The outgoing mid-size Acura TLX sedan is not remembered for its bright character or outstanding sales. But instead of giving up on this segment and focusing on much more popular crossovers, Honda decided to take a risk and created a completely new model with great driver’s ambitions. The developers promise that this is the fastest and sportiest sedan in the history of the Acura brand.
The transition from the transverse arrangement of the engine and front-wheel drive to the classic layout did not happen, but still for the TLX sedan, a new original platform was developed, the main feature of which is the front suspension on double wishbones instead of McPherson struts. The rear is equipped with a multi-link, for an additional fee — adaptive shock absorbers. The track was widened by 30 mm at the front and 41 mm at the rear. The steering mechanism – with a variable gear ratio, and the brakes – with an Electromechanical amplifier, which is connected to the brake pedal only by wires (this solution has already been tested on the Acura NSX supercar).
The new generation car is 74 mm longer (4943 mm), 56 mm wider (1910 m) and 15 mm lower (1433 mm) than its predecessor. The wheelbase is increased from 2776 to 2870 mm, but in addition, the interior is shifted back, so the distance between the front axle and the engine shield increased immediately by 198 mm: this allowed the sedan to give more solid proportions and improve the weight distribution on the axles. The base wheels are 18 inches in diameter instead of the previous 17 — inch ones.
The body became stiffer by one and a half times, and the mounting points of the suspensions-twice. The Central tunnel has been significantly strengthened, and struts have been added to the front and back. The body itself is 56% made of high-strength steel and aluminum: for example, the hood, front fenders and front bumper booster are made of” winged metal”. And the regular 12-volt battery is located in the trunk, the capacity of which has become larger: 382 liters against 374 liters according to the American EPA method.
The interior has become slightly more spacious in the shoulders, and its total volume by the same method has symbolically increased from 2642 to 2645 liters. The company promises a significant improvement in finishing materials: natural leather and wood veneer will be used. Interestingly, Acura has remained faithful to analog devices, although an eight-inch display is still inserted between the scales, and a projection screen is offered for an additional fee. To control a media system with a 10.2-inch display, a True Touchpad is installed on the Central tunnel: its zones correspond to sections of the screen, and its shape is slightly concave for correct alignment when using it blindly.
The Acura TLX was the first production model with a new front passenger airbag, which Honda developed in conjunction with Autoliv. Instead of a single dome, it has three vertical sections connected by a soft lintel. According to the idea, during an accident, the rider’s head falls into the center of the pillow, and the side sections envelop and cover the passenger, reducing the likelihood of slipping to the side.
There is no stone left unturned in the range of power units. Instead of atmospheric engines now turbo engines. The base engine is a two-liter turbocharger with direct injection, already known for the Acura RDX crossover. In the sedan, it produces 276 HP and 380 Nm, that is, the characteristics are significantly superior to the previous engine 2.4 (209 HP, 247 Nm), and the torque is even ahead of the “six” 3.5 (294 HP, 362 Nm)!
The former Acura TLX had an eight-speed “robot” or a nine-speed “automatic”, but both are retired. The new model has a ten-speed automatic transmission with a push-button control panel and lobes on the steering wheel, which is able to switch four gears up or down at once. The basic version has front-wheel drive, for an additional fee — branded transmission SH-AWD of the fourth generation with individual couplings connecting the rear wheels. The system is able to transfer up to 70% of the thrust to the rear axle, and all of it can be sent to a single wheel.
A-Spec sports package is offered for an additional fee. It includes 19-inch wheels, an enlarged spoiler on the trunk lid, darkened lighting and black decor. But at the top of the scale from now on will be a real “charged” top version of the Acura TLX Type S. the Company will revive this modification after eleven years of oblivion — the last such Acura came off the Assembly line in 2009.
The ESCA will be the first model with the new V6 3.0 turbo engine. it Has direct injection, a dual-flow turbocharger and electronic control of the exhaust pressure relief valve (Westgate). Power is not yet named, but it is expected that it will approach 400 HP. the ten-Speed automatic and transmission SH-AWD are the same, but reconfigured, and the standard driving modes (Comfort, Normal and Sport) added the toughest Sport+.
The track is made even wider, with Brembo brakes with four-piston mechanisms installed on the front axle. And visually, the Acura TL Type S differs from the base version with 20-inch wheels, a front splitter, a diffuser in the rear bumper, and a flaunted four-barrel exhaust system.
Acura TLX sedans will be made at the Honda plant in Ohio, and the engines, transmission and transmission SH-AWD are also American-made. The basic version will be released on the local market in the fall at a price of about 35 thousand dollars against 33 thousand for the current sedan. But the “charged” version of the Type S will be delayed until the spring of 2021.
By the way, the new generation TLX model will be the largest and most expensive sedan of the brand, because the days of the flagship Acura RLX model are numbered. Sales in the US have fallen to a completely indecent mark (1019 cars last year), so production of this sedan will be discontinued in the summer, and the development of the successor is not even planned. However, the model will still live for some time in the Japanese market, where it is sold under the name Honda Legend.