Don’t be surprised if you get a sense of déjà vu all over again – as Yogi Berra liked to say – when you get to the New York Auto Show next month.
Yes, you’ve seen that Acura TLX before. Well, almost but not quite. Honda’s upscale marque gave us a look at a “prototype” during the Detroit Auto Show a couple months back. That’s a common practice for Honda which has been very effective at double-dipping into the 24-hour news cycle.
Expect to see a few minor tweaks as we go from prototype to production – such as the row of LED lights fused to the base of each sideview mirror — but the basic shape is going to be largely the same as what was revealed in the Motor City. “The TLX will serve as the backbone of the Acura sedan line-up,” said Mike Accavitti, Acura’s new brand boss, so the maker is intent on getting it right with what will soon become the middle model in its three sedan line-up.
Dimensionally, the 2015 Acura TLX well measure about 3.8 inches shorter than the outgoing TL, at 190.2 inches , but will ride on the same 109.3-inch wheelbase.
(Acura spins off from Honda in bid to become a serious player in the luxury market. Click Herefor the rest of the story.)
The production model will be offered with a choice of a VTEC 2.4-liter inline-four engine, or a 3.5-liter V-6. The maker isn’t ready to provide either power or fuel-economy ratings, though it says it is targeting EPA mileage ratings at the top of the midsize luxury sedan class. The smaller engine will be paired with a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the V-6 getting a new 9-speed automatic.
Both models will be offered in front-drive configuration, while the 3.5-liter will also be available with an optional all-wheel-drive package. The latest update of Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive, or SH-AWD, system will be 25% lighter than before, Acura notes, and now adds a new torque-vectoring function that helps steer the car through tight corners.
In front-drive, the TLX will feature Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer, or P-AWS, technology, which uses independent toe control to improve its grip and handling.
(It’s all in the show…but today’s concept cars aren’t what they used to be. Click Here to see how they’re changing.)
Expect a “vault-like” experience in terms of noise levels thanks to a new active noise cancellation system, promised Accavitti, adding that the TLX is expected to have one of the largest cabins in its segment.
The sedan will also offer a host of standard and optional safety features, including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator.
The debut of the TLX comes a year after the introduction of the latest-generation Acura MDX, which was a finalist for North American Truck of the Year. Acura could clearly use a hit on its passenger car side, the base model ILX generating little enthusiasm in the market while the top-line RLX is still building some momentum.
The official debut of the 2015 Acura TLX is scheduled for the afternoon of April 16th, with sales to begin later in the year.
(Honda rolls out the 10 millionth American-made Accord. Click Here for the breaking story.)