Acura’s mid-size luxury sports car has taken to the 2011 Chicago Auto Show stage with some styling, performance, and technological changes for the 2012MY.
Currently in its fourth generation, the Acura TL hasn’t changed its appearance too much over the years, but as one of Acura’s best selling models, making unnecessary changes wouldn’t exactly be the smartest thing. The 2012 Acura TL does face a few changes to its look, but nothing that would make buyers shy away from their beloved sedan. For the 2012MY, the Acura TL will get new front and rear styling, a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission for improved performance and fuel economy, a revised interior, and a host of technology upgrades. Two different version will be up for grabs; the standard model is powered by a 280 HP and the SH-AWD version will get a more powerful 305 HP engine. Both engines can be coupled with a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission that helps improve fuel economy by 3 mpg compared with the 2011 model.
"The 2012 Acura TL is refined, yet aggressive," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "Already known for its great performance, the enhanced TL has a sophisticated new look and an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission that will take performance to the next level."
UPDATE 03/09/2011: Acura has announced today that the 2012 TL will go on sale on March 18, 2011 at a starting price of $35,605. Full pricing list after the jump.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Acura TL.
Exterior and Interior
The 2012 Acura TL will be distinguished by a redesigned front bumper with improved aerodynamics, a revised grille, updated headlights and turn signals, a new fog light design, and a shorter front overhang. At the rear, the TL will get a new bumper that incorporates a significantly repositioned license plate opening, smaller rear reflectors, updated taillights, and a thinner rear trunk edge trim.
Both versions will be offered with an optional Technology Package which includes the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather, and an Acura/ELS Surround 410-watt Premium Audio System.
The standard TL version comes with 17x8-inch 7-spoke aluminum wheels, while the TL SH-AWD comes with new 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels as standard.
The standard Acura TL is powered by a 3.5 liter engine that has received a host of friction-reduction technologies and a revised air inlet system. The total output in this engine is 280 HP. The TL SH-AWD is powered by a 3.7 liter V8 engine that has also received a revised air inlet system and delivers a total of 305 HP.
The two engines can be mated to a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission that incorporates engineering enhancements aimed at improving efficiency, a sport-minded double-kick-down feature, and a Drive-by-Wire throttle system.
The 2012 Acura TL will go on sale on March 18, 2011 at a starting price of $35,605. Equipped with the available Technology Package, the MSRP is $39,335, or $41,535 when equipped with the available Advance Package.
The TL SH-AWD will have an MSRP of $39,155. Equipped with the available Technology Package, the TL SH-AWD will have an MSRP of $42,885, or $45,085 when equipped with the available Advance Package. The TL SH-AWD 6MT with Technology Package will have an MSRP of $42,885.
The Acura TL takes on models like the Lexus ES 350 and the Infiniti G37 sedan.
The Lexus ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). This engine setup produces 268 HP at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,700 rpm, which is nipping right at the heels of the Acura.
The Infiniti G37 is powered by a 3.7 Liter VVEL V6 engine that delivers 328 HP and 269 lb-ft of torque and is mated to either a seven speed automatic transmission or a six speed manual. This model blows right by the Acura and the Lexus in terms of speed and even has more of a sporty look to boot.
Unless Acura decides to shoot up the price of the TL (the 2011 model starts at about $35K), pricing for the three models is strikingly similar, so the decision between these three models is left to personal preference. If speed is the only name of your game, then the Infiniti speaks your kind of language.
Looks aren’t as impressive as its competitors
There are much more powerful models out there