2005 Acura TL Introduction

9/1/2004 7:34:42 PM

OVERVIEW

The Acura TL performance luxury sedan was introduced in 1995 with a second-generation model debuting in 1999. For 2004, an all-new completely redesigned TL went on sale with more power, an assortment of breakthrough technology and an exterior design that is taut, athletic and powerful. Enthusiast drivers appreciate the TL for its high dynamic capabilities-the 2005 TL is a true driver's car that competes against the best near-luxury sedans.

For inspiration Acura considered a design style referred to as "Bauhaus," named for the famous German design house of the 1920s that defined "form follows function" design. The TL uses crisp, taut lines instead of sweeping curves, satin trim in key areas rather than bright chrome, and a driver-oriented layout makes driving more engaging.

MARKET SUMMARY

The luxury vehicle market continues to expand, and the "near luxury" and "luxury SUV" segments within it are enjoying the most growth. The Acura TL occupies the near luxury segment, which accounts for over a third of the luxury market as a whole. Although the TL has been a top seller in this segment, it has recently faced increasing challenges from sporty sedans such as the BMW 530i, Cadillac CTS and Infiniti G35. Competition also comes from compact near-luxury sedans like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.

POWERTRAIN

The TL's 3.2-liter VTEC V-6 features an aluminum-alloy cylinder block and heads, crankshaft and pistons. Combining a 3-rocker VTEC system with a high 11.0:1 compression ratio and high-flow intake and exhaust systems help the engine produce 270 hp and 238 lbs-ft of torque at 5000 rpm.

The engine meets the tough California Air Resources Board (CARB) LEV-2 ULEV emissions standards for all vehicles sold in the U.S., and has a tune-up interval of 105,000 miles. A Maintenance Minder system continuously monitors the vehicle's operating conditions, indicating to the driver when maintenance such as an oil change is required.

Both a 5-speed Sequential SportShift™ automatic and a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission are available.

BODY & CHASSIS

The design concept starts by building the body over a substantial foundation-large wheels and tires positioned wide, with body overhangs minimized.

Front suspension geometry evolved from the previous TL Type-S in pursuit of even greater roadholding capabilities. Every suspension link has been set to optimize the geometry to produce superior ride and handling. Using a lower arm and knuckle, and shortening the rigid stamped steel upper arms, results in greater camber gain, resulting in optimized tire contact patches during cornering. Both the front and rear suspension have built in "toe" gain when the suspension is in bump, further stabilizing the chassis on rough roads and during cornering. With careful suspension tuning, engineers made sure that enhanced handling performance did not come at the cost of ride quality or comfort.

Double-wishbone front suspension and 5-link double wishbone rear suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) are all standard. Wider wheels and tires are standard, and a choice of all-season or high-performance tires is available on the manual transmission models.

Despite a comprehensive array of technology and the use of insulating materials to promote a quiet and luxurious cabin, strict control over component weight has kept the automatic transmission-equipped TL to just 3,575 pounds.

The list of features and equipment contains a number of firsts for the industry and for Acura. It is the first vehicle in North America to feature an acoustic glass windshield with shade band and the first to offer a standard DVD-Audio 5.1 surround sound system.

INTERIOR

Acura's tradition of augmenting a driver-oriented layout with luxury features is fully realized in the TL. LED backlit analog instruments are placed to allow the driver instant access to information, while top quality interior materials and details enhance luxury. The interior is also more spacious and stylish, and features standard perforated leather-trimmed seating.

The TL features the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ with seven million points of interest for the 48 states. Its trip calculation time is two times quicker than the previous generation TL system and it recognizes 293 verbal commands. It also offers a large, easy-to-read 8-inch multi-function touch screen display.

Another advance is the use of Bluetooth, a wireless technology that's attaining widespread use in computers, PDAs and other portable electronics to enable hands-free phone capability in the TL. The Acura HandsFreeLink™ telephone system wirelessly links to the TL owner's Bluetooth-compatible cellular phone to enable calls to be made and received through the TL's audio and voice recognition systems.

