Acura introduced its next-generation TL model, the TLX, at the New York International Auto Show.
Aimed at the mid-sized luxury performance sedan market, the 2015 Acura TLX is designed to offer more performance, more prestige, and more technical sophistication all centered around the driver, to provide an unequaled driving experience.
The new TLX has all the technology it needs to match its competition. Power comes from one of two direct-injected engines: a 2.4-liter 16-valve, direct-injected i-VTEC® 4-cylinder producing 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with torque converter, and a 3.5-liter 24-valve direct-injected i-VTEC V6 producing 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission.
The four-cylinder engine is exclusively front-wheel drive, coupled with Acura’s upgraded Precision All-Wheel Steer™ system. The new P-AWS system adjusts rear-wheel toe-in to provide quicker response at lower speeds and greater stability at high speeds.
Buyers who opt for the V6 can choose either P-AWS and front-wheel drive or Acura’s improved torque-vectoring Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ system. The new SH-AWD is not only 25 percent lighter than the old system, it also is more responsive, delivering more torque to a pinning outer wheel when cornering at lower speeds, and feeding torque to the inner wheel at high speeds to increase stability when changing lanes on a highway, for instance.
The result achieved by either of these two high-tech control systems is a car Acura calls, “Quick, powerful, precise, and always incredibly composed.”
Drivers can select from four performance settings: Econ, Normal, Sport, and Sport+, to always have the right mix of comfort and excitement for any given situation.
While performance is important, it is only part of the package; Acura also wanted to give the new TLX what it calls “a significant increase in premium feel.”
This starts with the styling. Certainly not revolutionary, the new car’s shape received a lot of attention from not just designers but engineers. The new car has 15 percent less drag than the old model, with shorter overhangs front and rear for a more compact feel but using the same wheelbase, so interior room is not sacrificed.
The chassis is stiffer and better insulated but is also 145 pounds lighter than its predecessor; coupled with the lowered drag, this makes the car more efficient.
The new shape is sleek and understated; it is not meant to stand out in crowd by being loud, but by being refined, well-integrated.
The beltline starts with five tiny LED headlamps per side and sweeps back to define the bottom of the greenhouse and define the edges of the trunk. Below this line the front fenders bulge subtly over the tires and divide into a pair of contour lines down the side, the upper of which leads into a sculpted accent over the rear fenders. The new TLX has enough detail to avoid being boring but not so much as to be flashy.
The new TLX offers comfortable seating for five, as did the old car. Acura already had it right here, and didn’t see much need to change.
Major upgrades come in connectivity and safety. The dash is designed around a pair of displays, a seven-inch touch screen and a smaller information screen. These two screens handle navigation and entertainment, and are augmented by Bluetooth and Siri Eyes-Free controls.
Acura has made great strides in safety systems. The 2015 TLX offers a Road Departure Mitigation system and collision avoidance coupled with an optional forward-facing camera ted into a radar system.
The first system alerts the driver via sounds and tugging the seatbelt when the car is leaving its lane, and even helps steer and brake to keep the car in lane. The collision avoidance coupled with the camera and radar can sense an impending collision and stop the car before it happens.
With the 2015 TLX, Acura has presented its customers with a better version of what they had—not a radical departure, not a great leap forward, but an improvement in every facet of a car Acura customers already liked.