2009 Acura TSX
Acura unveiled today at the New York Auto Show the all-new second-generation TSX sports sedan. Featuring a dynamic design with a bold new signature Acura grille, the 2009 TSX is more distinctive and sporty. Due to its greater length and width, wider track, and longer wheelbase, the new TSX provides additional interior room while new fully independent front and rear suspension with dual-stage dampers provides more agile handling.
The 2009 TSX has improved fuel economy, lower emissions, added safety features, and more technology than ever before. Producing 201 hp from a 2.4-liter engine, the DOHC VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder now delivers its power across a much wider rpm range. Along with more torque, the new 2.4L is also cleaner as it meets EPA TIER 2-BIN 5 and CARB LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards.
The TSX is equipped with an impressive list of standard equipment which includes a power glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, power windows/mirrors/locks, a premium 7-speaker sound system (with CD, AM/FM and XM Radio), Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, and USB port and AUX jack music interface.
2009 Acura TSX
Acura provided a one-two punch with the world debut of the all-new second-generation TSX sports sedan along with the appearance of the redesigned RL luxury performance sedan at the New York International Auto Show today. With new engines, refined drivetrain, and Acura’s latest Keen Edge Dynamic styling, the all-new TSX and RL highlight a new direction for Acura sedans.
"With powerful looks and performance, the debut of the new TSX has taken an enthusiastic bite out of the Big Apple," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of sales. "Besides offering enhanced performance, the 2009 TSX has improved fuel economy, lower emissions, added safety features, and more technology than ever before."
Producing 201 hp from a 2.4-liter engine, the DOHC VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder now delivers its power across a much wider rpm range. Along with more torque, the new 2.4L is also cleaner as it meets EPA TIER 2-BIN 5 and CARB LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards.
Merging crisp, dynamic design with a bold new signature Acura grille, the 2009 TSX is more distinctive and sporty. Due to its greater length and width, wider track, and longer wheelbase, the new TSX provides additional interior room while new fully independent front and rear suspension with dual-stage dampers provides more agile handling.
The TSX is equipped with an impressive list of standard equipment which includes a power glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, power windows/mirrors/locks, a premium 7-speaker sound system (with CD, AM/FM and XM® Radio), Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, and USB port and AUX jack music interface.
The available Technology Package features leading-edge electronics including the AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink® Real-time traffic, Traffic Rerouting™ and AcuraLink® weather. Included in the Technology Package is an audiophiles dream in the form of a 415 watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS™ Premium Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio designed by Grammy® Award winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner.
Designed with an emphasis on safety, the 2009 TSX now makes use of Acura’s esteemed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The 2009 TSX, with ACE™ and a host of other safety features, is expected to achieve the highest ratings in both governmental (NHTSA)* and independent (IIHS) crash testing - including IIHS’s TOP SAFETY PICK.
Also making its first appearance in New York is Acura’s new 2009 RL luxury sedan which features bold new styling, an all-new 3.7-liter engine, chassis enhancements and numerous technological upgrades. Performance improves with the 2009 RL thanks to a new 300 horsepower V-6 that incorporates the first ever SOHC use of VTEC® valvetrain actuation for both the intake and exhaust valves. The top-of-the-line Acura furthers cutting edge technology with the addition of new high-tech items including AcuraLink® weather, AcuraLink® Traffic Rerouting™, a new Note function for XM® Radio, Active Sound Control, and Bluetooth® Audio to an already robust list of features found on the previous RL. To enhance handling, new chassis technology abounds in the form of enhanced Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, a revised steering system, firmer coil springs, better performing shock absorbers, larger rear stabilizer bar, and larger wheels and tires.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 268 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle.
The completely redesigned TSX will be available in two versions: the generously appointed TSX and the fully-featured TSX with Technology Package. MSRP pricing for the TSX is $28,960 and the TSX with Technology Packages is $32,060. The 2009 TSX is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic for no additional charge. Although the new TSX surpasses the previous generation in virtually every way, pricing for the 2009 model represents a modest 4.3 percent sales weighted average price increase. Destination and Handling is not included in MSRP, and for the 2009 TSX remains unchanged at $715.
The new TSX’s size, weight and total performance work in balance. The result is a car that is comfortable for five passengers, yet agile and responsive for performance driving. The same balanced thinking applies to the TSX powertrain. With an advanced in-line 4-cylinder powerplant, TSX offers strong acceleration, combined with low overall weight and compact packaging. Fuel efficiency is also a strong point.
An advanced, all-aluminum 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder engine produces 201 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque (MT), and incorporates Acura’s i-VTEC® "intelligent" valve control system that features Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) combined with Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™). Though peak horsepower is virtually unchanged versus the previous generation engine, peak torque output has risen by 8 lb-ft. In addition, the engine’s torque curve has fattened considerably. Horsepower, for example, is up five percent at 4,400 rpm. The result is stronger throttle response and better acceleration just about everywhere in the engine’s operating range. To achieve these power gains, the engine has a higher compression ratio, new valve timing, and intake and exhaust flow improvements. A new aluminum and resin composite intake manifold reduces weight over the previous aluminum design, while better insulating the engine’s incoming airflow from under-hood heat.
Though engine performance has improved, the powerplant delivers better fuel economy and has reduced emissions. A rear-mounted exhaust layout, close-coupled catalytic converter and advanced Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) team to help the TSX meet strict EPA 2 - Bin 5, and CARB LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards (LEV-2 ULEV).
The 2009 TSX comes with a choice of two transmissions - a standard 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission or a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic. The manual gearbox has a lightweight magnesium alloy case and multi-cone synchronizers providing a light, quick action with very short shift throws. To provide more spirited driving, the manual transmission now includes more performance-minded ratios for second and third gears.
The 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic has a new straight-style shift gate (versus the previous TSX’s serpentine-style gate design) with Drive and Sport positions that provide fully automatic operation. The transmission can be shifted manually via new steering wheel mounted F1®-style paddle shifters at the driver’s option. Also new with SportShift is the ability to use the paddle shifters to make gear changes while in Drive, whereas previously this would only occur when in Manual mode. When using SportShift in Drive, the gear changes are made per driver command, but after a short time (with no further gear change input) the 5-speed automatic transmission returns to its normal Drive mode operation. Working in combination with the Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System, the Sequential SportShift transmission’s shift logic results in quick, smoothly controlled shifts. Grade Logic and Shift Hold Control work in automatic mode to keep the transmission in the gear that’s ideal for the driving situation. Further improving performance and drivability is a revised torque converter lock-up assembly.
Long 100,000-mile tune-up intervals and a standard Maintenance Minder™ system, which automatically monitors the vehicle’s unique operation condition to indicate to the driver when maintenance is required, help to lessen the cost of ownership. The Maintenance Minder™ system is designed to ensure that important service issues are addressed in a timely manner, and eliminate unnecessary maintenance procedures to help reduce environmental impact and operating expenses.
Powertrain at A Glance
- 2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine generates 201 horsepower at 7,000 rpm with 172 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm (MT); 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm (AT)
- i-VTEC® "intelligent" valve-control system combines Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™) with VTEC®
- Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System
- Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
- Dual balance shafts for exceptional smoothness
- Direct ignition system
- Lightweight alloy pistons and high-strength connecting rods
- 100,000-mile tune-up interval (may vary with driving conditions)
- Estimated mileage of 21/30/24 mpg* (city/highway/combined, 5 AT) and 20/28/23 mpg* (city/highway/combined, 6 MT)
- EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5, CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards
- Rear-facing exhaust ports, close-coupled catalytic converter and under-floor converter provide fast catalyst light-off for lower and cleaner emissions
6-Speed Manual Transmission
- Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission
- Compact, rigid, lightweight transmission case and bellhousing
- Multi-cone synchronization on all gears for light shifting effort
- Revised ratios for second through sixth gears
- Precise and light shift
- Short clutch pedal stroke with light effort
- Compact clutch with low inertia for quick acceleration
Sequential SportShift 5-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Sequential SportShift via F1®-style steering-wheel mounted paddles
- 5-position straight shift gate
- Advanced Grade Logic Control for reduced gear hunting when driving on steep hills
- Linear solenoid direct-acting control for reduced shift shock and shift smoothness and responsiveness
- Drive-by-Wire™ cooperative control facilitates quicker shifts
- Lockup torque converter design delivers superior fuel economy
- Shift Hold Control
Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
- Lightweight and durable aluminum cylinder block with cast-in iron cylinder liners
- One-piece aluminum crankshaft carrier for improved strength
- Chain-driven balance shafts mounted on lower block in oil pan
- Maintenance-free silent-chain camshaft drive
- Maintenance-free serpentine accessory drive-belt assembly with auto-tensioner
i-VTEC® VALVE CONTROL SYSTEM
The 2009 TSX’s 2.4L engine features Acura’s i-VTEC® "intelligent" valve control system. Featuring Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) combined with Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™), the system provides power characteristics like those of a V6 without sacrificing the light weight or fuel efficiency of an inline four. A new VTEC® design uses three reduced-thickness aluminum rocker arms that operate a pair of intake and exhaust valves for each cylinder. At low rpm, the valves follow low-lift, short duration camshaft profiles to help boost low-end torque. Above 5000 rpm, the intake valves are operated by high-lift, long-duration camshaft profiles, for maximum high-rpm horsepower.
