The all-new Acura TL performance luxury sedan is the first vehicle in North America equipped with a standard DVD-Audio 5.1 surround sound system and a standard hands-free phone system. Acura's top-selling sedan also features an assortment of other high tech amenities that make it one of the most comprehensively equipped cars in its class. These amenities include standard XM® Satellite Radio with over 100 coast-to-coast digital stations, an available voice recognition navigation system, and an innovative Maintenance Minder system.
The Acura/ELS® Premium 8-speaker Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio, DTS™ and CD, 6-disc Changer, AM/FM Tuner and Dolby® Cassette comes standard on the 2004 TL and plays DVD-Audio (DVD-A) discs and CDs. DVD-A 5.1 music discs contain up to seven times the data capacity of a CD. This extra space is put to good use as DVD-A discs are recorded in six channels (surround sound) instead of two (stereo). The result is a huge increase in fidelity, 24-bit resolution compared to 16 bits for CD, and digital surround sound with 500 times the resolution of CD audio.
The TL's new sound system was developed with Grammy-winning music producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner, considered one of the world's leading authorities on 5.1 surround sound mixing and DVD-Audio. Scheiner, who has produced albums for a long list of music legends including Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac, worked with Acura to develop a cutting edge system tuned specifically for the 2004 TL.
"It has been a thrill to join in the development of the Acura / ELS Surround Sound System for the new Acura TL," said Scheiner. "While mixing DVD-Audio tracks in the studio, I have often imagined how incredible it would be to have a similar experience in my car. The way the Acura / ELS Surround Sound System captures and recreates this experience is simply amazing. DVD-Audio will be a 'must have' feature for all premium audio systems."
The 8-speaker TL audio system was designed to take advantage of the six discrete music channels available with the DVD-Audio format. Speakers are located on the top of the instrument panel near the A-pillars, with a dedicated center channel speaker in the middle of the dash. The two front doors have specially designed drivers, which reproduce the enhanced frequency response and dynamic range of DVD-Audio. Two identical drivers are located in the rear parcel shelf flanking an 8-inch powered subwoofer. Center speaker and subwoofer level controls built into the head unit allow for fine-tuning of the audio output to suit the driver's individual taste.
In addition to playing DVD-A discs and CDs (including DTS-enabled CDs), the TL sound system also plays XM® Satellite Radio, which is provided as a standard feature. Broadcast from the world's largest digital radio facility and powered by two satellites located over the east and west coast, XM Satellite Radio provides over 100 coast-to-coast, digital radio channels, 35 of which are commercial-free. Programming includes 70 music channels and 30 channels devoted to sports, talk, children's programming and entertainment. A three-month subscription to the XM Satellite Radio service is included with purchase of the vehicle and customers are able to continue service after that time for $9.99 a month.
The TL is also the first vehicle in North America equipped with a standard Bluetooth hands-free phone system. The Acura HandsFreeLink™ system enables a Bluetooth wireless link with compatible mobile phones, so that drivers can place and receive calls using the TL's voice recognition and audio interfaces. Up to six phones can be paired with a few simple commands. Once a phone is paired, the HandsFreeLink system senses when the phone comes within 30 feet of the TL and automatically establishes a wireless link.
To place a call, the driver pushes the steering wheel-mounted "talk" button and says, "call" or "dial." The driver then says the number to be called or indicates an entry stored in the system's phone book. The system confirms the number or phonebook entry via the audio system and dials.
When HandsFreeLink detects an incoming call, it mutes the audio system, displays the incoming number on the Multi-Info Display screen and notifies the driver with a tone. The driver answers the call by pushing the "talk" button. The system also includes a handy "transfer" feature, which allows drivers to transfer an existing call from his phone to HandsFreeLink or vice versa with the push of a button when entering or exiting the vehicle.
When placing or receiving a call, information that is typically displayed on the user's mobile phone display, such as the number of an incoming caller, the strength of the phone signal and battery life is displayed on the Multi-Info Display located on the right side of the instrument cluster.
The 2004 TL also features the latest generation of the Acura Navigation system with Voice Recognition' as a factory-installed option. This latest-generation navigation system features an 8-inch touch screen display, coverage of virtually all roads in the contiguous United States and over 7 million points of interest (POI). Unlike many navigation systems on the market, the Acura navigation system can be controlled with simple, easy-to-use voice commands. To utilize the voice command menu, the driver presses the "talk" button on the steering wheel and says one of 293 commands. A microphone located in the overhead console picks up the command and the navigation system responds accordingly. Synergy between the navigation system and HandsFreeLink also allows hands-free dialing to any of the points of interest listed in the system.
To ensure proper maintenance of the TL, a new Maintenance Minder system monitors the oil service life and coordinates maintenance interval timing for service items such as oil filter, tire rotation, air-cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, spark plugs, timing belt and coolant, automatically alerting the driver when maintenance is needed. When the ignition is initially turned on, Maintenance Minder system icons are displayed on the Multi-Info Display indicating whether or not service is needed, and if so what kind.
While Acura customers have come to expect the brand to deliver the latest technology, the 2004 TL sets a new benchmark within the entry luxury segment. In addition to the above-mentioned features, the TL comes equipped with a long list of standard amenities including keyless entry with customizable features, 10-way power seating, which includes power lumbar support (driver's side), high intensity discharge (HID) headlights and a 1-touch power moonroof. The 2004 TL will go on sale at Acura dealers nationwide October 6, 2003.
Like all Acura models, the 2004 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.