Acura takes performance to the next level and aims straight at the heart of the enthusiast driver with the addition of a manual transmission model to the TL lineup for the 2010 model year. Along with the luxurious TL and sporty TL SH-AWD, the 2010 TL lineup is the most diverse in the vehicle's history, further broadening its appeal among luxury performance sedan buyers.
"The new manual transmission equipped TL SH-AWD® allows the enthusiast driver to take full advantage of the performance of Acura's SH-AWD® system," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales, "Not only is the new 6-speed manual transmission model the best performing Acura TL ever, it is the top handling performer among every vehicle in its class."
The availability of a 6-speed manual transmission for the 2010 TL SH-AWD® represents the first time Acura has ever paired its acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ system with a manual gearbox. In addition, the new close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission is approximately 110 lbs lighter than the Sequential SportShift automatic transmission to further benefit the TL's acceleration, braking and cornering.
For 2010, two distinct versions of Acura's performance luxury sedan will be offered: a luxurious 280 horsepower, front-wheel drive TL, and a powerful 305 hp TL paired with Acura's exclusive SH-AWD. Each model is available with an available technology package which adds navigation, extensive electronics and an Acura/ELS Surround® 410-watt Premium Audio System.
In addition to the powertrain and technology choices, TL buyers can further customize their performance luxury sedan with tire and wheel upgrades. For 2010, the standard TL is now available with an 18-inch diameter aluminum wheels with all-season tires- giving the TL a more aggressive, sporty appearance. Additionally, the TL SH-AWD (both manual and automatic transmission models) is available with a 19x8-inch 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheel with summer spec high performance tires to further add to the sedans performance capabilities.
With optimized suspension, two performance transmission choices, plus an available Technology Package featuring a comprehensive array of navigation and communication aids, the 2010 TL offers more appeal than ever before. Along with an available Acura/ELS Surround® 410-watt Premium Audio System with 10-speakers, the fourth-generation TL is the most technologically advanced sedan in Acura's history.
The combination of dramatic styling, exhilarating performance and an extensive array of electronics (including AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™ and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps) ensures Acura's best selling sedan will appeal to a sophisticated, technology-savvy audience.
A choice of two different all-aluminum VTEC® engines enables the 2010 TL to satisfy a wide range of customers. Standard is a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque that sends power to the front wheels through Acura's sophisticated Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Though powerful, the 3.5L engine is also fuel efficient, with EPA fuel economy ratings* of 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The engine meets California's tough CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification standards, thanks to features including a Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system, Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for the intake valves.
Serious performance-sedan enthusiasts will choose the TL SH-AWD® to make winding roads their own. Its 3.7-liter V-6 engine produces 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque courtesy of high-performance features like Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) on both the intake and exhaust valves and a special high-flow dual exhaust system. With EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings* of 17/25 mpg (TL SH-AWD®), the 3.7L V-6 also meets California's CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification. The pièce de résistance on the TL SH-AWD® model is the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ system, now available for the first time ever with a 6-speed manual transmission.
During spirited cornering, SH-AWD® seamlessly distributes more torque to the outside rear wheel to create a "yaw moment" to help the TL turn in more quickly and precisely – while also continuously apportioning drivetrain torque front to rear and left to right. The result is a remarkably balanced and precise all-wheel-drive performance sedan that excels year-round, not just during inclement weather.
The standard transmission on the 2010 TL and TL SH-AWD® is a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic featuring racing-inspired steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. The big news for 2010 is the availability of a new close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.
The 6-speed manual transmission is an all-new design that is substantially stronger than the previous generation TL manual transmission. In addition to using a more rigid aluminum case and heavier-duty internals, the new manual transmission employs precisely selected gear ratios based on the characteristics of the TL's 3.7L V-6 engine and SH-AWD® drivetrain. New gear synchronizers deliver improved shift accuracy and feel, and a short-throw shifter assembly generates confident shifting combined with low shift effort.
Engineers also designed an entirely new clutch system for the 6-speed manual transmission to withstand the TL's robust power output while also improving modulation for noticeably easier use. The new self-adjusting, dual-mass clutch delivers extremely consistent effort throughout the entire stroke of the pedal. By keeping the pedal effort linear, the driver has improved feel that results in better clutch interaction.
The TL SH-AWD® 6MT has a specially calibrated Hill Start Assist system that helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver switches from the brake to the accelerator while stopped on a hill. When the road incline exceeds an 8-degree threshold and the vehicle is fully stopped, Hill Start Assist automatically activates. When Hill Start Assist is active, the brakes automatically hold momentarily as the driver's foot transitions from the brake to the accelerator pedal. The brakes are automatically released when the vehicle begins to move forward.
The TL employs a double-wishbone independent front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension. The 2010 TL SH-AWD® 6MT retains the TL's fully-independent suspension, but has exclusive suspension tuning via special coil spring and shock absorber rates for flatter cornering with reduced pitching motions under acceleration and braking. The front dampers incorporate 5-percent more compression damping to generate improved turn-in feel. In addition, the front dampers generate 14-percent less high speed compression damping which helps improve ride quality.
The TL SH-AWD® 6MT employs firmer engine and transmission bushings that better resist engine and/or transmission movement during spirited driving. Engine side mount bushing stiffness increases by 80-percent, front mount rate increases by 17-percent, rear hydro mount firmness increases by 50-percent and the transmission upper mount is stiffened by 100-percent.
