2011 Acura TL - Overview

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INTRODUCTION

With athletic and emotional styling, powerful engine performance and a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model, the fourth-generation 2011 TL is nothing less than the most exciting performance luxury sedan in Acura history. After a complete from-the-wheels-up redesign for 2009, Acura aimed to enhance every aspect of the original model. Featuring a stiff unit-body construction with expansive use of high-strength steel (as well as key aluminum components), unique and dramatic exterior styling, a choice of two powerful VTEC® V-6 powertrains (280-hp 3.5L and 305-hp 3.7L), Electric Power Steering (EPS), and a luxurious and technologically advanced interior, the TL sets the benchmark for the future direction of the Acura division.

The 2011 TL is available in numerous configurations including a choice between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. In addition, the TL SH-AWD® is available with either a Sequential Sportshift 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. However, the TL 6MT goes well beyond the addition of a unique transmission. Acura engineers developed a complete performance package for the 6-speed model that includes numerous enhancements to handling, steering and reliability. Not only is the manual transmission model the best performing Acura TL ever, but it is the top performer in handling amongst every vehicle in its class.

The 2011 TL is a powerful and precise performance luxury sedan that is as confident and composed on a mountain road as it is in the city center. Replacing the previous generation TL's Type-S model is the TL SH-AWD® model that is built exclusively for the enthusiast driver. Featuring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, special suspension and steering tuning, the most powerful engine from Acura ever and performance minded close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox, the 2011 TL offers plenty of appeal for both commuters and performance enthusiasts. Unlike some sedan competitors that add all-wheel-drive to their vehicle to primarily help in winter conditions, the TL's available SH-AWD® was specially designed to dramatically enhance sporty handling in addition to further enhancing the vehicle's winter-driving capability. This means that the TL SH-AWD® is inspiring to drive year-round.

The 2011 TL SH-AWD® makes advances in both on-road performance and driving exhilaration as it significantly surpasses the previous track-tuned TL Type-S in all measurable levels of handling performance. Moreover, not only is the TL SH-AWD® more exhilarating when pushed on challenging roads, but in day-to-day use it delivers a more rewarding and exhilarating level of driving excitement. Without a doubt, the application of SH-AWD® with the TL sedan—Acura's best selling sedan—marks a new milestone for performance, drivetrain sophistication and safety.

The 2011 TL has the visual presence to back up its performance, with exterior luxury cues like genuine stainless-steel trim, LED taillights and dynamic surface lines immediately capturing the viewer's attention. Inside, TL occupants are treated to an engaging interior which includes advanced LED lighting throughout the cabin, thickly bolstered leather seating and flowing metallic or wood patterned accents. Regarding interior size, the fourth generation TL is the most spacious version ever.

As expected from Acura, the TL's range of standard safety features is exemplary and includes six airbags, active front seat head restraints, and the advantages of Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body design.

In addition, a Technology Package is available on both models. Featuring items such as Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with  radar image mapping, the Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system, Bluetooth® Audio and the Keyless Access System (with Smart Entry and pushbutton ignition), the Technology Package offers a comprehensive electronic array of features.

THE ACURA TL MISSION

Altogether, the fourth-generation Acura TL amplifies and refocuses the original TL's mission as a driver's performance luxury sedan. Competing in the entry premium sedan segment, the 2011 TL advances Acura's mission of providing precisely crafted and focused luxury-performance vehicles. A summary of its most powerful attributes includes:

  1. Dramatic exterior and interior styling together with a superlative level of luxury and technological appointments.
  2. Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ model developed specifically for the performance enthusiast.
  3. Available 6-speed manual transmission along with available 19-inch alloy wheels with high performance Summer-spec tires.
  4. Available Technology Package combines premium leather seating surfaces with advanced electronic technologies that make driving more enjoyable, efficient and convenient.

