Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2009 Acura TL - Overview

With athletic and emotional styling, powerful engine performance and a new Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model, the all-new fourth-generation 2009 TL is nothing less than the most exciting performance luxury sedan in Acura history. Moreover, as the sales volume leader for the division, the TL is also Acura's most important car. In completely redesigning the TL from the wheels up, Acura aimed to enhance literally 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), all-new Electric Power Steering (EPS), and a luxurious and technologically advanced interior, the new TL sets the benchmark for the future direction of the Acura division.
For the first time ever in an Acura vehicle, the 2009 TL is available in a choice of front-wheel-drive TL or all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD® configurations. The new 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 TL Type-S is the TL SH-AWD® model, built exclusively for the enthusiast driver and featuring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, special suspension and steering tuning, and the most powerful engine from Acura ever. Unlike some competitors, who add all-wheel drive to their vehicles primarily to help in winter conditions, the TL's available SH-AWD® was 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 2009 TL SH-AWD® makes a significant advance 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 new 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 first ever application of SH-AWD® with the TL sedan - Acura's best selling sedan - marks a new milestone for performance, drivetrain sophistication, and safety. Not only is it the best performing Acura TL ever, but the new TL SH-AWD® is a top performer amongst every vehicle in its class.
The new 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. The 2009 TL gains an additional 1.3 inches of rear legroom and 0.5-inches of rear shoulder room, thus making it the most spacious TL ever.
As expected from Acura, the TL's range of standard safety features is exemplary and includes six airbags, active front head restraints, and the advantages of Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) front body design.
In addition, a Technology Package is available on both models. Featuring such items as Keyless Access System with push-button start, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink® real-time traffic, real-time weather with Doppler-style radar mapping, the Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system, and Bluetooth® Audio the Technology Package offers the most comprehensive electronic array of features ever available on an Acura.
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 2009 TL advances Acura's mission of providing precisely crafted and focused luxury-performance vehicles. A summary of its most powerful attributes includes:
1. Dramatic and unique exterior and interior styling together with a superlative level of luxury and technological appointments. 2. Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model developed specifically for the performance enthusiast. 3. Available Technology Package combines premium leather seating surfaces with advanced electronic technologies that make driving more enjoyable, efficient and convenient. 4. The latest passive safety features along with top projected safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The 2009 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. The new TL is forecast to share substantially in this success with a projected sales increase to about 70,000 units per year, an increase of 5.8-percent through 2012. 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 new TL arrives ready to compete with vehicles like 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.
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. In other words, experiencing life, rather than just accumulating possessions, is a powerful driver. For this reason they are interested in vehicles that help them enjoy driving to the fullest - and the 2009 TL is designed to do exactly that. While the 2009 TL is designed to appeal to a broad range of upscale consumers, the target buyer for the TL 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.
  • Front engine, front-wheel-drive
  • 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 aluminum alloy engine
  • 280 hp at 6,200 rpm and 254 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm
  • 11.2:1 compression ratio
  • Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®)
  • Dual-Stage induction system with lightweight magnesium intake manifold
  • Cold-air intake system
  • Integrated exhaust manifolds cast directly into the cylinder heads
  • High-flow sport-tuned exhaust system with dual tips
  • 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*
*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 V-6 aluminum alloy 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
  • Dual-stage induction system with lightweight magnesium intake manifold
  • Cold-air intake system
  • Larger throttle-body (69 mm diameter versus 64 mm in the TL) for the Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system
  • Integrated exhaust manifolds cast directly into the 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*
*Does not apply to fluid and filter changes. Exact mileage is determined by actual driving conditions.
  • 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
  • EPA estimated 18/26 mpg (city/highway)
  • EPA estimated 17/25/20 mpg (city/highway/combined)
Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and grade logic control
  • Quick-response Sequential SportShift allows semi-manual transmission operation
  • New straight-gate style console-mounted shifter
  • Steering-wheel mounted F1®-style paddle shifters
  • Paddle shifters operable in both Drive and Sport modes
  • Coordination between Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system and transmission makes for quick, smooth shifts
  • Wide gear-ratio spacing for quick acceleration and good fuel economy
  • Advanced shift-hold control minimizes unwanted shifting during spirited driving
  • Grade logic control system reduces gear "hunting" when climbing hills
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
  • Fully automatic full-time traction and handling system
  • Distributes torque between front and rear axles
  • Distributes torque between left and right rear wheels
  • Provides torque vectoring to directly control the yaw moment of the vehicle
  • Capable of "overdriving" outside rear wheel to enhance handling
  • Understeer is greatly reduced during hard cornering
  • Increases overall cornering grip in dry and inclement weather
*Based on 2009 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.
