing 20-inch wheels
- Extensive design cues taken from Acura’s larger RLX sedan
- LED lights underlining the side-view mirrors
A four-mode, driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System will allow touch-of-a-button tweaks to the electric power steering, transmission shift mapping, throttle response and steering weight, even HVAC controls and Active Noise Control settings. In essence, the driver will be able to choose between comfort- or sport-oriented performance; the four modes are Econ, Normal, Sport and Sport+.
TLX comes with cutting-edge multimedia technology, as standard.
Acura’s most advanced driver-assist and safety and technologies are all part of the TLX package. The car comes with:
- Adaptive Cruise Control featuring Low-Speed Follow
- Blind Spot Indicator
- Collision Mitigation Braking System
- Forward Collision Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist System
Acura’s brand new “Jewel Eye” LED headlights come as standard, an emphatic style statement that also increase performance (each lamp comprises five light sources; four low beam and one high beam).
As noted, TLX will not be released until the second half of 2014. In the meantime, drivers in the Interstate 476/276 triangle can explore all extant Acura vehicles by visiting Montgomeryville Acura, located at 1009 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA. The dealership offers both new and certified pre-owned Acuras. Internet-savvy drivers can search the entire inventory on Montgomeryville Acura’s site, while keeping abreast of constantly updated online specials and promotions.