LUXURY MARKET STATUS

The 2011 TL enters the competitive luxury market at an ideal time as the segment in which it competes is expected to remain strong into the next decade. Available with the largest and most powerful engine in TL history, along with the sport-driving focused SH-AWD® system (the world's first torque-vectoring AWD system when introduced in 2000), the 2011 TL competes with vehicles such as the Audi A4 and A6, BMW 3-Series and 5-Series, Infiniti G35 and M35, Lexus ES, GS and IS sedans, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class.

CONCEPT CUSTOMER

Performance luxury sedan customers value vehicle traits such as dramatic and exclusive exterior styling, emotional and luxurious interior design, and fun-to-drive character. These elements are balanced by an equally keen appreciation for quality, reliability, durability and competitive pricing.

Self-guided, discriminating and technically savvy, these customers also feel that prestige is determined more by life experiences than by pure wealth. For this reason they are interested in vehicles that help them enjoy driving to the fullest— and the 2011 TL is designed to do exactly that. While the TL is designed to appeal to a broad range of upscale consumers, the target buyer is expected to be a professional male in his mid 40s with a household income of about $100,000 per year, while the expected TL SH-AWD® target buyer is a professional male in his early 40s with a household income of over $150,000 per year.

POWERTRAIN FEATURES

TL

  • Front engine, front-wheel-drive
  • 3.5-liter SOHC, aluminum V-6 engine
  • 280 hp at 6,300 rpm and 254 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm
  • 11.2:1 compression ratio
  • Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for intake valves
  • Lightweight magnesium alloy intake manifold with dual-stage induction system
  • Cold-air intake system
  • Integrated exhaust manifolds cast directly into the aluminum cylinder heads
  • High-flow sport-tuned exhaust system with dual outlets
  • Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system
  • Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Direct ignition system
  • Detonation/knock control system
  • Maintenance Minder™ system
  • 100,000 mile tune-up intervals*
  • Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with racing-inspired paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control System

*Does not apply to fluid and filter changes. Exact mileage is determined by actual driving conditions.

TL Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)

  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) for performance handling and all-season capability
  • 3.7-liter SOHC, aluminum V-6 engine
  • 305 hp at 6,200 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm
  • 11.2:1 compression ratio
  • High-silicon aluminum cylinder sleeves cast directly into aluminum cylinder block
  • Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for intake and exhaust valves
  • Lightweight magnesium alloy intake manifold with dual-stage induction system
  • Cold-air intake system
  • Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system with larger throttle-body (69 mm diameter versus 64 mm) for the 3.7L V-6
  • Integrated exhaust manifolds cast directly into the aluminum cylinder heads
  • High-flow, sport-tuned dual exhaust system with quad exhaust tips
  • Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
  • Direct ignition system
  • Detonation/knock control system
  • Maintenance Minder™ system
  • 100,000-mile tune-up intervals*
  • Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with racing-inspired paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control System

*Does not apply to fluid and filter changes. Exact mileage is determined by actual driving conditions

TL SH-AWD with 6-Speed Manual Transmission (TL SH-AWD® 6MT)

  • Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission
  • Heavy-duty clutch system with increased holding, reduced pedal effort and better feel
  • Exclusive tuning for the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system
  • Exclusive rate front coil springs
  • Exclusive rate front dampers
  • Stiffer engine and transmission mounts
  • Heavy-duty front driveshafts and CV joints
  • Heavy-duty front differential
  • Unique Electric Power Steering (EPS) tuning
  • Hill start assist function exclusively designed for the 6-speed manual
  • Overall reduction in vehicle weight (88 pounds lighter)
  • Improved front/rear weight distribution
  • Available 19x8-inch diameter aluminum wheels with 245/40ZR19 summer tires

Emissions

  • High-flow close-coupled catalytic converters plus under floor catalytic converter
  • High-capacity 32-bit RISC processor emissions control unit
  • Meets EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards

Fuel Economy

  • TL: EPA estimated 18/26/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • TL SH-AWD: EPA estimated 17/25/20 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • TL SH-AWD 6MT: EPA estimated 17/25/20 mpg (city/highway/combined)

*Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. 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.

