Published on September 26th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Acura TLX Should Be Launched in ASEAN Like Infiniti & Lexus
The 2015 Acura TLX has been recognized for its successful blend of style, performance and advanced technology with a 2015 Best Cars for the Money award from U.S. News & World Report, topping the Upscale Midsize Car category, and the Acura brand was also named the 2015 Best Retained Value® Luxury Brand by North American website, Edmunds.com for its outstanding projected resale value after five years of ownership.
“The success of TLX in its initial year on the market has been instrumental in Acura’s resurgence as a luxury sedan manufacturer,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager, Acura Division. “The unique combination of proportion, prestige and performance is a hallmark of all Acura vehicles, from the gateway ILX luxury sedan to the MDX three-row luxury SUV and, of course, the upcoming next-generation NSX supercar.”
Developed under the theme of Red Carpet Athlete, the TLX delivers a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium (red-carpet) luxury refinement. On the performance side, TLX models are powered by two high-output direct-injected i-VTEC engines; two advanced transmissions, including a Dual Clutch Transmission with torque converter; and the latest iterations of Acura precision-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™), next-generation Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), and Agile Handling Assist (AHA).
The TLX also was designed to appeal to a broader cross-section of luxury sports-sedan customers, with a wider range of powertrain and drivetrain options. There are three distinct TLX model offerings:
- The TLX with 2.4-liter, 206-horsepower i-VTEC inline-4 with 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter, and P-AWS;
- The TLX with 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower i-VTEC V-6 with 9-speed automatic transmission and P-AWS;
- And the TLX SH-AWD with next-generation SH-AWD, available with the 3.5-liter, 290 horsepower V-6 and 9-speed automatic.
All three TLX models carry a long list of standard luxury comfort, convenience and safety features. TLX models with the 2.4-liter engine can be upgraded to the Technology package and models with the 3.5-liter engine are available with Technology or the line-topping Advance Package.
Design and Packaging
The TLX’s chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies are wrapped in a lithe exterior design with taut body surfaces, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Its sporting character is emphasized by compact sports-sedan proportions.
Acura’s signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models, lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. Its LED lighting theme carries through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination.
The TLX also features a 60/40-split folding rear seatback for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a trunk design featuring a wide and deep opening, a low lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two optional underfloor storage compartments.
The TLX’s spacious five-passenger interior is designed and engineered to provide a high degree of refinement, luxury comfort and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain design accents, and available Milano leather seat trim.
The TLX offers an abundance of available luxury features and technologies, including ventilated front seats, Smart Entry/Push Button Start keyless access system, Acura Navigation System with 3D view, and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting. A 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touch screen, located in the center console, controls these and other features, and, with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing instrument panel clutter.
The TLX also features the next generation of AcuraLink®, Acura’s cloud-based connected car system, offering Acura owners a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and available security features. All TLX models come equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that, when paired with a compatible iPhone, allows the driver to use the features of Siri using familiar voice commands. Additional standard and available luxury features includes one-touch turn-signals and power windows, power driver and front passenger seats, GPS-linked automatic climate control, color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio®, Pandora® and Aha™ integration, and HDMI and USB connectivity.
In keeping with Acura’s commitment to delivering a world-class audio experience, the TLX in Technology and Advance trims come equipped with a 490-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System, engineered specifically for the TLX by legendary recording engineer Elliot Scheiner.
TLX models featuring the 3.5-liter V-6 engine utilize an advanced Electronic Gear Selector, using an intuitive push-button array in place of a traditional gear lever, freeing up center-console space while presenting an advanced and futuristic appearance. All TLX models incorporate an Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold that, when activated, retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying driving in heavy traffic or on steep hills.
At the heart of the TLX’s athletic sports-sedan performance capabilities are its two powertrains, both utilizing direct-injection, i-VTEC valvetrains with variable cam phasing, and low-friction technologies to deliver higher output and linear and responsive power delivery, as well as to garner class-leading fuel-economy ratings.
The direct-injected 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC in-line 4, producing a peak 206 horsepower and 182 lb.-ft. of torque, is mated to an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter. Featuring Sequential SportShift, closely spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic rev-matching downshifts, the 8DCT gives the 2.4-liter TLX an aggressively sporting yet refined feel. The torque converter provides exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a DCT alone cannot equal.
The direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), with the ability to deactivate three of the engine’s six cylinders, for improved fuel efficiency. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine produces a peak 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with wide gear ratios featuring Sequential SportShift.