Design & Styling
  • "Motion Surface" body design features a new Acura signature grille, strong character lines and bold, aggressive character
  • Projector-style HID low beam and halogen high beam front headlights
  • Integrated front fog lamps
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with auto-reverse feature
  • LED illumination for taillights, Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL) and exterior mirror housing-mounted turn signals
  • Advanced underbody aerodynamics
  • Greater overall length, width and wheelbase than third-generation TL
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) front body structure
  • Frame rails repositioned to inside of floor pan for improved aerodynamics
  • New A, B & C-pillar foam separators
  • Extensive use of high-strength steel
Wheels & Tires
  • 17-inch diameter aluminum wheels; P245/50R17 M+S tires (on TL)
  • 18-inch diameter aluminum wheels; P245/45R18 M+S tires (on TL SH-AWD®)
  • 19-inch diameter aluminum wheels; 245/40ZR19 summer tires (optional on SH-AWD® model)
Steering, Suspension & Brakes
  • New Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • New dampers with unique 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/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
  • Engaging cockpit designed for performance driving
  • Leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel with illuminated fingertip controls and F1®-style paddle shifters
  • New LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination
  • High-resolution Multi-Information Display (MID) allows access to multiple electronic functions and customizable feature settings
  • Compass
  • 10-way adjustable power driver's 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
  • 5-position straight shift gate
  • Tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Electronic cruise control
  • 8-speaker audio system with 6-disc CD changer, AM/FM radio, XM® Satellite Radio, Bluetooth® Audio, and Dolby ProLogic II
  • USB port connectivity (for iPod®, iPhone®, or removable mass storage devices)
  • Auxiliary jack interface (for portable MP3 music players)
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface
  • Power moonroof with tilt, auto-open/close, auto-reverse and key-off operation
  • 2-position memory function (for seating position, mirror adjustments, radio presets, climate control settings, MID presets, and more)
  • High-quality surface finishes and materials
  • Molded carpet insulation for superior fit and acoustic damping
Technology Package (Available on TL and TL SH-AWD®)
  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera
  • 8-inch full VGA high-resolution color display
  • AcuraLink® satellite communication system that allows communication between the TL and Acura
  • AcuraLink® real-time traffic with all-new Traffic Rerouting™ feature
  • Real-time weather with Doppler-style radar mapping
  • Acura/ELS Surround® premium 10-speaker surround sound system with DVD-Audio, DTS™, CD, AM/FM radio, XM® Satellite Radio, Bluetooth® Audio and 2,500-song* hard disk drive (HDD) media storage system, and ProLogic II
  • Interface dial that provides quick, intuitive access to navigation, audio, climate control and other features
  • Keyless Access System (with smart entry and push-button ignition)
  • Full-grain perforated Milano Premium leather seating surfaces
  • 3D metallic trim on instrument panel and doors
*Approximate capacity
  • The 2009 Acura TL features the following safety technologies as standard equipment:
  • Active safety systems
  • 4-wheel disc 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)
  • Standard all-season (M+S) tires
  • Available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
Passive safety systems
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) front body structure
  • 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions
  • Front seatbelt automatic tensioning system with integrated load limiters
  • Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags
  • Dual-chamber front-seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions
  • Active head restraints for front headrests
  • Rear head restraints for all seating positions
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system in the rear seat
  • 2.5-mph front and rear bumpers
A quintessential component of the 2009 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. Featuring technologies like a Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system, Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) on intake valves and a sport-tuned exhaust system with dual tips, the 3.5-liter engine is targeted to meet California's stringent CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification, and is projected to return 18 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.
The TL takes the driving experience to the next level with the new 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 new cold-air intake system, Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) on 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, while also meeting CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification and returning projected fuel-economy of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The innovative SH-AWD® system is unique to Acura and by employing torque vectoring, in hard cornering under acceleration it can send more torque as well as 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 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. Both engines likewise feature a Maintenance Minder™ system and 100,000-mile tune-up interval. With validation testing conducted from Alaska to Death Valley, from public streets to Germany's famed Nürburgring, and from Japan to New Zealand, the new TL has been proven in an extremely demanding range of driving environments.