The TL features a standard DVD-A 5.1 audio system in North America. The 225-watt Acura/ELS™ Premium 8-speaker Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio, DTS™ and CD 6-disc Changer, AM/FM Tuner and Dolby™ Cassette delivers a whole new level of audio fidelity. This DVD-Audio system, developed with Grammy-winning music producer Elliot Scheiner, utilizes six distinct channels (compared with two on the typical premium sound system) to deliver sound resolution 500 times better than CD. The premium system plays standard CDs, DVD-A discs, and DTS-enabled CDs and incorporates XM® Satellite Radio for over 100 channels of premium quality sound.

SAFETY

The TL has an advanced array of safety features. This includes advanced passive safety technologies and engineered-in accident avoidance capabilities like 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, large P235/45R17 tires, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).

In the event of a collision, the TL unit body is engineered to disperse collision forces while maintaining the integrity of the passenger compartment. Front and rear door beams (two in the front, one in the rear), extensive use of lightweight, high-strength steel in the passenger safety cage, and deformable front and rear structures, help the TL target the highest rankings in the government SINCAP and NCAP barrier tests. Likewise, during the IIHS offset collision the TL is expected to achieve a "GOOD" rating (the highest) in all categories. Other safety features include standard side curtain airbags and adjustable rear outboard head restraints.

POWERTRAIN FEATURES

  • 3.2-liter, SOHC, VTEC V-6 engine
  • 270 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
  • 238 lbs-ft of torque @ 5000 rpm
  • Intake side three-rocker VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control)
  • 11.0:1 compression ratio
  • High flow cold air induction system
  • 2-stage tuned intake manifold
  • High-flow exhaust system with closed-coupled and under-floor catalytic converters
  • Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™
  • Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Direct ignition system
  • Meets CARB LEV-II ULEV emissions standards
  • Maintenance Minder system which optimizes service intervals
  • 105,000-mile tune-up intervals

BODY & CHASSIS FEATURES

  • Unit body with extensive use of high-strength steel
  • Bi-function Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps
  • Acoustic glass windshield
  • Satin grille and trunk trim
  • Standard power moonroof with 1-touch switch with auto-reverse safety feature
  • Memory-linked power mirrors with auto tilt-down for left and right mirrors
  • Double-wishbone front suspension
  • 5-link double-wishbone rear suspension
  • Lightweight aluminum-alloy front subframe
  • Torque-sensing power rack-and-pinion steering
  • 17 x 8 aluminum-alloy wheels
  • P235/45R17 Bridgestone Turanza all-season tires (Potenza high-performance tires available on TL with manual transmission)
  • 4-wheel disc brakes with 3-channel ABS, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control (standard on automatic transmission and manual transmission models

COMFORT & CONVENIENCE FEATURES

  • LED backlit analog instruments
  • Leather-wrapped 4-spoke tilt and telescopic steering wheel
  • Steering wheel mounted controls for audio, cruise control, HandsFreeLink telephone system and available Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition
  • Performance-oriented front bucket seats with leather seating surfaces
  • 10-way power driver's seat with power adjustable lumbar support
  • Fully lined trunk
  • Dual-zone, Dual-mode Automatic Climate Control System
  • Keyless Memory Link with two driver profiles
  • Acura/ELS™ Premium 8-speaker Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio, DTS™ and CD 6-disc Changer, AM/FM Tuner and Dolby™ Cassette
  • XM Satellite Radio
  • Multi-Information Display (MID) enables access to multiple electronic functions
  • HandsFreeLink wireless phone interface

SAFETY FEATURES

  • Driver and front passenger airbags with dual-stage inflators
  • Front seat mounted side impact airbags with Occupant Position Detection System
  • Side curtain airbag system
  • Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Front neck injury reduction seats
  • Front head restraints adjustable for height and tilt
  • Rear outboard adjustable head restraints
  • 3-point seat belts for all five seating positions
  • Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR)
  • Tether anchors (all rear positions)
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for rear outboard positions
  • Seat belt reminder
  • Childproof rear door locks
  • Adjustable front seat belt anchors
  • Front and rear crumple zones
  • Dual front and single rear door beams