2009 Acura TL - Body
The new 2009 TL’s dynamic and bold styling was designed at the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California. The design team wanted the TL’s exterior styling to not only be emotional, but to reflect the exhilarating driving experience that would be realized behind the wheel. The new TL also uses the latest materials and technologies to help reduce weight, increase strength and enhance aerodynamic performance.
The exterior design of the TL uses a principal that the design team refers to as “Motion Surface.” Simply put, this term expresses the feeling of motion in the surface of the vehicle even when the TL is at rest. The body uses artfully crafted character lines that divide the TL’s sides into lower, middle and upper areas, with each catching the light differently while presenting a dynamic and strong athletic shape. As well, the character lines lead the eye along the body side from front to rear, enticing the viewer to take in the whole car and explore and discover its many design details.
One intriguing detail is the Acura “power plenum” grille, whose platinum-like finisher appears to be cut from solid billet that “floats” in front of the car. Beneath the finisher is a diamond-pattern black grille opening that adds an aggressive sports-car look. A satin grille surround further accentuates the opening. Below the bumper, two large openings on the front fascia house fog lamps, turn signals (and on the SH-AWD® model) front brake cooling ducts. The 2009 TL is the third sedan in the Acura lineup to receive the new Acura signature grille, after the 2009 TSX and 2009 RL.
Aggressive front wheel arches and dramatic character lines set a confident and muscular tone for the TL’s body side. In addition, the headlight and taillight arrays, which sweep aggressively around each corner of the body, further add character. Below the taillight array are large red reflectors that add style as well as safety. Below the trunk lid is a satin finisher with stylized cues echoing the front finisher.
Acura TL Exterior Features:
- HID projector low-beam headlights and halogen high-beam headlights
- Auto-function front headlights with daytime running lights (DRL)
- Front fog lamps
- 17x8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- Bridgestone Turanza EL400 P245/50R17 M+S tires
- Power tilt/slide moonroof
- Power windows, door locks and heated outside mirrors
- Auto up/down front windows with auto-reverse and key-off operation
- In-glass radio antenna
- Dual exhaust finishers
Technology Package Exterior Features:
- Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/50R17 M+S tires
- Keyless Access System (with smart entry and pushbutton ignition)
- Rear trunk-lid spoiler
- Rearview camera
- Chrome accented door handles
SH-AWD® Exterior Features
- 18x8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/45R18 M+S tires
- Front-brake cooling ducts
- SH-AWD® trunk emblem
- Quad exhaust finishers
Optional Exterior Features for TL SH-AWDTM with the Technology Package:
- 19x8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
- Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40ZR19 (summer tires)
NEW LARGER SIZE
In keeping with its mission of providing even more performance, agility and comfort, the 2009 Acura TL increases in size compared to the previous-generation TL. For improved interior roominess, handling stability and ride quality, the 2009 TL has a longer wheelbase and a wider track. Wheelbase is up 1.4 inches (to 109.3 inches from 107.9 inches), while the track increases 1.1 inches (to 63.2 inches in front and 1.8 inches to 63.8 inches at the rear). Overall length is up 6.2 inches (to 195.5 inches), overall width is up 1.8 inches (to 74.0 inches), and height rises 0.5-inch (to 57.2 inches). The wider track pays dividends in both cornering ability and interior roominess, while the longer wheelbase increases ride comfort as well as interior roominess. The new TL offers more interior volume (111.4 cu-ft vs. 110.2 cu-ft) than the outgoing model. Like the previous-generation TL, the 2009 TL is classified by the EPA as a Midsize car.