VTEC® lets the engine develop strong low-end torque along with exceptional high rpm power by varying valve lift and duration based on key engine parameters. To further refine powerplant operation, the TSX engine features the "intelligent" i-VTEC® system which adds Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™) to VTEC®. This provides continuously variable, computer controlled camshaft timing. In total, the TSX’s i-VTEC® system provides performance, efficiency and emissions benefits by allowing the intake valve lift and valve timing to be continuously adjusted to suit the engine’s operating parameters.
Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™)
The TSX’s intake camshaft timing is continuously adjusted to suit engine operating conditions by a system called Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™). An integral part of the TSX’s i-VTEC® system, the new TSX employs revised VTC™ parameters to enhance power output, fuel economy and emissions performance with its precise control of cam timing.
Camshaft position, intake manifold pressure and engine rpm are simultaneously monitored by the powertrain control unit (PCM), which then commands a VTC™ actuator to advance or retard the intake camshaft timing. The intake camshaft is almost fully retarded at idle to deliver a more stable idle and reduced hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. As engine RPM builds, the intake camshaft is progressively advanced so the intake valves open sooner and valve overlap increases. This reduces pumping losses, which increases fuel economy and further reduces exhaust emissions due to the creation of an internal exhaust-gas recirculation effect.
CYLINDER HEAD / VALVETRAIN
The TSX cylinder head is constructed of pressure-cast aluminum alloy and features four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead camshafts (DOHC). The cams are driven by an automatically adjusted silent-type chain. The chain system is maintenance free and runs in an oil bath for maximum durability. The combustion chambers have large "quench" areas to promote faster flame propagation and more complete burning, thus helping to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) exhaust emissions. Larger intake and exhaust valves and revised ports contribute to improved breathing. An increase in compression ratio from 10.5 to 11.0:1 is a significant contributor to the TSX’s greater torque output.
CRANKSHAFT, PISTONS, ENGINE BLOCK & OIL PAN
TSX’s forged-steel crankshaft has micropolished journals to reduce friction and improve long-term durability. The die-cast lightweight aluminum cylinder block has cast-in iron cylinder liners that are made using a unique spin casting, centrifugal process. New-design pistons use special low-friction rings to reduce power loss. For maximum rigidity and minimal noise and vibration, the cylinder block is a 2-piece design that supports the five main bearings with a single cast-alloy bed-plate assembly.
PROGRAMMED FUEL INJECTION (PGM-FI)
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) uses an array of sensors to constantly monitor a number of critical operating variables, including throttle position, intake air temperature, water temperature, ambient air pressure (altitude), air flow, air/fuel ratio, along with the position of the crankshaft and camshafts. Highly vaporized-style fuel injector nozzles reduce the typical size of fuel droplets, which improves air/fuel atomization and flame propagation inside the combustion chambers.
The TSX’s induction system has been reworked to increase airflow volume by nine percent and to create a more aggressive, linear engine sound. The revised inlet design allows cool ambient air to be picked up at the front of the vehicle, and then routed though a high-flow filter assembly. The single-stage lightweight plastic intake manifold has fixed-length intake runners that are tuned in length, diameter and shape to provide an optimal blend of low-rpm torque and high-rpm response. The new manifold incorporates new 48 mm intake runner (up 6 mm from the previous design runners) along with a new throttle-body with a 4 mm larger inlet opening.
To help boost engine torque, the TSX has a new high-flow, low back-pressure exhaust system that contributes to a 15-percent increase in exhaust flow over the previous TSX. Large-diameter pipe sizes throughout the exhaust system increase flow; beyond the under-floor catalytic converter, the exhaust system passes through a pre-chamber under the second-row floor, and then splits just behind the rear axle to feed into free-flowing dual silencers and chrome exhaust tips.
DRIVE-BY-WIRE™ THROTTLE SYSTEM
In place of a conventional mechanical throttle linkage, the TSX uses a Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System. A DC motor controls the throttle butterfly position in the intake tract. This allows the ratio between pedal movement and throttle motion to be altered to suit the driving conditions. The system monitors throttle pedal position, throttle butterfly position, road speed, engine speed and engine vacuum. This information is used to define the throttle control sensitivity. The system also alters response based on the calculated road slope, providing more throttle gain uphill, and less downhill, and also reduces changes in gain on curvy roads to make the car easier to control.
The drive-by-wire throttle system works with the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission to make shifts smooth and quick. With coordination of the throttle opening and the transmission’s shifting functions, shift shock and delay are reduced.
In addition to the TSX engine gaining torque, the 2.4-liter engine has lower emissions. The 2009 TSX is compliant with California Air Resources Board (CARB) LEV II ULEV standard, which is one of the toughest emissions regulations in the United States. TSX also achieves EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 regulations emissions compliance.
The in-line 4-cylinder engine is designed with emissions performance in mind, employing VTC and a unique i-VTEC® cylinder head promoting internal exhaust gas recirculation, which helps reduce NOx output. Newly designed fuel injectors likewise help reduce hydrocarbons after starting, while a Linear Air/Fuel sensor positioned in the exhaust system just upstream of the catalyst improves air/fuel mixture control.
The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder-head casting in the rear of the transversely mounted engine. This allows the catalytic converter to be positioned very close to the cylinders for swift light-off after a cold engine start. A secondary catalytic converter is positioned under the passenger compartment floor, shortly downstream.
NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS (NVH) CONTROL
The TSX engine has an array of features designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The pressure-cast cylinder block has a bed-plate type main bearing cap that results in a highly rigid assembly, which helps to resist vibration. Two balance shafts further smooth the inherent vibration commonly found with a large-displacement in-line 4-cylinder engine layout, and a self-adjusting silent-type camshaft chain and serpentine accessory drive belt also reduce NVH.
100,000 MILE TUNE-UP INTERVAL
Features like a self-adjusting silent-type camshaft chain, long wearing platinum-tipped spark plugs and a precision-engineered valvetrain, all contribute to the TSX’s low maintenance needs. Aside from routine fluid changes and inspections, the first scheduled engine tune-up is not required for 100,000 miles or more (may vary with driving conditions).
Maintenance Minder™ SYSTEM
A standard Maintenance Minder™ system automatically monitors the vehicle’s operating condition. The driver is alerted via a message on the Multi-Information Display (MID) when maintenance is required. The system helps eliminate unnecessary service stops, while ensuring that the vehicle is properly maintained.
The Maintenance Minder™ system monitors operating conditions such as coolant and oil temperatures along with engine speed, and then determines the proper service intervals. Depending on the engine operating conditions, oil change intervals can be extended to a maximum of 10,000 miles, potentially sparing the owner considerable money and inconvenience over the life of the vehicle. The system can be reset manually by the owner, and monitors all normal service parts and systems, including oil and filter, air-cleaner, tire rotation, automatic transmission fluid, coolant, spark plugs, timing belt, brake pads and more. Maintenance alerts are presented on the instrument cluster when the ignition is first turned on, and not while driving.
ELECTRONIC CONTROL MOUNT (ECM)
The Electronic Control Mount System is used to minimize the effects of engine vibration. At low engine speed, a vacuum-controlled front engine mount allows additional engine movement, so that less low-frequency vibration is transmitted to the body. At higher rpm, the mount stiffens so that the mass of the engine is properly restrained for better handling.
6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
A close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox is one of two standard transmissions in the TSX. With precise and light shifting action, the manual transmission is designed to compliment the TSX’s sporting side. Compared to a 5-speed transmission, the 6-speed gearbox allows for closer ratio staging. This enables the engine to operate closer to its power peak during acceleration for better performance.
A high (numerically low) top gear ratio allows for a relaxed cruising rpm and fuel efficiency. For 2009, the TSX 6-speed manual gearbox has new ratios for second through sixth gears for better performance with the revised engine.
The compact, highly rigid transmission case is cast of magnesium alloy to reduce weight by about seven pounds relative to a comparable aluminum unit. Additionally, the highly rigid casting helps damp out noise and vibration. Multi-cone synchronizers on first through fourth gears reduce and smooth shifting effort.
The low-effort clutch pedal design has a broad engagement band for progressive engagement and smoother launches.
SEQUENTIAL SPORTSHIFT 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WITH PADDLE SHIFTERS
The TSX has a standard Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with F1®-style paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control to maximize acceleration, fuel economy and driver control.
A console mounted, 5-position shift gate makes operation of the transmission simple. When in this mode the transmission operates automatically in the "D" position, selecting among the five forward gear ratios based on the driving conditions. When in automatic mode, the transmission incorporates an advanced Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control, both of which work to reduce gear "hunting" on hills and through turns.
Grade Logic Control reduces shift frequency and improves vehicle speed control by altering the transmission’s shift schedule when traveling uphill or downhill. The transmission computer continuously compares throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration with a map stored in the computer memory. The Grade Logic Control System determines when the TSX is on an upslope or down slope. The shift schedule is then adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.
When the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied, as might be the case when decelerating for a corner, Shift Hold Control keeps the transmission in its current (lower) ratio. This helps provide added engine braking, and ensures that abundant power is immediately available at the corner exit.
New for 2009, TSX is equipped with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters. The steering-wheel mounted Sequential SportShift F1®-style paddle shifters are activated when a fingertip pull of the right paddle commands an upshift or a pull of the left paddle commands a downshift. A digital display in the tachometer face indicates which gear the transmission is in when the steering wheel paddles are active.
