Acura Takes Aim at the Chinese Market by Showing Off a Prototype of the TLX-L at Shanghai
This could be a big seller in the Chinese market!by Robert Moore, on
The Acura TLX fights for dominance in a tough segment with models like the BMW 3 Series, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Mercedes C-Class, among others. It’s a war-torn battlefield where models must be updated frequently to keep up, and things are always changing. As such, Acura has stayed on top of its game with the TLX, and just a few years after being introduced, it has gone through a facelift that brought about a new look to the front and rear, including the new Precision grille, lots of LED lights, and some updated technology inside to help it stay relevant. The updated TLX debuted at the New York Auto show, and just days later, Acura pulled the sheet off of another TLX – this time in prototype form with a longer wheelbase.
Obviously, Acura is trying to judge public interest in a LWB TLX in the one market that glorifies long vehicles with excessive room in the rear. It’s a status symbol, really, and the TLX in longer form should be more than sufficient for the wealthy Chinese businessman who would rather be driven. Acura hasn’t said much about this prototype and has only released a couple of images. The exterior is identical to the model we saw here in the U.S., with the exception of it having an extra-long roof, kick panels, and rear door. How much longer is it? Well, Acura didn’t say, but judging its length by the pictures provided, I’m guessing it’s somewhere around 4.5-inches longer. That should boost rear legroom up to around 38.5-inches, up from 34.5-inches in the standard model. There’s no word on any interior changes outside of the potential for extra legroom, but I suspect Acura would cater to the Chinese market well and offer plenty of rear-seat amenities like reclining seats, leg rests, rear infotainment, etc…
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It’s Likely to hit the Chinese Market Soon
When you compare this prototype (left) to the standard model (right,) it’s pretty clear that there’s some extra length there. And, while this is a prototype and Acura hasn’t set a date for a production model, it has hinted that it will be coming sooner than later. Toshihiko Sato, the President of GAC Honda, said:
“2016 became a memorable year as we began production and sales of the Acura CDX, the first Acura model produced locally in China. This year, we are introducing the Acura TLX-L, the second Acura model to be produced in China. We will further strengthen all aspects of Acura business in China including production, sales, and service, so that as many customers as possible know and experience ‘The Performance’ unique to Acura.”
Did you catch that second sentence? The TLX-L is set to be introduced as the second Acura model to be produced in China. So, this might be a prototype, but its production is already planned. To all of our friends over there in China; I suggest you wait on making your next car purchase until the TLX-L hits the market – it’s definitely a model you’ll want to consider.
On a side note, there’s no word on what drivetrains will be available in the production model, but here in the U.S., the TLX can be had with a 2.4-liter four-banger or a 3.5-liter V-6. The four-banger pumps out 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet while the 3.5-liter delivers a fair 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet. The Chinese, LWB model will likely be specced a little different, but this is a good start as far as predicting possible engine performance.
What do you think about the TLX-L? Would a model like this work in the U.S., or is Acura playing it smart by keeping it exclusively for the Chinese market? Feed us your thoughts in the comments section below.