For 6-speed manual transmission applications, special heavy-duty front driveshafts are used. In addition to being 2-percent larger in diameter, the driveshafts have a larger inboard spline size and team with more heavy-duty CV joints.
The TL SH-AWD® fit with the new 6-speed transmission will also benefit from exclusive Electronic Power Steering (EPS) tuning. Just as with the TL SH-AWD® with Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic, the EPS delivers low steering effort for parking maneuvers that progressively firms up as speed increases. With the TL SH-AWD® 6MT, the EPS system is further tuned to deliver a slightly heavier feel as speed increases thus generating a more confident mid- to high-speed driving experience.
The structural engineering for the TL's unit-body includes the relocation of the frame rails inside (rather than underneath) the vehicle's floor pan, resulting in a nearly flat body underside. Benefits of this frame design include improved crash safety, a significant reduction in interior noise levels and reduced aerodynamic drag that helps enhance fuel efficiency. Another notable engineering feature is the significant use of high-strength steel, which simultaneously improves the unit-body's overall strength while helping to reduce weight. For additional weight savings, aluminum is used for the hood, the front suspension subframe and rear suspension knuckles.
Further improving ride quality and road-holding are dual-stage "blow off" style suspension dampers, hydro-compliant bushings (for the transmission and key suspension components) and a "smart" engine mount design. On the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model, more performance-minded suspension and brake tuning, larger wheels/tires, racing-inspired front brake cooling ducts and specially-tuned Electric Power Steering (EPS) take the enthusiast's driving experience to an even higher level.
An evocative and powerful exterior body design dramatically advances the TL's image as a performance luxury sedan. Designed by Acura in Southern California, the TL utilizes an array of styling techniques to express motion – and emotion – even when the car is at rest. Featuring Acura's signature front grille, body sides defined by strong character lines, sweeping C-pillars and LED taillights, the 2010 TL is simultaneously Acura and yet wholly unique. Plentiful use of luxury and performance features add visual appeal while adding to the TL's vigorous statement – including bright HID projector-beam front headlights, pronounced wheel arches, a standard power moonroof and genuine stainless-steel body trim.
Wheels and tires are as expressive as the exterior styling. Standard on the 2010 TL are 17-inch aluminum wheels with P245/50R17 all-season for confident year-round performance. Available for the TL are 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.
The TL SH-AWD® comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels with low-profile P245/45R18 tires for more agile handling. Finally, the TL SH-AWD® offers available 19-inch aluminum wheels with aggressive P245/40ZR19 summer tires for the ultimate TL performance experience.
In keeping with its mission as a driver's car, the 2010 TL interior features a "dual personal" design that provides both the driver and front passenger with their own personal space. Thanks to its large exterior dimensions, the fourth generation TL has 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 0.5-inch of added rear shoulder room compared to the previous generation TL.
Acura's commitment to luxury and technology are apparent from the first moment the driver's door is opened. With sweeping shapes, generous use of premium materials and passionate attention to detail, the TL rewards the discriminating eye. The design and execution of the interior is an artful combination of leather surfaces, accented by metallic and wood-pattern trim. An impressive array of standard features includes a power moonroof, dual-zone adaptive climate control, 10-way power adjustable driver seat, 8-way power adjustable passenger front seat, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the Sequential SportShift automatic transmission. An 8-speaker, 276-watt audio system that includes a 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Radio, Bluetooth® Audio, USB port and AUX jack connectivity, and HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface.
Available on both the TL and TL SH-AWD® is a Technology Package that includes the most comprehensive array of advanced electronic features ever offered by Acura. The Technology Package includes the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps, an Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system and Keyless Access System with pushbutton ignition. The Navigation System features an 8-inch full VGA high-resolution color display for excellent visibility.
Audiophiles with appreciate the Acura/ELS Surround® 10-speaker, 440-watt premium sound system with DVD-Audio, CD, DTS™, AM/FM tuner, XM® Radio with Note function music reminder and 2,500-song** hard disk drive (HDD) media storage.
An intuitive interface dial as well as sophisticated voice recognition capability simplifies control of this impressive technology. Premium Milano leather seating surfaces included with the Technology Package further enhances comfort and visual appeal.
The 2010 TL makes use of a host of advanced safety features including Acura's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. In simple terms, the ACE™ body design enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes. The ACE™ design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. Acura first introduced ACE™ to the Acura line for the 2005 model year and its inclusion in the fourth generation TL means that every vehicle in the Acura model range now has this advanced safety engineering.
Six airbags and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger seats are just a few of the long list of passive safety features built into the TL. The airbag array includes dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, dual-chamber front seat side airbags with front passenger seat Occupant Position Detection System and side-curtain airbags for front and outboard rear seating positions. Additional passive-safety features include 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, driver and front passenger seatbelt load-limiters with an automatic tensioning system and a Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system that permits quick, secure attachment of up to two child seats in the outboard locations of the rear seating area.
The 2010 TL includes safety minded features such as 4-wheel disc brakes (with ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and daytime running lights (DRL).
The 2010 Acura TL is designed to meet the latest crash-safety standards, and is targeted to receive the highest crash-safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA***) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 270 dealers within the United States. The 2010 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV, the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the all-new ZDX four-door sports coupe.
The 2010 Acura TL is assembled in Marysville, Ohio and is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits of ownership include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
For additional information and photos of the 2010 TL (or information on any Acura vehicle), please visit www.acuranews.com.
* Based on 2010 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
**Approximate music storage capacity
*** Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side-impact air bags (SABs).