The steering wheel paddles can operate in both the "D" and "S" transmission positions. When in "D," a touch of a paddle shifter temporarily places the transmission in manual mode (but without gear holding at redline). After comparatively steady-state cruising conditions are detected, the transmission returns to full automatic operation. In "S," engaging a paddle enables gear holding, which allows only driver-commanded shifts, with the exception of automatically shifting to first gear at a stop, even if not driver-selected.
When first placed in "S" mode, the transmission will automatically shift between first, second, third and fourth gears until a paddle shifter is activated. When a paddle shifter is activated, the transmission goes into full manual mode.
Manual mode protective features
An array of protective features is active when the transmission is in manual mode to help protect the engine and drivetrain from damage. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will cut off fuel flow to the engine if there is a possibility of over-revving in a gear, as might occur if the driver is late in commanding an upshift. To prevent over-revving while downshifting, the transmission will not execute a driver-commanded downshift that would send the engine beyond redline in the lower gear. Even if the driver allows the vehicle to come to a stop in a high gear, the transmission will automatically downshift to first gear to prevent lugging away from a stop in a high gear.
Cooperation between 5-Speed Automatic Transmission & Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System
With the TSX’s electronically controlled automatic transmission and Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System, the function of the engine and transmission are closely choreographed for faster, smoother shifting. As a result, shift shock is reduced significantly during upshifts and downshifts.
ACTIVE LOCKUP TORQUE CONVERTER
To provide good fuel economy while maintaining a high level of drivability, the 5-speed automatic transmission includes an active lockup torque converter. With the precise control afforded by a linear solenoid and assist spring, the system features a wide range of speed and throttle settings in which lockup can be engaged in the top four gears. This results in excellent fuel economy in both city and highway driving.
LOW-FRICTION CLUTCH DISC FOR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
To provide better fuel efficiency, a special low-friction clutch disc is used for all five gears.
In keeping with its lean, athletic appearance, the 2009 TSX offers a flat ride that is free from excessive pitching motions, along with outstanding agility and steering precision. As a result, the chassis serves a broader mission than that of the previous-generation TSX. Several advancements are responsible for this, including a more rigid body design including a new cross-braced roof structure and a new safety cage-type rear bulkhead structure.
The 2009 TSX suspension’s roll center (the geometric axis on which the body rolls or leans while cornering) has been raised compared to the previous generation TSX. This revised roll center reduces body lean during cornering, which better equalizes the workload for all four tires while also improving passenger comfort.
Double-wishbone front suspension components include stamped-steel upper A-arms, cast-iron steering knuckles, cast-iron lower A-arms, coil-over dampers and a larger/thicker (26.5 mm diameter hollow versus the previous 25.4 mm hollow design) front stabilizer bar. A steel subframe cradles the engine, transmission and lower suspension components, and mounts on rubber bushings tuned to reduce road and engine noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) without compromising handling agility or steering precision.
The multi-link rear suspension includes stamped-steel upper A-arms, cast aluminum knuckles, double lower tubular lateral links, tubular steel toe-control links, coil-over dampers and a larger (17 mm solid versus the previous 15 mm solid) stabilizer bar. This system provides outstanding agility and handling, together with a flatter ride and excellent control of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
The 2009 TSX features dual-mode dampers, a first for an Acura vehicle. While most conventional dampers are tuned to provide a compromise between ride comfort and sporty handling at different speeds, the TSX’s new dual-mode dampers are engineered to provide ideal damping rates at both low and high speeds.
With a typical suspension unit, damping forces rise with the speed of damper compression, such as occurs when the vehicle encounters road irregularities at high speed. This can cause significant ride harshness and noise that reduces passenger comfort and enjoyment. However the new TSX’s dual-mode dampers are tuned to provide the ideal damping rates for comfort and smoothness at low speeds of damper compression, while also limiting the maximum damping forces to reduce ride harshness at higher speeds of damper compression.
In this way the 2009 TSX provides a wider range of comfortable ride quality and exceptional road holding under a wide variety of driving speeds and conditions.
Deflector plate technology
Acura’s dual-mode dampers automatically adjust compression damping characteristics to suit the vehicle speed, cornering forces and road surface. The dampers use an ingenious "deflector plate stack" that deflects when the compression forces reach a certain level, such as when encountering a large bump or dip in the pavement at high speeds. When these severe forces act on an ordinary damper, oil cannot move quickly enough through the damping orifices and the effective damping rate climbs, resulting in an excessive shock transmitted into the vehicle body.
With the 2009 TSX’s dual-mode dampers, when severe conditions are encountered, the plate stack deflects, allowing oil to pass through at a higher rate and in essence "capping" the damping rate at a preset level. Allowing an increased flow rate in extreme situations noticeably reduces the shock transmitted into the body while enhancing handling stability and road holding.
Deflection of the plate stack is carefully calibrated and controlled by spring pressure force on the plate stack. The simplicity of the dual-mode damper system also means that no electronics or movable valves are required.
ELECTRIC POWER STEERING (EPS)
Another first for the TSX model is the use of Electric Power Steering (EPS). Rather than powering a hydraulic steering-assist pump via the engine’s serpentine accessory belt, as used with the current TSX, in the 2009 model the steering assist is via a computer-actuated electric motor.
With typical hydraulic steering assist, the steering force required from the driver is reduced as speed increases. But with computer-controlled EPS, advanced algorithms built into the operating software allow fine-tuning the required steering forces so that minimal force is required at low speeds - such as when parking or maneuvering. Progressively higher steering effort is needed at higher speeds - such as when driving on the freeway.
The EPS system found in the 2009 Acura TSX is an evolution of an earlier EPS system found on the Acura NSX supercar. Its key features and advantages include:
- The TSX’s new EPS system reduces the steering effort at low speeds, improving agility and ease of effort.
- Rigidity of the steering mount is 380-percent higher, which allows a much more precise and "connected" feeling during high-speed maneuvers such as lane changes or winding mountain roads.
- The steering assist is programmed via computer algorithms according to vehicle speed rather than engine speed, allowing designers the flexibility of tailoring the steering feel to match driving conditions, especially high-speed driving. The steering boost algorithms are minutely altered for every 1 km/h (0.6 mph) change in vehicle speed.
- EPS allows the utilization of a sportier, quicker steering ratio (14.8:1 vs. 16.0:1 as used on the previous TSX), which further improves driving agility.
- In its evolution from the original NSX system, the 2009 TSX’s EPS system uses a significantly more powerful electric motor teamed with a more sophisticated microprocessor.
- By eliminating the conventional power steering pump, EPS uses less engine power, benefiting acceleration and fuel economy.
4-WHEEL DISC BRAKES WITH ABS
Like its predecessor, the 2009 Acura TSX features 4-wheel disc brakes. The front rotors measure 11.8 inches in diameter - the same as the previous generation - and are made of cast iron with radial vents for excellent heat dissipation and wear properties. At 11.1 inches diameter, the rear rotors are nearly an inch larger than on the previous-generation TSX, providing enhanced braking capability during repeated use. Floating-style single-piston cast-iron brake calipers are used front and rear.
A sophisticated 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is standard and works in concert with the vehicle’s Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) systems for an outstanding array of electronic dynamic aids.
WHEELS AND TIRES
The 2009 TSX comes standard with 17x7.5-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P225/50R17 all-season tires developed specifically for the vehicle. The wheels have a clear-coat aluminum finish designed to compliment the exterior color choices. Located under the trunk floor panel is a T135/80D16 temporary spare tire mounted on a 16x4-inch steel wheel.
Dynamic testing and final chassis tuning for the 2009 TSX was conducted both in Japan and in America. The TSX was specifically tuned for the best combination of agility and handling needed in an urban environment, and at higher speeds. The Los Angeles area, with its huge variety of surfaces, freeways and topography, proved invaluable in chassis tuning to achieve a balanced overall package. Also invaluable was a "mini-Nürburgring" test course built in Japan especially to replicate some of the most demanding elements of the famed German racetrack.
An exciting line of Genuine Acura Accessories was developed simultaneously with the TSX to provide personalization for the Acura Client. Like all Genuine Acura Accessories, the TSX accessories are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty.
- 18-inch diameter 10-spoke alloy wheels (chrome-look or ebony finish)
- Wheel locks
- Sport bumper kit
- Rear bumper appliqué
- Deck lid spoiler
- Wing spoiler
- Color-matched splash guards
- Body side protection molding
- Door edge guards
- Car cover
- Moon roof visor
- Door visor
- Back-up sensors
- Engine block heater
The 2009 TSX reflects and reinforces Acura’s advanced design direction. Forceful and muscular but at the same time sleek and elegant, the styling clearly sets the tone for the new TSX’s driving dynamics – agile and invigorating for performance oriented drivers, and quiet and comfortable for those with luxury intentions. The new model introduces several body advancements and improvements, including:
Firsts for TSX model
- Dual balance shafts
- Direct ignition system
- Larger body width (72.4 in.)
- Slimmer A-pillars
- Auto up/down front passenger window
- Reverse-linked passenger-side door mirror
- Widest trunk opening and lowest trunk lift-over height
Firsts for Acura Division
- Inside frame rails
- Closed-channel cross-braced roof structure
The 2009 Acura TSX body design represents a new direction in Acura styling. The TSX was styled in Acura’s Wako design studio (located just outside Tokyo) and is assembled at the Sayama Factory in Japan. With a wider body that provides more agile handling and greater interior roominess – along with a lower seating position – the new TSX aims to be the best handling front-wheel-drive vehicle in its segment.