BODY & CHASSIS FEATURES

Design & Styling

  • "Motion Surface" body design features the Acura signature grille, strong character lines and bold, aggressive curves
  • Projector-style HID low beam and halogen high beam front headlights
  • Bodywork integrated front fog lamps
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with auto-reverse feature
  • LED illumination for taillights, Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL) and outside mirror housing-mounted turn signals
  • Advanced underbody aerodynamics
  • Greater overall length, width and wheelbase than third-generation TL

Structure

  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
  • Frame rails positioned inside of floor pan for improved aerodynamics
  • A, B and C-pillar foam separators
  • Extensive use of high-strength steel

Wheels & Tires

  • 17-inch diameter aluminum wheels; P245/50R17 M+S tires (standard on TL)
  • 18-inch diameter aluminum wheels; P245/45R18 M+S tires (available on TL with Technology Package)
  • 18-inch diameter aluminum wheels; P245/45R18 M+S tires (standard on TL SH-AWD®)
  • 19-inch diameter aluminum wheels; 245/40ZR19 summer tires (available on SH-AWD® model)

Steering, Suspension & Brakes

  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Suspension dampers with dual-stage "blow-off" valve
  • Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension
  • Firmer coil springs, dampers and stabilizer bars on SH-AWD® model
  • 4-wheel disc brakes with dual-piston (front) and single-piston (rear) calipers
  • Exclusive EPS and brake booster tuning for SH-AWD® model
  • Front fascia-mounted cooling ducts for the front brakes on SH-AWD® model
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA) on SH-AWD® model

INTERIOR FEATURES

  • Engaging cockpit designed for performance driving
  • Leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel with illuminated fingertip controls
    and racing-inspired paddle shifters
  • LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination
  • High-resolution Multi-Information Display (MID) allows access to multiple electronic functions and customizable feature settings
  • Electronic compass
  • 10-way adjustable power driver seat (8-way power seat with 2-way power lumbar)
  • 8-way power front passenger seat
  • Premium leather seating surfaces
  • Exclusive sport seating and sport steering wheel on SH-AWD®
  • Solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode automatic climate control system with auto humidity control
  • Power moonroof with tilt, auto-open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation
  • 5-position straight gate shifter
  • Tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Electronic cruise control
  • 276-watt 8-speaker audio system with 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM radio, XM® Radio with Note function music reminder, Bluetooth® Audio and Dolby® ProLogic® II
  • USB port connectivity (for items such as an iPod®, iPhone® or removable mass storage devices)
  • Auxiliary jack interface (for portable MP3 music players)
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface
  • 2-position memory function (for seating position, outside mirror adjustments, radio presets, climate control settings, MID presets and more)
  • Molded carpet insulation for superior fit and acoustic damping

Technology Package

  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera
  • 8-inch full VGA high-resolution color display with wallpaper function
  • AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System that allows communication between the TL and Acura
  • AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™
  • AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps, 1- and 3-day forecasts, specific area weather and severe weather alerts
  • Acura/ELS Surround® premium 10-speaker surround audio system with DVD-Audio, DTS™, CD, AM/FM tuner, XM® Radio with Note function music reminder, Bluetooth® Audio, 3,000-song* hard disk drive (HDD) media storage system, speed-sensitive volume control (SVC) and a 440-watt Digital Signal Processing amplifier
  • Interface Dial that provides quick, intuitive access to navigation, audio, climate control and other features
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone, dual-mode adaptive climate control system with humidity control system and air filtration
  • Keyless Access System (with Smart Entry and pushbutton ignition)
  • Perforated full-grain Milano leather seating surfaces
  • 3D metallic trim on instrument panel and doors
  • Chrome accented door handles
  • Rear trunk lid spoiler with integrated rearview camera
  • Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/50R17 98V M+S tires

*Approximate capacity based on an average size of 4.0 MB per song at a 128kbps bitrate

