On sale March 18, Acura's newly refined TL delivers fresh looks, improved performance and upgraded technology. 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, revised interior appointments, a host of technology upgrades and numerous NVH improvements to make for an even quieter cabin.
"The 2012 Acura TL is refined, yet aggressive," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "Already known for its great performance, the enhanced TL has a sophisticated new look and an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission that will take performance to the next level."
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. At the rear, a new rear bumper incorporates a significantly repositioned license plate opening and smaller rear reflectors, while updated taillights and a thinner rear trunk edge trim add to a sophisticated new look. For 2012, all TL models now receive body colored door handles and rear window trim. "With the 2009 TL, the exterior design was a lot about passion," said Damon Schell, Senior Designer, Acura Design Studio. "With the 2012 TL, we pushed for an increased level of sophistication."
To increase performance, a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is applied on all TL models fitted with an automatic transmission. 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. Previously, only the TL SH-AWD® made use of an external transmission cooler, but for 2012 all models of the TL (with automatic transmission) are now fitted with an external transmission cooler.
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 for the TL is now 20/29 mpg*— an increase of 3 mpg in highway driving over the 2011 model. The TL SH-AWD® equipped with the new 6-speed automatic transmission increases by 1 mpg in both city and highway fuel economy to 18/26 mpg. Matched with the transmission is a new final drive gear ratio that allows for more relaxed cruising on the highway.
To further improve operating efficiency, the TL's 3.5L V-6 engine receives a host of friction-reduction technologies including a new plateau-honing technique for the cylinders, piston skirts with a new molybdenum coating, redesigned ion-plated piston rings and lower viscosity engine oil. In addition, both the 3.5L and 3.7L engines make use of a revised inlet system that provides cooler air to feed the engine.
For 2012, two distinct versions of Acura's performance luxury sedan remain: a 280 horsepower, front-wheel-drive TL along with a powerful 305 hp TL paired with Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). The performance-minded 6MT model (with 6-speed manual transmission, handling and steering improvements) will continue to be offered in the 2012 TL SH-AWD® lineup, helping broaden the TL's appeal among luxury performance sedan buyers.
Standard on the 2012 TL are new 17x8-inch 7-spoke aluminum wheels with P245/50R17 all-season tires for confident year-round performance. The TL SH-AWD® comes standard with new 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels with low-profile P245/45R18 tires for more agile handling. When equipped with the available Advance Package, the TL comes with 18x8-inch 5-spoke wheels while the TL SH-AWD® is fitted with 19x8-inch split five-spoke aluminum wheels paired with new performance minded 245/40R19 all-season tires that offer significantly improved performance in snow and ice. Fitted to all TL wheels are revised center caps featuring a raised-style, chrome-plated Acura "A" mark.
The TL employs a double-wishbone independent front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension. Ride quality and road-holding are optimized with dual-stage "blow off" style hydraulic suspension dampers, hydro-compliant bushings (used to mount the transmission and key suspension components) and a "smart" engine mount design. On the SH-AWD® model, special rate coil springs are paired with unique damper tuning to improve handling performance. Moreover, on the SH-AWD® model special brake tuning teams with racing-inspired front brake cooling ducts to provide more performance-minded braking.
In keeping with its mission as a driver's car, the TL interior features a "dual personal" design that provides both the driver and front passenger with their own personal space. Inside, the 2012 TL benefits from an even further refined cabin that includes instrument cluster changes, new surface finishes for many interior appointments and available ventilated front seats. Technology improvements abound with refinement of Bluetooth® Audio (now with artists name, song title, etc.), new "active pairing" functionality for Bluetooth® enabled cellular telephones, Dial-By-Number and dial-by-voice tags, and much faster connection speed for the USB port.
Both the TL and TL SH-AWD® models offer an available Technology Package which includes the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ and an Acura/ELS Surround® 440-watt Premium Audio System. For 2012, the hard disk drive (HDD) based navigation system increases in size to 60 gigabytes, map coverage is more expansive, and the full VGA monitor is brighter with even richer colors with the new backlit LED display. With the revised HDD system, there is an increase to 15 GB of dedicated space for the storage of up to 3,500 songs**. Also new is Song By Voice™ that allows the driver to choose music by artist, album, song title, genre, playlist and even composer.
New for 2012 is an available Advance Package that incorporates all-new ventilated front seats, larger wheels and a new blind spot information (BSI) system that alerts the driver when another vehicle is detected behind the driver in an adjacent lane.
For 2012, the use of new body sealing techniques including improved weatherstripping design, and additional expanding foam pillar separators , help reduce high frequency noise by 3 dB within the TL's interior.
The 2012 TL uses a host of advanced safety features including Acura's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The ACE™ body design enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes by utilizing a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. ACE™ body design also helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash.
Six airbags and active head restraints for the driver and front passenger seats are just a few of the long list of passive safety features built into the TL. The array of airbags includes: dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; dual-chamber front seat side airbags with front passenger seat Occupant Position Detection System; and side-curtain airbags for front and outboard rear seating positions.
Additional passive safety features include 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions, driver and front passenger seatbelt load-limiters with an automatic tensioning system and a Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system that permits quick, convenient attachment of up to two child seats at the outboard locations of the rear seating area.
The 2012 TL includes safety minded features such as ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist in conjunction with the 4-wheel disc brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and daytime running lights (DRL).
On sale at Acura dealerships on March 18, the 2012 TL will have a MSRP of $35,605. Equipped with the available Technology Package, the MSRP is $39,335, or $41,535 when equipped with the available Advance Package.
The TL SH-AWD® will have an MSRP of $39,155. Equipped with the available Technology Package, TL SH-AWD® MSRP will be $42,885, or $45,085 when equipped with the available Advance Package. The TL SH-AWD® 6MT with Technology Package will have an MSRP of $42,885.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 270 dealers within the United States. The 2012 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan and all-new Sport Wagon, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV, the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.
Along with every new Acura, the 2012 TL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 miles powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care® (TLC®), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
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*Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
**Approximate capacity based on an average size of 4.0 MB per song at a 128kbps bitrate