Acura TL Specifications Comparison
2009 Acura TL
2008 Acura TL
|Overall length, in.||195.3||189.3||+6.2|
|Overall width, in.||74||72.2||+1.8|
|Overall height, in.||57.2||56.7||+0.5|
|Track, F/R, in.||63.2/63.8||62.1/62.0||+1.1/1.8|
|Passenger volume, cu. ft.||98.2||97.9||+0.3|
|Cargo volume, cu. ft.||13.1||12.5||+0.6|
|Total interior volume, cu. ft.||111.3||110.2||+1.1|
|EPA classification||Midsize||Midsize||No change|
WEIGHT REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Despite its larger size and higher overall content level, at 3,708 lbs. the base 2009 Acura TL increases just 85 pounds in curb weight compared to the previous model. The new TL SH-AWD® has a curb weight of 3,970 lbs. Part of the reason for the minimal increase in weight is due to the widespread use of high-strength steel in key structural areas, lightweight yet ultra high-strength hot-stamped steel for the B-pillars and doorsills, as well as an aluminum hood, front suspension subframe, rear suspension knuckles and steering hanger beam. Over 18 pounds were saved in the TL's unit-body construction alone.
FRAME RAIL SYSTEM
The 2009 TL is the second Acura (along with the TSX) to use an advanced new unit-body frame rail system. With this new system, the stamped steel frame rails are positioned above and inside the body structure floor (rather than underneath it) to create a nearly flat body underside. This design results in improved structural strength for safety, reduced interior noise from turbulent air flowing underneath the car, and better aerodynamic efficiency for improved fuel mileage and more interior space. The new frame rail design does not compromise interior room and improves crash safety. (Please see Safety section for more information.)
ADVANCED COMPATIBILITY ENGINEERING™ (ACE™) BODY STRUCTURE
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) represents a groundbreaking change in the way Acura unit-bodies are constructed. Now a standard feature on every new Acura, ACE™ maximizes the body's ability to disperse crash energy in a frontal collision by directing collision forces along predetermined load pathways. One of most important benefits of the design is that crash energy can be dispersed with less affect on the structural integrity of the passenger cabin. Another important ACE™ characteristic is how it allows the TL to interface better with larger or smaller vehicles in a frontal collision, further protecting both the TL passengers as well as those in the other vehicle. (Please see Safety section for more information.)
Based on internal testing, the 2009 Acura TL is projected to earn top crash ratings. These include 5-Star ratings* for frontal NCAP and side SINCAP tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and GOOD ratings for offset frontal, side and headrest tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (Please see Safety section for more information.)
*Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model Tested with side-impact air bags (SABs).
HIGH-STRENGTH SHEET STEEL
Along with new engineering techniques, the 2009 TL also has widespread use of high-strength sheet steel, which provides benefits in ride, handling and overall durability. The new TL uses five different types of high-strength steel, including ultra high-strength hot-stamp steel that is heated before it is stamped into shape for the front unit-body rails, doorsills, B-pillar and side roof rails. A total of 47.6-percent of the steel used in the new TL is high-strength steel. Hot-stamp steel and 980 grade high-strength steel, two premium types of steel, are used by Acura for the first time in the 2009 TL.
The 2009 Acura TL is 15-percent more rigid overall than its predecessor in key areas, which directly improves handling agility, ride quality, interior quietness and overall durability. Specific rigidity advancements include:
- 41-percent greater rear vertical rigidity
- 17-percent greater front lateral rigidity
Aluminum front and rear bumper beams help the 2009 TL meet the most rigid crash test standards, while also helping to reduce vehicle mass for improved performance and fuel economy. In front, the bumper beam is tied into an ACE™ beam structure that helps equalize the height disparity between large and small cars, resulting in better attenuation of crash energy during a frontal collision. Stylized plastic bumper fascias are an integral part of the TL styling and are rated to withstand 2.5-mph front and rear impacts without substantial damage.
The TL SH-AWD® receives a unique front bumper fascia that incorporates special vent openings and ducts to cool the front disc brakes. In addition, the TL SH-AWD® employs the 3.7L V-6's dual-exhaust system capped with quad stainless-steel tips (the TL with 3.5-liter V-6 has two exhaust tips).
