2012 Acura TL With athletic and emotional styling, powerful engine performance and a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) model, the fourth-generation Acura TL is nothing less than the most exciting performance luxury sedan in Acura history. After a complete from-the-wheels-up redesign for 2009, Acura aimed to enhance every aspect of the original model. Featuring a stiff unit-body construction with expansive use of high-strength steel (as well as key aluminum components), unique and dramatic exterior styling, a choice of two powerful VTEC® V-6 powertrains (280-hp 3.5L and 305-hp 3.7L), Electric Power Steering (EPS), and a luxurious and technologically advanced interior, the Acura TL sets the benchmark for the future direction of the Acura division.
For 2011, the Acura TL received the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG®) award for the best residual value of any Near Luxury vehicle, with the overall Acura brand taking the second place spot for best residual value for all Luxury Brands. Such independent recognition indicates the strong value and quality that the Acura brand offers.
However, for 2012 engineers went back to work to further refine the Acura TL with even better attributes. Most apparent are the visual changes that incorporate new front and rear styling, but also present is a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission for improved performance and fuel economy, a revised interior and a host of technology upgrades.
The 2012 TL's refined new look includes a redesigned front bumper with improved aerodynamics, a revised grille, updated headlights and turn signals, a new fog light design and a shorter front overhang. The TL's styling changes more closely align the overall design direction of Acura as, for example, the TL's new lower front fascia openings are similar in design direction as those seen on Acura's popular SUV models (ZDX, MDX and RDX). "With the 2009 TL, the exterior design was a lot about passion," said Damon Schell, Acura Project Lead Designer. "With the 2012 TL, we pushed for an increased level of sophistication."
At the rear, a new rear bumper incorporates a significantly repositioned license plate opening and much smaller rear reflectors, while updated taillights and a thinner rear trunk edge trim add to a sophisticated new look. Also adding to the exterior looks are new 17- and 18-inch aluminum wheels fitted with a revised center cap featuring a raised-style, chrome-plated Acura "A" mark.
To increase performance, a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is used with all TL models. In addition to incorporating engineering enhancements aimed at improving efficiency, a sport-minded double-kick-down feature lets the driver command a double downshift — such as from Fifth to Third gear. The Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system also creates a "blip" of the throttle to help match gear speeds while downshifting.
In addition, the transmission teams with a new multi-clutch torque converter that not only reduces heat build-up during operation, but also allows for lock-up activation during a much wider range of driving conditions — which helps generate improved fuel economy. As a result, city/highway fuel economy is now 20/29 mpg — an increase of 3 mpg in highway driving over the 2011 TL. To further improve operating efficiency, the TL's 3.5L V-6 engine receives a host of friction-reduction technologies while a revised air inlet system provides cooler air for both the 3.5L and 3.7L engines.
Previously, only the Acura TL SH-AWD made use of an external transmission cooler (for hot weather driving), but for 2012 all models of the TL are now fitted with an external transmission cooler.
The 2012 TL is available in numerous configurations including a choice between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. The performance-minded 6MT model will continue to be offered in the 2012 TL lineup, helping broaden the TL's appeal among luxury performance sedan buyers. However, the TL 6MT goes well beyond the addition of a unique transmission. Acura engineers developed a complete performance package for the 6-speed model that includes numerous enhancements to handling, steering and reliability. Not only is the manual transmission model the best performing Acura TL ever, but it is the top performer in handling amongst every vehicle in its class.