Inside, the new TSX is significantly quieter and more refined than the previous-generation TSX and its European competitors. Advanced aerodynamic treatments such as inside frame rails, underbody air deflectors, and a chiseled aerodynamic body shape help the TSX move through the atmosphere with a minimum of drag – thereby reducing fuel usage and lowering emissions, while enhancing quietness and high-speed dynamic stability.
Carefully styled to provide equal measures of aggressiveness and luxury, the 2009 TSX reestablishes the previous model’s relationship with image-seeking successful educated young professionals. The TSX’s dynamic styling is designed to appeal to a wide range of customers. These customers are active, regularly hitting the gym and participating in outdoor activities. Thus, they want a vehicle that reflects their passion for performance and athleticism while also supporting their active social lifestyle with roomy, comfortable seating for five and ample storage space.
The 2009 TSX represents the second generation for Acura’s entry-level sedan. In evolving the first-generation vehicle into the new TSX, Acura designers sought to retain its crisp, dynamic design elements and enhance them by projecting the wheels outwards to achieve more muscular and distinctive cues to create a keen-edged sports sedan. The key focal point for designers was to create an aerodynamic design that evokes both emotion and tension with a decisively sporty flair – as if a solid piece of billet material was shaped with a sharp knife.
In front, the strong grille is new for Acura, and advances the strong, emphatic appearance that the current design direction of Acura vehicles. Inside the grille’s bold, chamfered chromed surround trim is a satin-black parallelogram “honeycomb” mesh that adds a look of power and performance. The headlight arrays, containing reflectors on the outside edges, piercing projector-style low-beam headlights, and sculpted halogen high-beam headlights, all reside behind a smooth contoured lens. Standard fog lamps are located in the outer edges of the front fascia.
Sharp contour lines run alongside the body and connect the front and rear of the new car together in a strong, windswept line that promises both agility and performance. Bold wheel arches that frame the big 5-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels and 50-series tires emphasize strength and muscularity. Chrome door handles and chrome trim surrounding the side windows adds a look of substance and quality.
In back, sculptured taillights compliment large turn signals at the outside edges of the trunk lid. Twin reflectors are low-mounted on the rear fascia near the 3.2-inch diameter exhaust finishers.
WIDER BODY DIMENSIONS
The body width for the 2009 TSX is a full three inches wider than was the previous-generation model. This increase, along with the 2.6-inch wider track and the 1.4-inch longer wheelbase, considerably improves interior roominess. There’s a dynamic upside to the wider track: enhanced handling agility and stability. The seating position is also 0.4-inch lower than in the previous generation TSX, helping to create a sportier driving experience.
To improve the field of view for the driver, the 2009 TSX has thinner A-pillars, which permit a broader field of forward view without compromising structural strength. While a robust interior structure helps ensure the necessary structural rigidity, at 4.2 inches wide in their interior dimension, the new pillars are an inch narrower than the previous TSX A-pillars. The outside of the pillar is just slightly (2 mm) wider than before at about 2.9 inches wide. Importantly, the difference in the inner dimension means that from the driver’s point of view, the overall width of the pillar is now 0.9 inches thinner. This change in A-pillar width increases outside visibility by a significant 4.3 degrees overall and becomes one of the best in class for outward frontal field of view.
CLOSED-CHANNEL CROSS-BRACED ROOF STRUCTURE
In another important first for the Acura division, the 2009 TSX uses a strengthened roof section designed to significantly reduce flexing and vibration, resulting in less noise in the passenger compartment. Whereas the roof section on the previous TSX used open-channel stiffeners, the new TSX’s roof section uses two closed-channel crossbeams that help create a structure that is highly resistant to flexing and vibration.
The installation method of the roof structure is also revised. With the previous TSX, the roof panel and its open-channel stiffeners were welded onto the rest of the unit body as a unit. For the 2009 TSX, the new roof frame assembly is first welded in place without the roof panel, allowing full access to the ideal welding locations. The roof panel itself is then attached. This process creates stronger joints and a stiffer overall roof and body structure – 35 percent greater rigidity in front and 20 percent greater rigidity in back. The end result for the TSX owner is markedly decreased noise and vibration inside the car.
FRAME RAIL SYSTEM
The 2009 TSX’s internal frame rail system is a first for Acura. By positioning the stamped steel frame rails above the floor of the passenger compartment – instead of below it – the bottom of the vehicle can be made much flatter. The result is lower aerodynamic turbulence and drag, a quieter ride at highway speeds, and enhanced crash safety (please see Safety section).
CIRCULAR-TYPE REAR BULKHEAD STRUCTURE
A new circular-type rear bulkhead structure significantly improves structural rigidity of the rear area of the passenger compartment, measurably reducing noise and vibration experienced by passengers.
Careful attention to airflow management helps increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve stability at higher speeds and in crosswinds. Visible elements of the aerodynamically efficient body design include flush headlights, hidden windshield wipers, flush side and rear glass, and a tail that cuts off airflow abruptly instead of inducing drag. The aero improvements continue under the vehicle with a series of plastic moldings that redirect air to reduce turbulence underneath the car.
Underbody aerodynamic aids include:
- A short, wide wickerbill underneath the front fascia that helps separate the airflow and allows it to move underneath the engine and transmission assembly with the least drag.
- A large aluminum and plastic undercover that further improves airflow beneath the engine and transmission.
- A pair of deeper, separate air "strakes" located in front of the front tires to help air flow efficiently around the tires.
- A pair of covers located in front of the rear suspension subframe that help improve airflow.
The 2009 TSX make use of extensive insulation features to reduce the interior sound level. Four separate strategies are employed:
- A thorough insulation package including melt sheet is applied to lower unit body areas.
- The floor carpet provides sound absorption and insulation to markedly reduce road noise in the passenger compartment.
- Floating front and rear suspension subframes are rubber mounted to reduce road and suspension noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
- A, B and C-pillar separators (see below) are also used.
A, B & C-PILLAR SEPARATORS
In vehicles, generally the A, B and C-pillars that extend vertically from the floor of the vehicle to the roofline are hollow, which can transmit road and wind noise into the passenger compartment. In a first for Acura, with the 2009 TSX these pillars are sealed internally, dramatically reducing the transmission of noise and vibration.
WIND NOISE REDUCTION MEASURES
A comprehensive series of features dramatically reduces audible wind noise inside the TSX - even at higher speeds or in windy conditions.
Wind noise reduction measures include:
- Inside frame rail system positions structural frame rails above the floor rather than below it. This smoothes the bottom of the vehicle for reduced air turbulence.
- A series of underbody fairings controls airflow underneath the car and around the front and rear tires.
- Windshield wipers and arms are positioned below the hood line.
- Flush window and moonroof moldings reduce air turbulence.
- Exterior mirror housings are aerodynamically shaped to further reduce turbulence.
The TSX uses projector-style Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) low beam headlights and 60-watt halogen high beams, plus a bright incandescent taillight array and bright Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL). Bumper-integrated fog lamps are standard and bright backup lights are incorporated into the edges of the trunk lid.
A range of new exterior colors (including a choice of four pearl and four metallic colors) are designed to compliment the TSX’s new styling. Body colors are applied with a waterborne paint process to reduce environmental impact and waste.
The 2009 TSX features a power sliding moonroof that provides more open area than that of the previous generation TSX. Flush mounted to reduce wind noise, it also features an inner panel that further reduces noise from entering the passenger compartment when the moonroof is closed. A pop-up wind deflector reduces turbulence and noise when the moonroof is open.
For ease of operation, a one-touch switch is now located ahead of the moonroof on the ceiling, instead of located near the driver’s door as in the previous TSX. The switch controls open/close as well as tilt functions. The moonroof also features an auto-reverse, anti-pinch feature for safety and may be operated after the ignition is turned off (until the driver’s door is opened).
In the 2009 TSX, both the driver and passenger-side front power windows now have an auto up/down feature. With one light touch of the window switch the windows will either lower all the way or rise all the way. A pinch-protection feature reduces the likelihood of injury in the event that a passenger’s hand or arm is extended out the window while it is closing.
For the first time on the Acura TSX, the passenger’s power exterior rearview mirror features a reverse gear tilt-down feature. At the driver’s discretion (the feature may be switched off), when Reverse gear is engaged, the passenger side mirror automatically tilts downward to provide an improved view of curbs or painted lines. The mirrors are also heated to improve rear visibility in foggy or icy conditions, and feature a special blue tint to reduce glare. The mirror housings are redesigned and incorporate turn indicators at the outer edges of the housings
ELECTRIC FUEL DOOR LOCK
In another first for Acura, the 2009 TSX’s fuel-filler door locks and unlocks automatically along with the doors. By eliminating the need to reach for the traditional floor-mounted cable release, the new system simplifies the process of refueling the car. As long as the driver’s door is unlocked, opening the fuel-filler door is as simple as gently pushing on the rear edge of the door to release its latch. Latching the door closed requires only a gentle push.