PROJECTOR-BEAM HID HEADLIGHTS
The new 2009 TL has Xenon high intensity discharge (HID) projector-style low-beam headlights as standard equipment. The primary operational benefit of projector headlights is a bright and precisely focused light beam for confident nighttime driving, but they also provide an aggressive and technical appearance. Halogen high beams are mounted inboard of the projector beams, and offer further nighttime driving confidence with a crisp, bright and focused beam. The halogen high-beams serve double duty as the daytime running lights (DRL) by operating at a lower voltage. The headlight arrays are protected by flush impact-resistant covers that blend sleekly into the TL's front fascia, hood and fenders, and include wraparound amber side reflectors that are visible from both the front and sides of the vehicle. Fog lamps are integrated into an opening below the front bumper that also includes air inlet ducts for additional front brake cooling on the SH-AWD® model. LED lighting is used for the taillights, center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) and the exterior mirror-mounted auxiliary turn signals.
ALUMINUM ALLOY WHEELS
Standard on the TL are 17x8-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels with 10 crisply designed spokes, a silver paint finish and black Acura emblem showcased in a composite center cap. The TL SH-AWD® features unique 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels finished in dramatic and exclusive silver finish and featuring a premium spun-aluminum center cap replete with black Acura emblem. Optional for the TL SH-AWD® with the Technology Package are 19x8-inch aluminum-alloy wheels featuring a 10-spoke design finished in silver with a spun-aluminum center cap and a chrome Acura emblem.
POWER TILT/SLIDE MOONROOF
The 2009 TL comes with a standard power moonroof that tilts or slides via a one-touch control. To tilt or slide the moonroof fully open or closed, simply press the ceiling-mounted switch once (rather than pushing for several seconds). Partially opening or closing the moonroof to achieve partial ventilation simply requires a lighter touch. A built-in auto-reverse system helps ensure that the moonroof will not close forcefully if a hand or arm is in the way. If an obstruction is detected, the moonroof mechanism is designed to automatically reopen the moonroof.
Special acoustic windshield glass is used on the TL to help reduce wind noise. Tuned specifically to attenuate wind-noise frequencies, the windshield uses two layers of 2 mm safety glass with an inner layer of a transparent elastic acoustic membrane for a total thickness of 4.5 mm. The acoustic windshield in conjunction with 5 mm thick side windows helps position the TL at the top of its class in wind-noise performance. The windshield, like the side windows and 3.1 mm thick rear window, is UV light absorbing.
The TL's windshield wipers nest below the hood line, where they are out of the driver's line of sight and away from the direct airflow that can cause turbulence, aerodynamic drag and noise. The driver's side wiper measures 25.5 inches in length to clean a broad section of the windshield, while the passenger-side wiper measures 18.75 inches long. A 2.5-liter capacity windshield-washer system helps clear dirt from the windshield as necessary.
Above the beltline of the car, the side windows are surrounded by luxurious stainless steel trim. Showing the level of detail that has gone into the new TL, its surface shape is actually slightly concave, which effectively eliminates "hot spots" in the reflection caused by direct sunlight. Additional stainless trim along the roofline joins the windshield, roof and rear window together in one smoothly flowing curve. This roofline trim finishes dramatically in the form of a mini bulkhead along each side of the subtly recessed window. The treatment does not impede outward visibility but rather creates a look of strength and solidity at the rear of the TL. So too does a subtle "negative break" running from front to rear along the trunk lid. Matching the pronounced break at the front of the car, the bisected trunk lid and the matching rear bumper and fascia further define the TL as a strong, aggressive sport sedan.
All of the vertical roof pillars and two areas of the front unit-body bulkhead are filled with closed-cell expansion foam that significantly reduces the transmission of road noise from the lower part of the unit-body up into the passenger compartment. The foam is installed prior to the unit body's assembly and welding process, and it expands to tightly fit the pillar openings when the body is later baked after the electro deposition of protective coatings.
