"Each model year our goal is to improve the TL by building on its core strengths: performance, luxury and style," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, sales. "In 2002, we made the TL more aggressive stylistically and gave it a 260-horsepower Type-S sibling. This year, we've added OnStar to the Acura Navigation System to make the 2003 model the most comprehensively equipped TL we've ever built."
Under the hood, the TL's all-aluminum, 3.2-liter, 24-valve V-6 engine uses Acura's Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC(TM)) system to produce both abundant low-rpm torque and exhilarating high-rpm horsepower. The 3.2 TL engine produces 225 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 216 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4700 rpm. Equipped with platinum-tipped spark plugs, it is designed to run for 105,000 miles before requiring a tune-up.
Building upon this impressive engine foundation, the TL Type-S increases performance with a dual-stage induction system, a low-restriction dual-outlet exhaust, a larger-diameter throttle body, an increased compression ratio, and high-performance intake valves and camshafts. In addition to boosting horsepower to 260 at 6100 rpm, these enhancements help the Type-S engine achieve its maximum 232 lbs.-ft. of torque over an exceptionally broad range -- from 3500 rpm all the way to 5500 rpm.
Both TL models are equipped with a 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission. Sequential SportShift allows the driver to enjoy the convenience of a conventional automatic transmission or shift gears semi-manually simply by moving the gear lever fore or aft in a special SportShift gate. Thanks to its wide ratios, the TL's transmission enhances acceleration while also reducing engine rpm during highway cruising -- improving fuel efficiency and reducing engine noise.
To exploit its high-output powertrain, the TL's chassis has been engineered to deliver extraordinary levels of control and responsiveness. The highly rigid, unit-body structure of the 3.2 TL supports a race-bred, four-wheel-independent double-wishbone suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars and a front shock-tower bar. For even greater cornering capability, the TL Type-S features additional suspension enhancements including firmer springs, increased damping rates, and a larger rear stabilizer bar. Both TL models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for secure stopping power. The TL wears V-rated, all-season Michelin 205/60R16 tires on aluminum-alloy wheels; the Type-S sports 215/50R17 all-season, high-performance Michelins on aluminum-alloy wheels.
The TL was designed with crisp, sporty lines to accentuate the car's athletic demeanor. Graceful, yet substantial proportions reflect the TL's focus on delivering personal driving satisfaction and generous interior room.
Inside, the TL offers a warm, inviting cabin with a truly remarkable level of standard luxury amenities. All TL models feature a standard, Acura/Bose Music System with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer. Other standard features include an Automatic Climate Control System with micron air filter, power moonroof, keyless entry system, auto-up driver's window, heated power front seats, leather seating surfaces, and handsome wood-patterned trim.
To enhance its high performance persona, the cockpit of the TL Type-S is trimmed with sporty, perforated-leather seats and steering wheel, metallic-face instruments, and a perforated-leather shift knob with a "Type-S" emblem.
The only factory-installed option available on either TL model is the DVD-based, Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System. The system maps the entire continental United States and can direct the driver to any one of more than 3.7 million points of interest with a few quick touches of the large, 6-inch color LCD touch-screen display in the dash.
For 2003, all TL models equipped with the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System feature OnStar as standard equipment. Pressing the OnStar button on the rearview mirror provides quick access to a live OnStar advisor 24 hours a day. A variety of OnStar service plans are available, offering 24-hour emergency assistance, accident notification, stolen vehicle tracking, and door unlock command. The optional Personal-Calling Package, which includes wireless phone and "Virtual Advisor" Internet services, is also available for an additional charge.
The 2003 TL reflects Acura's continued dedication to occupant safety and security. Both TL models have a highly rigid, computer-designed body structure and incorporate a number of standard safety technologies. Among these are Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights for outstanding nighttime visibility, an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and traction control, dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, and side air bags for the driver and front passenger. The TL Type-S adds a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system for traction control and stability enhancement.
The TL is available in nine exterior colors. In fall of 2002, the TL will receive two new exterior colors with Desert Mist replacing Naples Gold and Royal Ruby replacing Firepepper Red.
Many of the Acura TL's performance, safety, and convenience technologies were designed and engineered at the Honda R&D facilities in the United States. The TL and its coupe sibling, the CL, were designed and engineered in the U.S. and are assembled in Marysville, Ohio.
Like all Acura models, the 2003 TL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
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