TLX models featuring the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 9AT also utilize an advanced Electronic Gear Selector that replaces the traditional gear lever with an intuitive and easy-to-operate push-button array. The interface frees up center-console space while presenting an advanced and sophisticated appearance.
The TLX SH-AWD also incorporates an idle-stop capability for improved fuel efficiency. A 28-volt Active Control engine mount significantly reduces engine vibration during restarts.
Acura Precision-Handling Technologies
Two-wheel-drive TLX models, with either the 2.4-liter or 3.5-liter engine, come equipped with the latest iteration of Acura P-AWS. The P-AWS system was integrated into the fundamental chassis design from the earliest stages of development, allowing engineers to take full advantage of its independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance overall handling precision, low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability.
The TLX SH-AWD features a hydraulically controlled new generation of Acura’s acclaimed torque vectoring SH-AWD®. The rear-drive unit is constantly overdriven by 2.7-percent, providing torque-vectoring effect across a broad spectrum of driving situations, enhancing cornering capability at lower speeds and in tighter-radius corners.
Near-limit and high speed maneuvering capabilities of both the P-AWS and SH-AWD models are enhanced by the use of Agile Handling Assist (AHA), which utilizes the TLX’s Vehicle Stability Assist and premium 6-piston brake modulator to create a yaw moment (a vehicle turning force), helping the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line with smaller steering-wheel inputs. AHA stabilizes the car earlier than conventional VSA, resulting in more agile and engaging dynamic performance in everyday driving conditions.
All TLX models also feature the latest development of Acura’s Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which allows drivers to customize their driving experience through four selectable modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Depending on the setting, IDS will adjust power-steering effort, throttle response, transmission shift logic, HVAC system operation, and the control logic for either the P-AWS or SH-AWD systems. The Sport+ mode, a first for Acura, unlocks the full performance potential of the TLX with the most aggressive settings in all areas.
Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies
The TLX also advances Acura’s reputation for delivering cutting-edge safety and driver-assistive technologies. The TLX deploys a cooperative monocular camera and millimeter wave radar system that expands both the fidelity and scope of the vehicle’s road-sensing capabilities. This fusion of camera and radar technology underpins the TLX’s available Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM (CMBS), which can provide enhanced car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian collision mitigation, while also enhancing the capabilities of the Adaptive Cruise Control.
The TLX utilizes Acura Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), which is included with the Advance Package. RDM uses the monocular camera to recognize painted lane lines, Botts’ Dots and Cat Eye markers to determine lane boundaries. When the vehicle’s current travelling direction would cause it to stray from a detected lane, the system warns the driver and assists by applying corrective steering input and, if required, braking force to help the driver maintain their current lane.
Additional standard and available driver-assistive features include blind spot information (BSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Expanded View Driver’s Side Mirror, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM).
The TLX also employs Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, along with advanced supplemental restraint systems – including front, side, side-curtain and driver’s knee airbags – to provide a high level of occupant protection in a wide spectrum of collision scenarios.
Body and Chassis
The TLX platform (body and chassis) was designed from the ground up to support and enhance the vehicle’s outstanding driving dynamics, luxury-sedan refinement, class-leading fuel efficiency and high-level collision safety performance.
The chassis features a four-wheel independent suspension system – McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear – with optimized geometry and Amplitude Reactive Dampers for improved ride comfort and handling performance. The TLX’s Motion-Adaptive Electronic Power Steering delivers a high level of steering precision and responsiveness while aiding fuel efficiency. It also works cooperatively with the vehicle’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) traction-control system to help the driver maintain vehicle control in slippery road conditions.
The TLX’s unit body utilizes advanced lightweight materials, including ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum (hood, bumper beams and front subframe) and magnesium (steering hangar beam), to minimize weight while providing for a high degree of rigidity that benefits both dynamic performance and occupant safety. Also incorporated into the body is the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) frontal body structure, and a one-piece, hot-stamped-steel door stiffener ring. The sleek body design is also optimized for class-leading aerodynamic efficiency.
For a premium interior experience, Acura engineers paid special attention to body sealing to provide a quiet and relaxing cabin experience. This includes the application of acoustic spray foam, which is applied in 10 critical locations throughout the body. Additional noise-reducing features include triple door seals, the expanded application of body sealing and sound absorptive materials, an acoustic glass windshield, and electronic Active Noise Control (ANC).