The 2009 TL has power windows as standard equipment, including a one-touch auto up/down feature that simplifies the lowering or raising process for the driver and front passenger-side windows. As with the power tilt and slide moonroof, the driver and front passenger-side power windows include a pinch-protection feature, and all four windows as well as the moonroof may be opened via the TL's Keyless Access Remote. Turning the key twice in the driver's door lock or pressing and holding the lock button on the remote Keyless Access Remote closes the windows and moonroof simultaneously.
To help reduce wind and road noise, the 2009 TL features 5 mm thick glass for all four side windows. The added thickness (beyond typical auto glass) provides a superior acoustic barrier that makes the interior more quiet and luxurious.
The broad door handles are formed to comfortably fit a wide range of hand sizes as well as to accommodate gloved hands in winter driving conditions. The handles feature painted surfaces on the base TL and a painted and chromed finish on the Technology Package. The 2009 TL with Technology Package uses a Keyless Access System that unlocks the driver's door or all doors (programmable as the owner wishes) when grabbing either the driver or front passenger door handle. A button, located on the driver's door handle, locks all doors with a light touch-and a reassuring audible tone confirms that the vehicle is indeed locked. An emergency lock cylinder, located on the rear edge the driver's door handle, permits locking and unlocking the vehicle in the event the battery becomes discharged.
Satin door sill plates greet the driver and front passenger when the front doors are opened. Centered in a durable black composite surround, the metal door sill plates feature the Acura logo. As well, dual 360-degree seals in all four door openings provide outstanding sealing capability to help keep wind, road and traffic noise, water and dirt out of the interior.
POWER EXTERIOR MIRRORS
Aerodynamically shaped power-adjustable mirrors make use of tinted glass that reduces glare. Mounted flush with the mirror nacelle are bright turn-signal diodes that provide an extra margin of safety in traffic—without interrupting the TL’s dramatic bodylines. In addition, the side mirrors are heated and memory linked to driver preference.
FUEL FILLER DOOR
The Acura TL uses a new electric fuel-filler door release system. Instead of a traditional floor-mounted cable release, the 2009 TL’s fuel-filler door opens with a push of a button located on the driver’s door next to the trunk-release button. When the button is pushed the filler door pops open 1.2 inches and is held open by a secondary spring. The fuel door may then be opened fully to access the fuel filler.
A large array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) serves as the taillights on the new TL. Used here as well as in the turn signals located in the outside rearview mirrors and Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL), the LEDs illuminate almost instantly, provide exceptionally high-visibility lighting and draw less energy than comparable incandescent bulbs. The LEDs also provide a highly technical look that compliments the TL body design and are projected to have a far longer service life.
Included in the available Technology Package is a rear spoiler that contains a trunk release touch button as well as a rearview camera that’s image is displayed on the Navigation screen when the transmission is shifted to Reverse. The composite spoiler is painted body color and smoothly integrated into the bodylines. To date, none of the TL’s European competitors offer the rearview camera as an option.
Bright finish dual exhaust tips give the TL a powerful presence when viewed from the rear. The 3.7-liter SH-AWD® model takes this further with quad exhausts featuring twin "D" shaped outlets that add further strength and appeal to the rear of the vehicle.
Fuel capacity on the 2009 TL has increased to 18.5 gallons from 17.1 gallons on the previous TL, an increase in volume that helps extend cruising range between fill-ups. Manufactured of high-density polypropylene resin, the tank is also located farther forward than in the past, helping to improve mass centralization for better ride and handling as well as rear-seat roominess.
Further reducing wind noise inside the new TL was essential to making the vehicle a top performer in the premium sport sedan market. Designers used many different strategies, including the use of an acoustic windshield, thicker side glass, special insulators, and precise aerodynamic tailoring of the body and the vehicle's underside. The result is that the TL more smoothly moves through the air, benefiting interior quietness and fuel economy.
