The 2004 Acura TL attacked the performance luxury sedan market with its impressive styling, a luxurious and technology-packed interior, and its best-in-class horsepower.
Confronted with the new competition from Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and others, the 2007 TL has been impressively updated. Now the TL is available in two versions, the luxurious TL and the reintroduced high-performance TL Type-S, to crystallize its place as the standard representative in its class.
For the 2007 model year, TL features numerous other refinements, such as the re-designed front end that features a larger grille, the fog lights, which are relocated to the bumper, and the black chrome or satin chrome trim. The taillights and the rear bumper have also been re-deigned for a more aggressive appearance. In addition, new wheels, side sills and other details set the TL apart.
The TL’s interior is subtly revised with a new 3-spoke steering wheel, new gauges and model specific ambient lighting, which is blue for models without navigation system.
From the moment it went on sale, the TL was set apart from its competitors by the combination of high-tech innovations, such as the standard 225-watt Acura/ELS Surround Premium 8-speaker Sound System with 6-disc CD, DVD-Audio, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II.
The 2007 TL is offered with two available engines. It was under its roof an all-aluminum 3.2-liter V6 with 24 valves and Acura’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control System (VTEC), which delivers 258 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque.
An all-new electronically controlled 5-speed automatic is the standard transmission in the TL. This transmission has more torque capacity than the one it replaces, but is more compact. The Acura’s Sequential SportShift system, inspired by Formula One racecars, gives the driver the flexibility of a self-shifting automatic or the control of a manual. This year, the system has been re-programmed for smoother operation and improved the gear holding capabilities.
Both TL engines meet the strict CARB LEV-II ULEV standards with the Acura’s unwavering commitment to the environment. Also, thanks to the close-coupled catalytic converter system and under-floor catalyst, the cold-start emissions are improved.
The TL engine strong low speed torque and throttle response are given by Acura’s VTEC. At low speeds, the intake valves have lower lift and are open a comparatively short period of time during cylinder filling, while, at high rpm – where breathing is critical – the valves switch to high-lift, long duration mode to give best volumetric efficiency possible.
At 4700 rpm, the engine’s powertrain control module (PCM) triggers the opening of an electric spool valve that routes the pressurized oil to the small pistons in the intake valve rocker arms. The TL’s broad torque curve and superior peak power are the result of the engine’s intake valve lift and opening duration, continuously adjusted to suit the operating engine speed.
Aggressiveness and power, agility and endurance are embodied by the TL’s design. Starting with the stance of the vehicle (how it looks and sits on its suspensions), the designers worked towards a look of poise, with a promise of agility and power.
The underbody aerodynamic performance is enhanced by several different polypropylene panels, which include a curved valance beneath the front fascia. This allows the air to attach to its smooth radius at high speeds and to be directed into the radiator.
The TL has excellent dynamic properties, as it shares a rigid platform with a performance-tuned suspension and large tires. This large tire contact patches enhance braking and handling with all-season tires. Also, the TL uses torque-sensing, variable power-assisted rack and pinion steering.
The stability during cornering and at high speeds is improved by the hydraulic steering dampers, which are built into the system. A one-way kickback valve decreases kickback to the steering wheel that can be caused by road irregularities. When it senses the irregularities, the hydraulic valve closes, impeding troubles to the steering wheel.
With the dynamic and distinctive look, the TL interior continues the longstanding Acura tradition of highly functional driving environments. It echoes a clear sport message, due to the sharp handling agility and power. The luxurious roots of the TL can be found in its fine details and rich surface finishes. The instrument panel and the console are revealed by sweeping aluminum-alloy accents with a new pattern for 2007 wrap around the doors. The interior of the TL is warmed by wood patterned accents.
Throughout the handsome interior of the TL, comfort and convenience items are integrated. Cup holders in the front console and rear seat armrest, a generously sized glove box, and rigid map pockets with removable sunglasses holders on the front doors are included. In the console immediately in the front of the shifter, there are two covered storage areas: one for the four CD/jewel case and the other for the 12-volt accessory socket.
Inside the main center console, beneath the armrest, there is room for another 10 CDs or six DVD-A case. A leather-covered sliding armrest and a flocked upper tray for call phone storage are also found with this two-tier design.
A comprehensive array of safety technologies, high-grade materials and advanced construction techniques were developed for the 2007 TL.
In the front passenger seat, weight sensors are incorporated to determine the total weight on that seat. The front airbag will not deploy if the total weight is less than 65 pounds and a warning message appears on the instrument panel.
A position sensor in the seat shows the driver how the airbag will be deployed in case of a frontal collision. The front airbag is designed to deploy in dual-stage mode, if the seat is close to its forwardmost position.
Adjustable rear outboard head restraints and side curtain airbags are also featured by the TL. In addition, the use of high-tensile steel in critical areas and computer modeled crush areas help to ensure a high level of passenger protection.
The TL offers its occupants the following Acura safety technologies:
- Front 3-point Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) with pretensioners
- Front seat-belt load limiters
- Front four-way adjustable head restraints
- Front height and position sensors
- Front driver and passenger seatbelt warning system with chime
- Rear center three-point seat belt
- Rear outboard two-way adjustable head restraints
- Tether anchors
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for rear outboard positions
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)