1999 Acura CL - Introduction

The Acura CL Series two-door sport-luxury coupe marks a significant milestone in the company's history. Conceived specifically with the needs and tastes of American buyers in mind, the CL Series is the first Acura model to be designed and engineered entirely in the United States. In addition, building upon Acura's commitment to the American market, the CL Series is manufactured exclusively in East Liberty, Ohio.

The CL Series was created to appeal to what Acura has identified as a growing number of American consumers interested in the concept of a stylish, personalized sport-luxury coupe but with limited buying options in the mid-luxury coupe segment. Also, within the Acura lineup itself, the CL Series is designed to bridge the gap between the youthful, performance-oriented Acura Integra and the more luxurious and refined Acura TL--blending key qualities of each car into one distinctive, appealing package.

To fulfill that mission, the CL Series combines an exciting interior and exterior design, lively engine performance and precise handling with an unusually high level of standard luxury and convenience features. Perhaps most important, the CL is priced to deliver exceptional value for the dollar.

The CL is the product of a unique developmentprocess. The American-based design, engineering and manufacturing teams worked as a cohesive unit throughout the CL' s evolution to meet the project's lofty quality targets to achieve the unique balance of luxury and performance envisioned for the CL Series.

The CL is intended to compete against such other sporting coupes as the BMW 323is and 328is and the Lexus SC300.

With its impressive portfolio of features and capabilities, the CL coupe is leading a resurgence in the mid-luxury coupe market and will further strengthen Acura's position as the premier Japanese luxury/performance nameplate in the United States.

For 1999 the 2.3CL and 3.0 CL have been upgraded to include all of the features formerly available only with the optional premium package, including a leather trimmed interior.

The 3.0CL also receives redesigned machined finish alloy wheels, and both models now come standard with a convenient trunk mounted cargo net.

Concepts And Goals

The CL Series is designed to provide:

  • A stylish, distinctive, high-value alternative for buyers shopping in the mid-luxury coupe segment.
  • An exceptionally high level of comfort and convenience items as standard equipement.
  • Spirited performance combined with outstanding drivetrain refinement and excellent fuel economy.
  • Sophisticated and elegant exterior styling, using a stylish front grille, body colored front and rear skirts, body colored side will, flush-mounted window glass and door handles, a distinctive center character line and a bold tail lamp design.
  • A personal yet comfortable interior, with room for four adults, handsome materials, and a warm ambiance accented by wood-grain trim and a host of luxury of amenities.
  • Exceptionally high body rigidity, for improved handling precision, freedom from vibration and excellent noise isolation.
  • Precise, responsive handling dynamics combined with a forgiving and compliant ride.
  • A high level of safety, utilizing a full complement of safety systems.


The CL Series, available exclusively in a 2-door coupe body style, comes in two variations, the 2.3CL and the 3.0CL. The CL Series has the highest standard feature content in its class, with both models including an Automatic climate control system, a premium AM/FM stereo system with in-dash CD player, a power driver's seat, power windows and door mirrors, a power tilt/sliding glass moon roof, and a remote keyless entry and security system. The 2.3CL and 3.0CL come standard with leather trimmed interiors, and the 3.0CL features heated front seats. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission is optional on the 2.3CL, and standard on the 3.0CL.

The luxury-oriented 3.0CL is powered by a SOHC 3.0-liter V-6 engine with the exclusive Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system. Developed jointly in the United States and Japan, the engine is built at the Anna Engine Plant in Anna, Ohio. Designed for light weight, compactness, excellent performance and high fuel economy, the V-6 features a 60-degree layout, all-aluminum construction, and four valves per cylinder. Output is 200 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 195 lb ft of torque at 4700 rpm. The engine mates to a standard electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission equipped with the Grade Logic Control System. In keeping with its luxury status, the
3.0CL complements its many standard features with an 8-way power driver's seat with power walk-in and a unique "auto-position stop" feature and a 100-watt, 6-speaker Acura/Bose® music system.

The sporty, driver-oriented 2.3CL is powered by an all-aluminum, single-overhead camshaft, 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder. Output is 150 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 152 lb ft of torque at 4900 rpm. The engine utilizes the exclusive Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system, first developed for the NSX exotic sports car, to provide an impressive balance of low-rpm torque, high-rpm power and efficient fuel economy.

The engines on both the 2.3CL and 3.0CL are so advanced that they do not require a scheduled tune-up for the first 100,000 miles.

The standard transmission on the 2.3CL is a 5-speed manual. An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic, with Grade Logic Control System is optional. The Grade Logic Control System is utilized for reduced gear "hunting" while driving uphill or downhill. When descending steep grades, for instance, the system automatically selects the proper transmission gear for enhanced engine braking.

Both CL models utilize a front-wheel-drive layout for excellent handling stability, superior traction on slippery road surfaces and an efficient, lightweight overall package. The CL also features a four-wheel double-wishbone suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, Antilock Braking System (ABS) and standard driver's and front passenger's Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bag.

For outstanding dynamic rigidity, the structure of the CL has been designed with numerous reinforcements in critical areas, resulting in a solid, vibration-free unit-body that delivers a quiet interior environment while also enhancing handling response by maintaining precise suspension geometry over changing road surfaces.

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