SAFETY FEATURES

The 2011 Acura TL features the following safety technologies as standard equipment:

Active safety systems

  • 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control (Electronic Stability Control)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Passive safety systems

  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
  • 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions
  • Front seatbelt automatic tensioning system with integrated load limiters
  • Dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags
  • Dual-chamber front seat side airbags with passenger side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side curtain airbags for front and outboard rear seating positions
  • Active head restraints for front seats
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system in the rear seat

ENGINE & POWERTRAIN

A quintessential component of the Acura TL's mission as a performance luxury sedan is to provide the maximum possible driving enjoyment for enthusiast drivers. Thus, the TL offers a choice of two all-aluminum powertrains. The standard 3.5-liter V-6 develops 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque and drives the front wheels through a sophisticated Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control System. The 3.5L features technologies like a Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system, Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for the intake valves and a sport-tuned exhaust system with dual tips. The 3.5L V-6 delivers strong power and 18/26/21 mpg (city/highway/combined) fuel efficiency while meeting California's stringent CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification.

The TL takes the driving experience to the next level with the availability of the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model, which features a 3.7-liter V-6 engine developing 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque— making it the most powerful Acura sedan ever. With additional features including a cold-air intake system, Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for both intake and exhaust valves, and a high-flow, sport-tuned dual exhaust system with four exhaust tips, the SH-AWD® powertrain truly delivers racetrack-quality performance. In addition, the 3.7L V-6 meets CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification and delivers fuel economy of 17/25/20 mpg (city/highway/combined). The innovative SH-AWD® system is unique to Acura and by employing torque vectoring, during hard cornering under acceleration it can send more torque as well as to overdrive the outside rear wheel, thereby creating a "yaw moment" that enhances vehicle dynamics by generating a turn-in effect.

Acura's commitment to sophistication and refinement are equally important, and to this end both V-6 engines shine with features like maintenance-free serpentine accessory belts, low-noise and low-drag electric power steering (EPS), and electronically controlled hydraulic engine mounts that reduce vibration. Moreover, both engines feature a Maintenance Minder™ system and 100,000-mile tune-up interval. With validation testing conducted in environments ranging from Alaska to Death Valley, public streets to Germany's famed Nürburgring, and from Japan to New Zealand, the TL has been proven in an extremely demanding range of driving environments.

BODY & CHASSIS

The 2011 TL takes Acura styling to a dynamic new level. Using the concept "emotion unleashed" as a impetus for developing the body design, Acura designers based in Southern California crafted a performance luxury sedan shape with a surface that expresses motion— even while at rest.

The use of aggressive wheel arches, dramatic character lines along the body side and numerous Acura exclusive design elements (such as the Acura signature grille) create a powerful and distinctive shape. Featuring as standard equipment such premium details as stainless-steel body trim, a power moonroof, HID projector-beam front headlights and LED taillights, the TL enjoys a strong foothold in the premium segment.

Further defining the TL is a rigid unit-body, which positions the frame rails inside (instead of underneath) the floor pan to provide a nearly flat body underside. This frame design improves overall structural strength for enhanced crash safety, while also reducing interior noise and improving aerodynamic efficiency (the reduction in drag in turn enhances fuel economy). The TL also uses a large percentage (47.6-percent) of high-strength steel to improve structural strength while helping to reduce weight. To this end, aluminum is also used for the hood, front suspension subframe and rear suspension knuckles, while lightweight foam-filled body pillars help reduce noise in the cabin.

The TL rides on double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Several technologies sharpen the TL's handling while significantly reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) inside the car. These technologies include dual-stage "blow off" style hydraulic dampers, hydro-compliant bushings (for the engine, transmission, and select suspension components) and a "smart" engine mount design. The available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) TL has unique suspension tuning, more aggressive braking-force tuning, front brake cooling ducts, and special tuning for the driver-focused Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. Those in search for the ultimate in TL performance will choose the 6MT model that adds close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, exclusive tuning for the SH-AWD system, special rate front springs and dampers, a heavy-duty front differential and driveshafts, unique EPS tuning and more.