All exterior window glass on the 2009 TSX, including the laminated front windshield, safety-glass side and rear windows, have a special UV-resistant coating that helps reduce interior temperatures, lessens glare, and helps protect the leather and other surfaces inside the vehicle from fading.
DOOR EDGE GARNISH
To provide a more finished interior appearance, an attractive metal garnish covers the inside edges of front and rear door ends except for the door latch (and the child safety locks on the rear doors). This improves the visual appeal of the doors when they are open.
Despite the slightly reduced trunk cargo volume (of 12.6 cu. ft. is slightly reduced from 13.2 cu. ft. in the previous-generation TSX when equipped with navigation system), utility is improved with a larger trunk opening (measured front to rear). The wider opening and reduced lift-over height (3.1 inches lower at 26.7 in.) make loading bulky or heavy items significantly easier
More widely spaced trunk lid hinges provide greater clearance, and when closed, the hinges disappear into slots in the finished trunk lining and do not intrude on cargo space. Plus, the hidden hinge design improves trunk aesthetics and gives a more high-quality feel. The fully lined and illuminated trunk can accommodate a wide range of cargo, including four golf bags or four Pullman cases.
The trunk lid can be opened anytime the doors are unlocked by pressing a hidden electric switch located on the rear fascia, via a switch in the driver’s door panel, or with the ignition key remote.
The TSX’s trunk latch may be unlatched with the remote transmitter built into the folding ignition key, via a pushbutton on the rear fascia when the doors are unlocked or by pushing a button on the driver’s inside door panel. The door-mounted release button replaces the floor-mounted cable release in the previous TSX, improving convenience and simplicity at the same time. An emergency cable release is still available in case the TSX battery should ever run down.
Step over the polished alloy doorsill plates and into the TSX interior and the purposeful nature of this sports sedan is immediately apparent. Blending luxury, performance and technology in equal measure, the TSX’s new interior exhibits a high level of fit and finish that customers have come to expect from Acura.
The driver’s cockpit is engineered for comfort and precise control, with many key controls positioned within fingertip reach on the thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel. With the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, F1®-style shift paddles positioned on the steering wheel make for convenient gear changes. Redesigned front bucket seats offer enhanced lateral support, and the driver’s seat is 8-way power adjustable. The roomy 5-passenger interior offers standard leather seating, as well as standard dual-zone automatic climate control. Convenient fold-down rear seatbacks expand cargo-carrying versatility.
Typical of Acura, the TSX offers an exceptional level of standard equipment. Included are a standard power passenger seat, new folding key with remote entry, new automatic headlight activation, premium 7-speaker sound system with CD, AM/FM/XM®, and a Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® cellular phone and USB port music interface. A HomeLink® remote control system is also standard. The available Technology Package adds a dazzling 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Sound Audio System with Note feature for XM® Radio, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ with rearview camera, and AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System.
INTERIOR AT A GLANCE
- Driver-oriented cockpit
- Large, easy-to-read LED backlit analog instruments
- Multi-Information Display (MID)
- New dash-mounted electric compass
- New automatic headlight activation
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with fingertip controls
- Tilt and telescopic steering column
- 8-way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support for superior comfort and 2-position memory
- 4-way power adjustable passenger seat
- Front seat heaters
- Roomy interior with seating for five
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Folding key with remote entry
- Premium 7-speaker sound system with CD, AM/FM/XM®
- Digital media auxiliary USB jack with iPod/iPhone compatibility
- AUX audio mini-jack
- Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® cell phone and music interface
- HomeLink® remote control system
Technology Package (optional)
- 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Audio System with multi-format 6-disc CD/DVD-Audio changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Satellite Radio, Note feature for XM® Radio, and Dolby Pro Logic II
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera
- AcuraLink® Real-time traffic with Traffic Rerouting™
- AcuraLink® Real-time weather
- AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System
The TSX’s sport-oriented interior is designed to evoke a premium, avant-garde appearance with a blend of high-quality materials and graceful accents. Interior shapes are sweeping and fluid, and vehicle entry is over metal sill plates bearing the Acura logo. There are satin metal finish accents that arc across the instrument panel and along the sides of the center console. Both front and rear doors have sweeping armrests that are integrated with the door pulls, handles and lock knobs for a more integrated and finished look.
Large analog gauges are easily legible, and the small-diameter steering wheel has a thick, leather-wrapped rim for a sporting feel. Satellite controls for key systems are positioned on the steering wheel within fingertip reach, including F1®-style steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the 5-speed automatic transmission. A large digital display in the tachometer face shows gear selection when in manual mode. The interior comes in three premium colors: Ebony, Parchment and Taupe.
The TSX is designed to provide the driver with a functional and refined cockpit that puts controls within easy reach. The key controls - the steering wheel, pedals, and console shifter - are positioned for comfort and control.
Sport-oriented seating offers added lateral support for hard cornering. The 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat is now positioned slightly lower for improved headroom and a lower center of gravity. The seat includes a 2-position memory feature. The steering column tilts and telescopes to accommodate drivers of varying sizes.
Instrumentation and controls are clearly legible and switchgear offers precise tactile feedback. Automatic and manual transmissions are offered with the TSX, and both are designed for ease of operation. The 6-speed manual transmission has short throws like those of a sportscar. The Sequential SportShift 5-Speed automatic transmission has a new simplified straight-style shift gate located on the center console along with F1®-style paddle shifters that are within fingertip reach on the steering wheel.
Controls for the power moonroof with tilt and auto-open/close are now located overhead in an intuitive location. The remote trunk release is now electric, with a button positioned within easy reach in the driver’s door panel. The floor-mounted, cable-style remote fuel door release has been eliminated. Now, the fuel filler door is locked electrically anytime the doors are locked. When the power door locks are unlocked, the fuel filler door can be easily opened.
LEATHER-WRAPPED STEERING WHEEL
In keeping with its sporting mission, the TSX has a new, thicker, leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel that integrates many control functions. Audio controls are positioned on the left spoke while cruise-control switches are on the right spoke. On cars equipped with the Technology Package, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ controls are located on the bottom spoke of the steering wheel. When equipped with the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, a pair of shift paddles are positioned on the rear of the steering wheel.
LED INSTRUMENTATION WITH MULTI-INFORMATION DISPLAY
The TSX’s all-new analog instrumentation has satin metal-finish bezels and a clean, uncluttered look that makes it easy for the driver to interpret readings. LED backlighting makes the large gauges clear - day or night. The illuminated pointers on the tachometer and speedometer are "floating," and appear to sweep around an invisible pivot. When equipped with the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, the tachometer face includes a digital gear selection indicator.
A Multi Information Display (MID) positioned in the speedometer face displays outside temperature, vehicle mileage and trip mileage, instant as well as average fuel economy readouts and TPMS tire pressure status. Maintenance Minder™ also alerts the driver of upcoming maintenance needs via the MID.
To give the TSX a "welcoming" feel, when the door is first opened, the instrument lighting comes on at a low brightness; when the key is put in the ignition, the brightness progressively increases to 100-percent illumination. Then when the ignition is turned on, the illuminated instruments come to life, indicating that all systems are up and running. At the end of the drive, the illumination process reverses.
During spirited acceleration, cornering and braking, secure seating for the driver and passengers is an elemental part of overall comfort. With high lateral loadings the driver’s seat becomes an important part of the control system, helping the driver read the dynamic information the chassis and powertrain convey. The TSX driver’s seat is designed to deliver a sense of connection and control, and is scaled to fit a wide range of body shapes. Specific attention was given to increasing shoulder-area support for enhanced comfort while cornering.
With 8-way power adjustability, the TSX driver’s seat provides an accommodating fit. For 2009, two different seat position profiles can be stored in memory. Each is linked to one of the pair of new folding ignition keys with integral remote-entry transmitter that is provided with the vehicle. When the driver uses the remote entry feature of the key, the TSX automatically adjusts the driver’s seat to the preset position. Switches located on the driver’s door panel can also select the individual memory profiles.
The driver’s seat backrest lumbar mechanism is adjustable via a lever mounted on the right side of the seat back. The mechanism is designed to offer smoothly contoured support without the "sharp edged" feel of some less sophisticated mechanisms. TSX is equipped with a 4-way power adjustable front bucket seat for passenger comfort.
With a wider wheel track and wider overall body, the TSX has also gained interior width for greater passenger comfort. The TSX’s efficient packaging offers comfortable long-haul space for four passengers, and can accommodate up to five passengers for shorter drives. Rear seat room is particularly impressive relative to this class, with adequate leg and headroom for passengers over six feet tall.
CARGO CARRYING VERSATILITY
When more space is needed, the lockable 60/40 split-folding rear seatback can be lowered by pulling redesigned release handles that are more easily accessible from inside the trunk. This opens a large cargo pass-through to the back seat area. The reconfigured pass-through is now eight inches wider at its bottom, simplifying loading.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE ITEMS
The TSX interior is designed to help make passengers comfortable with plenty of customer-relevant features. Front and rear cupholders accommodate large drinks, convenient storage bins and compartments include seatback map pockets and bottle holders in all four doors, and the front door panels also have large map pockets. A new 2-section locking glove compartment has a redesigned, damped door, and there is also overhead sunglasses storage, while the center console now incorporates side utility pockets. Beneath the sliding, padded armrest, the center console storage compartment has an internal 12-volt power point, an auxiliary input 2.5 mm mini-jack for the audio system, and a USB jack and cable for the easy connection of a compatible audio device (such as an iPod®) to the sound system.