The new 2009 TL takes Acura styling to a dynamic new level. Using the concept "emotion unleashed" as a driver for developing the new body design, Acura designers 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 new Acura signature grille) create a powerful and distinctive new shape. Featuring such premium details as genuine stainless-steel body trim, a power moonroof, HID projector-beam headlights and LED taillights as standard equipment, the TL should immediately enjoy a strong foothold in the premium segment.
To meet the demands of the luxury customer, the new TL has grown slightly over its predecessor - while simultaneously exceeding the previous TL's performance and handling. The 2009 TL is 6.2 inches longer overall, 1.8 inches wider and a modest 0.5 inches taller to give it a noticeably roomier interior. The wheelbase and track are also greater; wheelbase increases by 1.4 inches and the track is up by 1.1 inches in front and 1.8 inches rear. The wider track improves cornering prowess while the longer wheelbase enhances ride comfort and interior space.
Further defining the 2009 TL is an all-new 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 new TL also uses a higher percentage (47.6-percent) of high-strength steel to further 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 foam-filled body pillars help reduce noise in the cabin.
The new TL rides on double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Several new technologies further sharpen the TL's handling while significantly reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) inside the car. These technologies include new dual-stage "blow off" style hydraulic dampers, new hydro-compliant bushings (for the engine, transmission, and select suspension components) and a new "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 new driver-focused Electric Power Steering (EPS) system.
Standard on the 2009 TL are 17x8-inch cast aluminum wheels with Bridgestone Turanza P245/50R17 all-season tires. The available Technology Package has proprietary Michelin Pilot P245/50R17 all-season tires, while the TL SH-AWD® model includes 18x8-inch aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot P245/45R18 rubber. Available on TL SH-AWD® models are optional 19x8-inch aluminum wheels with aggressive Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40ZR19 94Y summer tires.
The new TL's driver-focused objective is strongly presented throughout the interior, where a new "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 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 scuff plates, to the richly appointed leather seating and the ergonomic positioning of seat bolsters, armrests and controls, the 2009 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's seat (8-way power seat with 2-way lumbar support) and 8-way power passenger's seat, steering-wheel mounted F1®-style 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® Satellite Radio, Bluetooth® Audio, USB port and AUX jack connectivity, and HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface.
The 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 push-button 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 all-new 8-inch full VGA high-resolution color display, plus AcuraLink® real-time traffic with Traffic Rerouting™ and AcuraLink® weather with Doppler-style weather radar 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 sound system with DVD-Audio, DTS™, CD, AM/FM radio, XM® Radio, Bluetooth® Audio and a 2,500-song* hard disk drive (HDD) media storage.
*Approximate capacity
There is no greater interest and concern for the Acura Division than safety. This extends from safety for the driver and passengers of the new 2009 TL, the safety of occupants of other vehicles, and even the injury mitigation to pedestrians. The new TL provides this 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 the TL for the first time, ACE™ better dissipates crash energy in a frontal collision through dedicated load-bearing frame structures, while also more precisely matching the TL with vehicles of different sizes and with different bumper heights during a frontal collision. By controlling the load pathways in this way, ACE™ helps preserve the integrity of the passenger compartment in a severe crash. With the application of the ACE™ body structure to the TL, the entire Acura lineup is now equipped with this revolutionary safety technology.
While ACE™ is the structural foundation for the TL's safety, its array of industry-leading passive safety technologies is equally important. The list begins with six airbags, including dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, new dual-chamber front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Features continue with 3-point seatbelts and head restraints for all seating positions, while the driver and front passenger also have front seatbelts with an automatic tensioning system with load limiters and an Active Head Restraint System. Rear-seat features include Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH), which permits attachment of up to two child seats.
The TL offers superb accident-avoidance capabilities thanks to features like its double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems, new Electric Power Steering (EPS), 4-wheel disc brakes (with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist), Vehicle Stability Assist, standard all-season tires and available SH-AWD®. Additional exterior safety features include daytime running lights (DRL), 2.5-mph front and rear bumpers, and a deformable hood panel, hood hinges and windshield-wiper pivots to help mitigate pedestrian injuries.
The 2009 TL is designed to meet the latest crash-safety regulations, including the new FMVSS214 side crash (the 2009 TL meets this new regulation three years early) and new FMVSS301 rear crash regulations. Internal testing projects that the 2009 TL will achieve the highest ratings in both government National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)** and independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash testing. Projected ratings include:

Crash test
Projected Rating*
Frontal Offset
*Based on internal test results
**Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program ( Model tested with standard side-impact air bags (SABs).
[Source] Honda Press Release

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