The all-new 2004 Acura TL performance luxury sedan features a new powertrain, significant chassis enhancements and aggressive new styling designed to solidify the TL's place in the increasingly competitive performance luxury market. Along with the added performance, the TL also receives an assortment of class-leading innovations and industry firsts including DVD-Audio surround sound, XM® Satellite Radio and hands-free phone connectivity utilizing Bluetooth technology as standard equipment.
"We've taken the TL to a new level of performance, style and handling and added some exclusive new technology that increases our competitive edge," said Tom Elliott, Executive Vice President, Auto Operations. "We've increased the horsepower to 270 and that means the new TL, whether equipped with a manual or an automatic transmission, offers more performance than the previous TL Type-S model."
The 2004 TL's 3.2-liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum VTEC engine utilizes an 11.0:1 compression ratio, a two-stage intake manifold and a cold air intake to help generate 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 238 lbs-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm (up from 225 hp and 216 lbs-ft
for the '03 TL and 260 hp and 232 lbs-ft of torque on the '03 TL Type-S). A retooled exhaust system that includes two close-coupled primary catalytic converters for quicker light off and a secondary underfloor catalytic converter helps to generate extra horsepower while improving emissions from ULEV to ULEV-2 standards. Despite the added horsepower, EPA fuel mileage ratings are 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway for models equipped with an automatic transmission and 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway for models equipped with a manual transmission.
In addition to the new powerplant, the 2004 TL features a drive-by-wire throttle system, which eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine. Evolved from the drive-by-wire system in the NSX supercar, this system is custom tailored to match the unique performance characteristics of the TL. It provides responsive acceleration, modulates the throttle during automatic transmission shifts for improved smoothness and allows throttle control to be incorporated into the TL's new Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) logic.
On sale this fall, the 2004 TL will be available with a choice of a 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, or a close-ratio 6-speed manual, a first for TL. The new 6-speed manual features a short throw shift linkage, large diameter shift cables and multi-cone synchronizers for optimum shift feel.
TL models with the 6-speed manual transmission are equipped with a limited slip differential, which proactively distributes torque between the driving wheels to help maintain traction, and creates more neutral handling and extremely responsive steering feel.
The TL's state-of-the art chassis and 4-wheel independent suspension have been redesigned to handle the added horsepower while delivering sporty, precise handling and an improved ride. A new standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system works in concert with thedrive-by-wire throttle system to provide enhanced control during acceleration, braking and cornering. While the 2-channel VSA in the previous TL Type-S model modulated the throttle and braking to the two front wheels, the 4-channel system standard in the 2004 TL orchestrates the throttle and each of the vehicle's four disc brakes to seamlessly integrate traction control, Anti-lock braking and stability enhancement for increased driver control.
The 2004 TL features 17-inch 5-spoke wheels and 235/45R17 Bridgestone all-season tires that, when combined with 4-wheel disc brakes and Anti-lock braking, help it outperform the previous TL Type-S in braking performance. Another added feature is Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), which continuously and automatically adjusts the pressure to the front and rear brakes depending on how the vehicle is loaded. A new Brake Assist feature utilizes a microprocessor to help the driver apply full brake pressure during accident avoidance situations.
TL models with the 6-speed manual transmission receive Brembo 4-piston front caliper brakes with larger rotors to further enhance braking and are also available with 17-inch high-performance tires.
To match its high performance powertrain and chassis, designers gave the TL aggressive new styling. They began with a wider, more muscular stance accented by large wheels and tires, distinct fender blisters and minimal wheel arch-to-tire gaps. Working upward from there, they utilized bold character lines and a fusion of edge and organic design, to portray an image of muscular tension, helping to make the car look fast and lean from any angle.
In the front, the TL features a bold hood design and an aggressive front fascia with an angular headlight treatment and a new lower air intake system that accents the styling while ensuring a steady flow of fresh air to the engine and cooling system. Hood lines begin at the front grill and run up along the top surfaces of the vehicle in one bold, unbroken stroke. Distinct character grooves run below the sleek cabin on each side of the car, stretching from the front side marker across the side of the car to the rear marker. A short rear deck, with a pronounced lip and a V-shaped break below the trunk, express the car's aggressive nature. Dual exhaust pipes with bumper-integrated exhaust tips further accent the car's muscular style.
The interior of the 2004 TL has been modernized with upgraded materials, more standard amenities and several high tech features not offered by other cars in the segment including the first automotive application of a multi-channel DVD-Audio System as standard equipment. The Acura/ELS® Premium 8-speaker Surround Sound System with DVD-Audio, DTS™ and CD, 6-disc Changer, AM/FM Tuner and Dolby® Cassette delivers a whole new level of audio fidelity. This DVD-Audio system, developed with Grammy-winning music producer Elliot Scheiner, utilizes six distinct channels (compared with two on the typical premium sound system) to deliver sound resolution 500 times greater than CD. The premium system plays standard CDs, DVD-A discs, and DTS-enabled CDs and incorporates XM® Satellite Radio for over 100 channels of premium quality sound.
The TL is also the first automobile to offer a Bluetooth-based hands-free phone system as standard equipment. The system, called HandsFreeLink™, enables a Bluetooth wireless interface with mobile phones allowing calls to be made and received using the TL's voice recognition and audio interfaces. To make a call, drivers push the steering wheel-mounted HandsFreeLink button, which connects their phone to the system. The driver then says the number to call or indicates an entry stored in the system's phone book. The voice recognition system responds, confirms the number or phone book entry and dials. The number being dialed as well as other calling information is shown on the Multi-Info Display. The HandsFreeLink system can be programmed to accept up to 6 different phones, and up to 50 numbers may be stored in the system's phone book.
The latest generation of the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition is available on the TL as a factory-installed option. This easy-to-use navigation system features a menu of 293 voice commands, an 8-inch touch screen display, a comprehensive destination guide with more than 7 million points of interest spanning the continental United States, 3-D graphics for freeway on and off ramps and turn-by-turn voice guidance.
To ensure proper maintenance intervals and reduce the number of service visits, the 2004 TL features an innovative new Maintenance Minder system that automatically monitors the vehicle's unique operating profile and alerts the driver when certain types of routine service, including oil and filter replacement and tire rotation, are needed. When the TL is started, Maintenance Minder information is displayed on the Multi-Info Display located on the instrument panel beneath the fuel gauge.
In addition to the new technology, the 2004 TL features a long list of interior enhancements including, Dual-zone, Dual-temperature Automatic Climate Control, an enhanced keyless entry system and user-programmable interior lighting.
The 2004 TL incorporates a wide array of the latest safety technologies including standard side curtain airbags to help protect vehicle occupants from head and neck injuries in the event of a side impact. To ensure that the airbag covers the front and rear side windows instantaneously, compressed helium inflators deploy the curtain in a mere 0.015 seconds. The
TL is also equipped with dual-stage, dual-threshold driver's and front passenger's airbags, and side airbags for the driver and front passenger. The passenger's side airbag uses seven sensors in the seatback and side bolster to determine the height and position of the occupant. If the sensors detect that a child or small-statured adult is leaning into the deployment path of the side airbag, deployment is prevented.
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.