A versatile Multi-Information Display located in the speedometer face tracks the car’s maintenance needs, shows warnings and offers an array of driver preference settings. For cold days, TSX’s heated front seats help take out the chill. Illuminated door-mounted window switches are easy to locate at night. A HomeLink® remote system allows the control of up to three home electronic devices remotely from inside the car.
For 2009, the TSX receives a dash mounted electronic compass for added directional information while driving.
DUAL-ZONE AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
The TSX has standard dual-zone automatic climate control with clear, intuitive controls. A replaceable filter system helps remove particulates from the interior air. When equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, key HVAC system functions can be accomplished via voice commands. In addition, the navigation system calculates sun position to adjust system operation from side to side to help compensate for solar heating.
INTERIOR COLOR & TRIM COMBINATIONS
Three interior colors are available, including Ebony (black), Taupe (gray) and Parchment (ivory). The upper instrument panel in all versions is black, while the lower instrument panel color matches the interior color.
Two folding ignition keys with integrated remote transmitters are provided with the TSX. Each transmitter can be linked to one of two driver seat-position profiles. The key fob that is used to unlock the car triggers a specific driver profile and the system automatically positions the power driver’s seat to match that profile.
The transmitter uses a FM radio frequency that is resistant to strong electrical fields and interference. One push of the unlock button unlocks the driver’s door while a second push unlocks all the doors. When placed in the driver’s door lock, one twist unlocks only the driver’s door while a second twist unlocks all the doors.
The TSX also features a unique "quick vent" feature that (when holding the "unlock" button on the keyless remote for two seconds) instantly lowers all four door windows along with opens the power moonroof to quickly vent the built-up interior heat. In addition, by holding the key in the "lock" position, all open windows can be simultaneously raised.
BLUETOOTH® HANDSFREELINK® WIRELESS TELEPHONE INTERFACE
The TSX includes standard Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® cell phone and music interface that is designed to work with many Bluetooth® enabled mobile phones (sold separately). Bluetooth® is a radio frequency-based technology that allows portable devices like mobile phones, PDAs, laptops and other devices to communicate wirelessly. Acura’s Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® system is compatible with Bluetooth® enabled cellular phones that have the Hands Free Profile (HFP). Some early Bluetooth® enabled phones do not have this communications protocol, but most newly released phones should have HFP. After a simple one-time "pairing" process, the TSX can communicate wirelessly and securely with the driver’s cell phone when it is within about 30 feet (10 meters) of the car. The phone must be turned on, but can be stowed in a pocket, briefcase, purse, or anywhere inside the TSX cabin.
The driver can send or answer telephone calls without taking his or her hands from the steering wheel, using the Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® system. Incoming call numbers are displayed on the Multi-Information Display, and a ring tone is heard over the audio system. A press of the steering wheel-mounted "Pick up" button mutes the audio system and the incoming caller is heard over the audio system speakers. An overhead microphone picks up the driver’s voice. "Echo effect" and background noise is reduced by special algorithms built into the navigation system to improve the transmission quality of the driver’s speech.
To send a call hands-free, fingertip controls mounted on the steering wheel activate the system and the driver can dial the telephone number by voice. The driver also can store in the system’s memory frequently called numbers using voice tags. Up to six different compatible mobile phones can be paired with the TSX’s Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® system at one time.
Bluetooth® Audio allows the audio system to play content provided wirelessly by a compatible cellular telephone that incorporates a built-in audio player. With the phone turned on and its music player running, the TSX audio system allows control of volume, forward and back track skipping along with pause/resume via the car’s head unit (not legal in all states).
PREMIUM 7-SPEAKER SOUND SYSTEM WITH CD AND AM/FM/XM® TUNER
TSX’s Premium audio system is designed to deliver a high performance listening experience. Engineered for simple, intuitive operation, the system incorporates an AM/FM/XM® tuner and a single-disc CD player. The system displays Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) information, which appears as text showing station name and program type.
Multiple audio sources
The audio system can play program material from a wide variety of sources. The single-disc CD player can read discs encoded with MP3 or WMA files, and there is an auxiliary 2.5 mm mini-jack in the console for use with an external MP3 player. A USB jack and cable is provided in the center console for the easy connection of an iPod® or compatible MP3 player. When used with compatible iPod® models, this connection provides power and allows the display of iPod® content information on the audio system head unit. Control of the iPod® is via the audio head unit for maximum convenience.
Standard XM® Satellite Radio offers 170 digital channels of news, sports, talk and entertainment. A 90-day complimentary subscription to XM® is included.
The audio system also offers Bluetooth® Audio, a new technology for Acura. When the system has been paired with a compatible cellular telephone that incorporates a built-in audio player, the phone’s audio content can be played on the TSX audio system via a wireless Bluetooth® connection. With the phone turned on and its music player running, the TSX audio system allows control of volume, forward and back track skipping along with pause/resume via the car’s head unit (not legal in all states).
360 watts of power
The 360-watt sound system has a total of seven speakers. A pair of tweeters are positioned in the top of the instrument panel, and two 6.3-inch drivers are positioned in the front doors. The rear deck has another pair of 6.3-inch drivers, along with an 8-inch subwoofer. An in-glass antenna located in the rear window is optimized to help deliver enhanced radio reception. Remote audio controls on the 3-spoke steering wheel put frequently used functions within fingertip reach of the driver.
ACURA/ELS SURROUND® PREMIUM AUDIO SYSTEM WITH 10-SPEAKERS, DVD-AUDIO, DTS™, CD 6-DISC CHANGER, AND AM/FM/XM® TUNER
When equipped with the available Technology Package, the TSX includes an Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Audio System featuring 10-speakers and DVD-Audio. The system gets its name from multi-Grammy® Award winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner’s recording industry-recognized moniker "ELS®." Scheiner’s goal in the development of this audio system was to capture and reproduce music the way it is heard in the recording studio. The sophisticated ELS® system he developed together with Panasonic Automotive, is designed to provide studio sound to the interior of the TSX. The system uses 10 speakers and a total of 415 watts of power to create a unique listening experience in the TSX.
Like the 7-speaker Premium audio system, the Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Audio system can play program material from an extremely wide range of sources. The 6-disc CD changer can read discs encoded with MP3 or WMA files. There’s an auxiliary mini-jack for use with an external MP3 player, and a USB jack and cable is located in the center console for the connection of an iPod® or compatible MP3 player. When used with compatible iPod® models, this connection provides iPod® control via the audio head unit. Bluetooth® Audio allows a compatible cellular telephone that incorporates a built-in audio player to wirelessly play the phone’s audio content on the TSX audio system (not legal in all states).
The system features selectable Dolby Pro Logic II signal processing that creates simulated 5.1-channel surround sound from CD, MP3/WMA, XM®, AUX and iPod® USB input. The TSX audio system plays conventional CDs and DTS discs, in addition to DVD-Audio discs. While Elliot Scheiner and Panasonic Automotive tuned the ELS Surround Premium Audio System to create outstanding sound from any source, DVD-Audio is the system’s most impressive-sounding format. This advanced audio reproduction technology has over 500 times higher resolution than traditional CD audio. DVD-Audio delivers smoother, fuller and far more accurate sound through six discrete channels. (The system will not play DVD movies, DVD-V or DVD-R/RWs.)
To make this capable system simple to operate, it has large-format controls and steering wheel-mounted controls of key functions are positioned within fingertip reach. Select audio system functions can also be executed via voice commands.
Each of the 10 speakers in the Acura/ELS Surround® system use a high-energy Neodymium magnet for excellent sound quality and reduced weight. There are soft-dome tweeters in the mirror patch location, plus a 2.75-inch midrange polypropylene-cone center speaker in the middle of the dash top. Each of the doors has 6.7-inch full-range dual thickness polypropylene-cone speakers, and in the rear parcel shelf there are two more 6.7-inch drivers flanking a special Super Low Distortion 8-inch subwoofer. The combination of outstanding speaker drivers, 415 watts of power and optimal speaker locations creates a system which delivers luxurious sound from any seating position.
An AM/FM/XM® tuner gets signals from a powered, active glass antenna laminated into the rear window glass. The system displays Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) information, which can show station name and program type. XM® Satellite Radio is integrated into the receiver to provide 170 channels of digital program material with near-CD quality sound. A text display provides informational text on the XM® program material. When XM® is being used, a display shows the current station, song title, or artist’s name. A complimentary 3-month subscription to XM® Satellite Radio service is included with purchase of a new TSX, and customers are able to continue or cancel the service any time after. XM® Satellite Radio service is currently priced at $12.95 per month.
A new Note feature for XM® Radio is built into the audio system. It’s designed to be a convenience for owners that want to make note of a song heard on XM®, for later purchase. At the touch of a button or via a voice command, the Note feature records the current song title and artist name in text form, along with a short audio excerpt of the song. The system captures up to 10 seconds of each selected song, and can record a total of 30 song excerpts.
ACURA NAVIGATION SYSTEM WITH VOICE RECOGNITION™ AND REAR-VIEW CAMERA, ACURALINK® REAL-TIME TRAFFIC AND ACURALINK® WEATHER
The TSX with Technology Package features the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. Now positioned higher in the instrument panel closer to the driver’s sightline, the system has a larger, 8-inch low-reflectivity screen. Designed for easy, intuitive operation, the TSX’s navigation system has enhanced capabilities. A new rearview camera helps provide added situational awareness for the driver when the vehicle is in reverse. The navigation system features AcuraLink® Real-time traffic, and for 2009 is an all-new AcuraLink® weather feature.