The underside of the TL has significant aerodynamic advancements. At the front of the vehicle, a precisely shaped deflector directs part of the airflow from underneath the front fascia and up through the radiator to provide a steady supply of cooling air at speed. The aerodynamic tailoring continues with another deflector that guides remaining airflow smoothly underneath the engine. Racecar-inspired deflectors located ahead of the front tires also help steer air around them more efficiently. The inside frame rails (described in the Body section) allow air to flow more smoothly underneath the car. The TL also has a mid-floor cover that smoothly transitions air from the underside of the body to the underside of the fuel tank. The dual muffler undersides are likewise flat, and the vehicle's underbody is also coated with a sound-absorbing PVC coating.
INCREASED TRUNK CAPACITY
Offering 13.1 cu. ft. of storage volume, the 2009 Acura TL has 0.8 cu. ft. (6.5-percent) more trunk capacity than the previous generation TL. The SH-AWD® model has 12.5 cu. ft. of storage due to the space requirements of the rear differential-yet as a result of intelligent packaging it still offers an increase of 0.2 cu. ft. or 1.6-percent compared to the previous TL. The TL's trunk is spacious enough to hold four golf bags, four 22-in. Pullman-style suitcases or a family-sized cooler.
For the first time in the Acura TL, the fuel door is opened from inside the car via an electrical switch instead of a cable release as used on the previous-generation TL. The switch is conveniently located on the driver's door panel instead of on the floor. When equipped with the Technology Package, the Keyless Access System allows the trunk to be opened by simply pressing a "smart button" on the rear spoiler. As long as the Keyless Access Remote transponder is in their possession the TL's Keyless Access System will recognize the presence of the driver and allow the trunk to be opened.
Fully Lined Trunk
The trunk is fully lined to protect the cargo as well as for improved visual appeal. The hinges are likewise concealed. Several improvements give the trunk a more finished overall appearance. These include a spring-loaded cover that hides the latch striker, a unified look and feel for the lined trunk sides and floor, a convenient strap for lifting the spare-tire cover, a garnish where the hinge arms slide into the body, and a neatly finished edge to the trunk lining material. More substantial hinges also create a more rigid overall trunk-lid assembly.
Underneath the floor of the trunk is a T135/80D17 temporary spare tire mounted on a steel wheel, along with a jack, lug-nut wrench, and an eyelet that screws into a locating point on the front bumper in the event the TL ever needs to be transported on a flatbed truck. The trunk also features six anchor points for attaching a cargo net, along with a fold-down pass-through to accommodate long items such as snow skis.
The 2009 Acura TL offers a total of nine available exterior colors-the most ever available for the TL model. Five out of the nine available colors are new for 2009, and include a mix of five pearl colors and four metallic colors. The new colors include Basque Red, Borealis Blue, Crystal Black, Grigio, and Palladium. Specifically chosen to mirror the TL's "emotion unleashed" character, the new colors look particularly dramatic in bright sunlight, where the TL's strong character lines present different facets of the body to the light differently, creating a highly evocative and dynamic 3-D appearance. All exterior colors feature a durable, hard clear coat that resists damage from industrial pollution, acid rain and fog, as well as organic contaminants such as bird droppings. The exterior colors were also selected to compliment the TL's four available interior colors including Ebony, Parchment, Taupe and Umber Tan.
|Basque Red Pearl||
|Borealis Blue Pearl||
|Crystal Black Pearl||
|Polished Metal Metallic||
|Premium White Pearl||
|Mayan Bronze Metallic||
|Royal Blue Pearl||
2009 TL EXTERIOR ACCESSORIES
A line of Acura Genuine Accessories was developed simultaneously with the TL to provide personalization for the Acura owner. Like all Acura Genuine Accessories, the TL accessories are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.
- 18-inch diameter alloy wheel (chrome look)
- 19-inch diameter alloy wheel (chrome look)
- 19-inch diameter alloy wheel (polished)
- Wheel locks
- Rear back-up sensors
- Front spoiler
- Side spoilers
- Rear spoiler
- Rear decklid spoiler
- Side splash guards
- Body side moldings
- Door edge guards
- Door edge film protection
- Car cover
- Front nosemask
- Engine block heater (for winter use)