Standard on the 2011 TL are 17x8-inch split 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels with Bridgestone Turanza P245/50R17 all-season tires. The available Technology Package has proprietary Michelin Pilot P245/50R17 all-season tires for the 17-inch wheels, with available 18x8-inch aluminum wheels fit with P245/45/18 all-season tires. The TL SH-AWD® model includes as standard 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot P245/45R18 rubber. Available on TL SH-AWD® models are 19x8-inch aluminum wheels with aggressive Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40ZR19 94Y summer tires.

INTERIOR

The TL's driver-focused objective is strongly presented throughout the interior, where a "dual personal" layout provides a feeling of separate personal space for the driver and front passenger. Sweeping shapes and high-quality materials provide a feeling of intelligent luxury, while a formidable array of standard and available electronics reward the TL occupants with top-flight audio, navigation and communications experiences. On the driver's side, all the controls and instruments are positioned intuitively, allowing the driver to focus on the driving experience while still enjoying Acura's substantial array of electronic aids and conveniences.

Luxury and technology are evident from the moment the TL's doors are first opened, and detail after detail underscores Acura's commitment to winning over the luxury customer. From the shape and feel of the door handles and the precision of the door-sill plates, to the richly appointed leather seating and the ergonomic positioning of seat bolsters, armrests and controls, the TL immediately connects with the luxury customer. But it is the remarkable range of standard features that do the convincing— features like 10-way power driver seat (8-way power seat with 2-way lumbar support) and 8-way power passenger seat, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters for the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, and an 8-speaker, 276-watt audio system with 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM radio, XM® Radio with Note function, Bluetooth® Audio, USB port and AUX jack connectivity, and HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface.

An available Technology Package adds a desirable range of electronic upgrades to the extensive list of standard luxury features, beginning with the Keyless Access System (with smart entry and pushbutton ignition) and luxurious full-grain perforated premium Milano leather seating surfaces. Designed to integrate seamlessly with the TL driving experience, the electronic features continue with an Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, rearview camera and an 8-inch full VGA high-resolution color display, plus AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™ and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps. In addition, an AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System provides a continual interface between the TL and Acura. An interface dial complements powerful voice recognition capability that provides intuitive access to navigation, audio, climate control and other features. For the ultimate audio experience, the Technology Package includes an Acura/ELS Surround® 10-speaker, 440-watt premium audio system with DVD-Audio, DTS™, CD, AM/FM radio, XM® Radio, Bluetooth® Audio and a 3,000-song* hard disk drive (HDD) media storage system.

*Approximate capacity based on an average size of 4.0 MB per song at a 128kbps bitrate

SAFETY

The Acura Division's interest and concern for safety engineering is well known. This concern for safety extends to the driver and passengers of the TL, the safety of occupants of other vehicles, and even the injury mitigation to pedestrians. The 2011 TL provides such safety with a complement of the latest safety engineering and features.

The story begins with the TL's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. Introduced to the Acura Division in the 2005 RL and now integrated into every Acura model, ACE™ is a body design that 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 TL. 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.

While ACE™ is a structural foundation for the TL's safety performance, its array of industry-leading passive safety technologies is equally important. The list begins with six airbags, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, dual-chamber front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags for the front and outboard rear seating positions. Features continue with 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, while the driver and front passenger also have front seatbelts with an automatic tensioning system with load limiters. The TL offers head restraints for all seating positions with active head restraints for the two front seats. The rear seat features Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH), which permits easy attachment of up to two child seats.

The TL's handling performance helps provide drivers with excellent crash-avoidance capabilities which are complimented by features such as 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist, and Vehicle Stability Assist. Additional exterior safety features include daytime running lights (DRL) and a deformable hood panel, hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots to help mitigate pedestrian injuries.

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