The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ locates the vehicle’s position based on data from up to 12 orbiting Global Positioning Satellites (GPS). In situations when the GPS antenna is blocked by tall buildings, a parking garage or tunnel, an internal gyroscopic system and a speed sensor help keep the mapping information current and reliable until satellite reception is restored. The system’s ECU features a mapping information database that’s stored on a replaceable DVD. Updated DVD data discs are available on an annual basis at www.acura.com or by calling 888-549-3798.
There are two ways to control the navigation system: by voice or via an Interface Dial. With a press of the "Talk" button on the steering wheel, voice command is enabled. The system responds to 100,000 words, as well as to 1.7 million spoken city and street names.
Audio sound is automatically muted when the "Talk" button is pressed, and an overhead microphone array receives spoken commands from the driver. The pair of microphones in the ceiling console work with sophisticated electronics to "home in" on the driver’s voice while ignoring extraneous sounds. The improved clarity of this new microphone system is a key factor behind the spectacular improvement in the word recognition of this new-generation navigation system.
The system responds to commands in normal English, such as "Display gas stations," "Find nearest hospital" or "Find nearest Chinese restaurant." You can also choose to display points of interest on the map with voice command, or tell the system to provide turn-by-turn navigation. The system’s massive point-of-interest database includes phone numbers, which can be dialed with the Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® system when linked to a compatible Bluetooth® cellular phone.
New for the TSX is a convenient Interface Dial that provides an alternate way to control the navigation system. The dial allows characters and items to be selected from the on-screen display, functioning much like a computer pointing device. The Interface Dial allows you to choose menu options or spell out words (an address, business name or place, for example).
AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System
The TSX navigation system has the latest generation of the AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System. AcuraLink® provides 2-way communication between Acura and the vehicle, giving customers the latest information specific to their vehicle. The owner’s Bluetooth® compatible cell phone is used in cases where communication to and from the Acura Telematics server is needed (once the owner has paired the phone with the vehicle, enabled its data-transmission function and agreed to the data charges from their cellular phone service).
AcuraLink® messages are displayed as text on the navigation screen, and can be heard over the audio system as Text-to-Speech. High priority messages are displayed immediately upon receipt. Less time-critical messages trigger an icon on the navigation screen. Some low priority messages show up only upon vehicle startup to avoid distractions. The TSX owner can choose to read a message immediately, or archive it to be read later.
Messages that may be sent to the TSX via AcuraLink® include Maintenance Minder™ (detailed information regarding the next required maintenance), Quick Tips (information to help maximize the benefit and enjoyment of TSX features), Feature Guide (supplements to the Owner’s Manual), Diagnostic Info (detailed information and instruction should an onboard system issue arise), information regarding required service or repair, and Service Appointment Reminders. The TSX owner has control over the types of messages received, and all AcuraLink® preferences can be set via the Owner Link web site.
With 2-way data communication between the TSX and the Acura Telematics Server, AcuraLink® can offer important information that previously has been unavailable. If a vehicle fault develops and an instrument panel warning indicator illuminates, AcuraLink® will automatically send a trouble code to the Acura Telematics Server (if a linked-phone is in range and the user has authorized data transmission). The Telematics Server interprets the code and then sends a message back to the vehicle. As a result, the owner knows if a particular problem can be dealt with later or if it requires special driving techniques. The data connection is enabled even if the monthly XM® Satellite Radio service package is not in effect.
AcuraLink® Real-time traffic and AcuraLink® weather information
AcuraLink® Real-time traffic
The TSX navigation screen can display current traffic information including flow (with traffic speed where available), accidents, unique incidents, and construction on freeways in 76 major metropolitan areas. NAVTEQ™ gathers information from multiple sources including police and highway patrol accident reports and transportation departments. This information is then transmitted by XM® Satellite Radio satellites to the TSX where it is graphically displayed on the navigation system.
Map icons can be selected to see incident details. Traffic information is continuously updated, allowing drivers to avoid freeway congestion en route and choose the optimum route to their destination. AcuraLink® Real-time traffic provides a constant flow of relevant information reflecting conditions along a driver’s chosen route, unlike radio or television traffic reports that typically contain less detailed information.
For 2009, the TSX’s Acura Satellite-based Navigation system advances with new Traffic Rerouting™ functionality, utilizing live data from AcuraLink® Real-time traffic information. When traffic congestion or road incidents are detected along the selected drive route, Traffic Rerouting™ can automatically recalculate a "detour" route and display a pop-up box signifying the route change. The TSX driver can also recalculate a route in manual mode simply by selecting "TRAFFIC INCIDENTS" from the Map Info menu followed by selecting the "AVOID" command relevant to an incident. Either method can save time and frustration, thus keeping the Acura driver ahead of the curve. (Note: Traffic Rerouting™ requires a monthly subscription to the XM® NavTraffic service).
Following the 3-month free trial period, AcuraLink® Real-time traffic data services are offered on a subscription basis for a nominal fee. In addition to the on-screen traffic information, TSX owners who maintain their XM® Satellite Radio service also receive city-specific audio traffic information that runs on a 2-3 minute loop in selected metropolitan areas.
Acura was the first automotive company to offer continually updated "real time" traffic information as standard equipment. Now Acura again leads the field as the first to offer an in-dash, in-map navigation system with real-time weather information integrated within a single-screen format.
Acura’s AcuraLink® weather is the first personal weather tracking system for in-dash automotive GPS navigation systems. The system tracks area-specific, real-time weather conditions between the current location and the final destination. Plus, it provides near-term weather forecasts. Rather than just offering general weather conditions for a region, the system focuses on the specific weather on the driving route. AcuraLink® weather information is continuously updated and delivered to the vehicle navigation system via the TSX’s built-in XM® tuner.
With data provided by Baron Services, Inc., professional-grade weather information (obtained and deciphered from a complex array of National Weather Service information) is now exclusively available to Acura owners. Owners of a new TSX will receive a complementary 3-month trial subscription that delivers AcuraLink® weather along with AcuraLink® traffic and XM® Radio. Afterwards, AcuraLink® weather is individually available by monthly subscription or packaged with AcuraLink® weather or XM® Radio, or as a combined package of all three features.
Based on XM®’s WX Weather feature that is the recognized weather information leader in the aviation and marine markets, the AcuraLink® weather technology is further enhanced for specific travel conditions within most major metropolitan areas across the 48 contiguous United States. The information focuses on identifying potential weather threats along with current and future forecast weather conditions.
Current weather conditions are displayed on the navigation screen in an easy-to-read format. To find nearby weather conditions, the TSX’s navigation system cursor can be moved to the desired location on the map to obtain info for a specific location. After pressing the "Map" button, the display reverts to the vehicle’s current location.
In addition to providing continually updated weather information, AcuraLink® weather also generates prompts with unique icons informing the TSX driver if the vehicle is headed into oncoming severe weather such as a developing snowstorm, tornado warning, or ice. With such advance information the TSX driver can choose to reroute a trip to avoid the severe weather before actually encountering it.
When the navigation map display is zoomed out all the way to reveal the entire United States, AcuraLink® weather shows weather patterns across different areas of the country. AcuraLink® weather also offers one- to 3-day weather forecasts for specific areas of the United States.
The 2009 Acura TSX provides an extremely high level of standard safety equipment. Anchoring this technology is its new Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure (the first time for the TSX), a total of six airbags, and the first use of active front head restraints on the TSX model.
Advanced safety technology
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) enhances frontal collision energy management through a network of load-bearing front frame structures that increase the likelihood of two vehicles properly connecting during a collision - important if the vehicles are of different sizes with different bumper heights. As a result, the TSX’s new ACE™ body structure improves real-world passive safety by maximizing the effectiveness of the front crumple zones as well as by dispersing energy through more load-bearing channels before it reaches the passenger area. With the addition of ACE™ to the TSX, all Acura models now feature this advanced crash energy absorbing technology.
Inside, the 2009 TSX now incorporates new dual-chamber front-seat side airbags with front passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) and new active front head restraints designed to reduce the severity of neck injury in the event of a rear collision. These new features compliment a 4-channel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake Assist (please see Body & Chassis section), front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, dual-stage/dual-threshold front airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), and an advanced pedestrian injury mitigation safety design for the hood, hood hinges and windshield wiper mounts. Daytime running lights (DRL) and driver and front passenger seatbelt reminders are likewise standard.
Standard safety features include:
Active Safety Systems
- 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
- Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control (Electronic Stability Control)
Passive Safety Systems
- New ACE™ body structure
- 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions
- Front seatbelt load limiters with automatic tensioning system
- Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags
- New dual-chamber front seat side airbags
- Side curtain airbags for all onboard seating positions
- New active front head restraints
- Head restraints for all seating positions
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child car-seat attachment system located in the rear seat
- Front 5-mph bumper and rear 2.5-mph bumper
ADVANCED COMPATIBILITY ENGINEERING™ (ACE™) BODY STRUCTURE
A major safety advance for the 2009 Acura TSX is its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. ACE™ makes the new TSX highly effective at absorbing energy during a frontal crash while also helping to minimize the potential for "under-ride" or "over-ride" situations that may occur with significantly larger or smaller vehicles with different bumper heights during head-on or offset frontal impacts. Created using a sophisticated computer-assisted design (CAD) process, the ACE™ body structure is actually a network of integrated load-bearing elements that helps attenuate impact forces by more evenly distributing them across a larger area at the front of the vehicle.
Most conventional frame designs direct frontal crash energy to the lower load-bearing structures at the front of the vehicle. Instead, the ACE™ body structure in the TSX channels frontal crash energy to both upper and lower structural areas, including the floor frame rails (please see Body & Chassis section), side sills and A-pillars. These specially engineered energy "pathways" help distribute frontal impact forces around and away from the passenger compartment and through a greater percentage of the vehicle’s total structure. In doing so, ACE™ helps limit cabin deformation for improve occupant protection.
Inside frame rails
Longitudinal frame rails are now positioned above the floor panel rather than below it, both for aerodynamic improvements (please see Body & Chassis section) and to better withstand severe side impacts.
The new 2009 TSX is designed to achieve 5-Star ratings* in all of the NHTSA governmental NCAP and SINCAP crash tests. As well, TSX is projected to achieve "GOOD" ratings (the top rating) in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Frontal Offset, SICE and Headrest tests - thus achieving the IIHS’s TOP SAFETY PICK for the first time. In total, the new TSX is projected to achieve the highest rankings on every standard test that evaluates vehicle safety.
FMVSS 301 offset rear collision
The 2009 Acura TSX meets the stringent new FMVSS 301 regulation for offset rear collisions, a much more severe standard than previously used. In the new FMVSS 301 standard, a 1,360 kg (2,992 lbs.) deformable barrier strikes 70 percent of the vehicle’s width at 50 mph. In contrast, the previous FMVSS 301 used a 1,814 kg (3,991 lbs.) flat rigid barrier that struck the full width of the vehicle at 30 mph. The new standard requires more body energy absorption than before. The new regulation began its phase-in during September 2006 and must be applied to all production vehicles built after September 1, 2008.
VEHICLE STABILITY ASSIST™ (VSA®) WITH TRACTION CONTROL AND BRAKE ASSIST
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is an Electronic Stability Control system that works together with the TSX’s Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System and 4-channel ABS systems. Its purpose is to enhance overall controllability when the driver accelerates, brakes or turns suddenly. VSA® functions by applying brake force to one or more wheels independently, while also managing the throttle, ignition and fuel systems to help the vehicle maintain the driver’s intended path of travel.
In operation, VSA® continually analyzes data from seven sensors that monitor wheel and vehicle speed, steering input, lateral G forces and yaw rate, while also comparing the driver’s control inputs with the vehicle’s actual response. Whenever the vehicle’s actual response is outside of a predetermined acceptable range, VSA® intervenes with a corrective action. For example, if VSA® detects an oversteer condition (where the rear of the vehicle starts to swing wide in a corner), the system may automatically apply braking force to the outside front and rear wheels to counteract this unintended yaw motion. While in the event of understeer (where the front of the vehicle "pushes" toward the outside of a turn), VSA® may apply braking to the inside front and rear wheel while reducing engine power to help return the vehicle to its intended course.
As an added benefit for performance-oriented TSX customers, VSA® also provides a limited-slip differential effect for the front wheels by applying braking force to a slipping wheel, thereby directing the driving force to the wheel with more traction.
Another key VSA® function is Brake Assist, which recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force to help the driver. This feature is controlled by a special logic in the system that determines when the pedal stroke and speed exceed a typical range - as they would during emergency braking. The VSA® modulator pump automatically increases braking pressure to ensure maximum stopping force, an action that helps shorten braking distance.
VSA® is calibrated to function seamlessly, and in many cases a driver will not even be aware of its operation. However, anytime the system is enhancing vehicle stability, an indicator light flashes on the instrument panel. While the driver can deactivate the VSA® stability enhancement and traction-control functions via a switch on the instrument panel, ABS remains fully operational at all times.
4-CHANNEL ABS WITH ELECTRONIC BRAKE DISTRIBUTION
The 2009 TSX has a new and enhanced anti-lock braking system (ABS). The new 4-channel/4-sensor ABS system also incorporates Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) circuitry that automatically proportions force based on the braking force needed by each wheel.
DUAL-STAGE, DUAL-THRESHOLD FRONT AIRBAGS
Both the TSX driver and front passenger are protected by advanced front airbags that incorporate dual-stage and dual-threshold activation technology. In the event of an airbag deployment, these two features work together to help minimize injuries that could sometimes be caused by the airbags themselves. In doing so, Acura’s sophisticated dual-stage, dual-threshold system matches the airbag deployment rate to both the speed and severity of a crash. The control logic also takes several other factors into consideration, including the seating position of the driver, the weight of the front passenger, as well as whether the seat belts are in use.
For instance, during a lower-speed collision or if the seat is too close to the steering wheel, the inflators in the driver’s frontal airbag will activate sequentially instead of simultaneously to help reduce the initial deployment force. In a high-speed collision or if the seat is positioned farther back, both airbag igniters are triggered simultaneously for rapid inflation. The TSX’s passenger-side frontal airbag is designed to operate in a similar manner, however a sensor under the passenger seat calculates whether the weight on the lower cushion meets a minimum value specified by NHTSA. If it doesn’t, such as in the event a small child is occupying the seat, the airbag is deactivated - and a light on the instrument panel indicates such a condition.
The driver’s side airbag is located in the steering wheel while the passenger airbag is located on the top of the instrument panel. When deployed, the passenger airbag inflates upward and then rearward to maximize its protective potential while reducing the likelihood of injuries being caused by the activation process.
DUAL-CHAMBER FRONT-SEAT SIDE AIRBAGS
The 2009 TSX has front-seat side airbags featuring a new dual-chamber design that enhances protection for the torso and pelvis in the event of a severe side impact. Replacing the previous single-chamber airbags, the new dual-chamber units have a larger upper chamber that provides improved protection for the chest area, as well as a smaller lower chamber that protects the lower-back/hip area. A single inflator unit fills both airbag chambers. New dual-chamber airbags are significantly more effective in helping minimize potential injuries caused by impacts from larger vehicles, such as a side impact involving a truck or SUV.
Full side-curtain airbags provide head protection for occupants of both the front and outboard rear seats. The airbag modules are mounted in the roof and are activated by a central sensor and sensors in the side of the TSX that determine the most appropriate timing and deployment rates in side or other impacts depending on severity.
FRONT SEATBELTS WITH PRETENSIONERS AND LOAD LIMITERS
The front seatbelts in the 2009 TSX are equipped with automatic tensioning systems and load limiters to help minimize injury potential in a frontal collision. When an impact occurs, the automatic tensioning system, which is built into the belt retractor, automatically tightens the front seatbelt to help hold the occupant firmly in position. Each front seatbelt retractor also incorporates a load limiter that works in conjunction with the pretensioner. The load limiter permits a small amount of controlled seatbelt slack momentarily after the automatic tensioning system is activated to limit the peak restraining forces, reducing the potential of serious bodily injury. The TSX’s front seatbelts also feature adjustable height shoulder anchors.
Three-point seatbelts are standard in all three rear-seating positions.
ACTIVE FRONT HEAD RESTRAINTS
The 2009 TSX features active front headrests for the first time. The new Active Headrest Restraint System has been designed to help minimize the risk of neck injuries in the event of a rear impact. In a rear impact, the driver and front passenger’s bodies are pushed against the seatback, causing the head restraints to move forward in a carefully prescribed arc. This action helps equalize the forces transmitted to the head, neck and spine throughout the collision, a critical factor in helping to minimize potential injuries.
Adjustable rear head restraints
The Acura TSX’s rear seat features individually adjustable head restraints for all three passengers.
LOWER ANCHORS AND TETHERS FOR CHILDREN (LATCH)
Both outboard rear seating positions are fitted with Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) as standard equipment. The LATCH system provides a simple and secure method of installing up to two compatible child safety seats in the outboard seating positions. In addition, the center rear seating position incorporates an upper tether that allows fitting a single child safety seat. When a child seat is in the center position, additional child seats may not be used in the outboard positions.
TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS)
An updated Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts the 2009 TSX driver whenever the air pressure in one or more of the vehicle’s tires decrease significantly below the recommended pressure level. Using four sensors (one in each tire) TPMS monitors and transmits information regarding tire air pressure to the TSX’s MID system. When the pressure in one or more tires drops to a potentially critical level, it causes a low tire pressure indicator (located in the instrument cluster) to illuminate.
PEDESTRIAN INJURY MITIGATION
Although there are no official standards for pedestrian injury mitigation in the event a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the Acura TSX helps lead the way with several innovative features. These features include a deformable hood panel - positioned high enough above the engine and other under-hood components to have space to deform - as well as deformable hood hinges and movable windshield-wiper pivots. These components help dissipate collision forces in the event of contact with a pedestrian, thereby helping to reduce the severity of injury to the pedestrian.
The 2009 Acura TSX offers a wide array of security features including an electronic engine immobilizer to help thwart would-be thieves. Security is also advanced by the use of reinforced door lock cylinders to help thwart break-ins, and protectors for the hood and trunk locks (located below front of the hood and inside trunk lid, respectively).