"The TSX is designed to compete head on with other premium sports sedans from Europe and Japan," said Dan Bonawitz, vice president, corporate planning and logistics. "With 200 horsepower, a standard 6-speed manual transmission and 17-inch wheels and tires, the TSX delivers performance with the luxury and quality inherent to Acura vehicles. It will make a strong impact in the luxury entry sports sedan category."
The TSX features an advanced 2.4 liter DOHC i-VTEC engine that generates 200 horsepower at 6800 rpm, 166 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm and overall performance comparable to some competitors with 6-cylinder powerplants. The i-VTEC "intelligent"
valve-control system delivers enhanced performance across a broad power band in addition to improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. A direct ignition system with knock control helps to optimize power and fuel efficiency by ensuring a properly timed spark at all engine speeds.
The TSX 4-cylinder engine is equipped with a drive-by-wire throttle control system that eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine, and continuously adjusts the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal to match current driving conditions. It also incorporates throttle control into the car's VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) system, controls the vehicle's cruise control function and modulates the throttle to help make automatic transmission shifts even smoother.
The 4-cylinder engine of the TSX is equipped with platinum-tipped spark plugs and a self-adjusting cam chain. It is designed to run for 110,000 miles before requiring a major scheduled tune-up.
Since many performance enthusiasts prefer shifting gears themselves, the TSX comes with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. A compact 5-speed Sequential SportShift(TM) automatic transmission is also available as standard equipment. The lightweight 6-speed gearbox features short shift throws and multi-cone synchronizers on all gears for quick, light shifting action. For the first time on an Acura, the transmission case is made from magnesium alloy, a material typically reserved for racing applications. This case weighs 6.6 pounds less than a comparable aluminum unit and is extremely rigid to damp out noise and vibration.
Despite its impressive 200 horsepower output, the TSX with manual transmission delivers 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway, while the TSX with automatic transmission delivers 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway. Air-assisted fuel injectors, two close-coupled catalyzers and a high-flow, low-heat mass exhaust manifold help the TSX achieve LEV-2 emissions status.
To complement its high-adrenaline powertrain with sports car-like handling, the TSX features an extremely rigid unit body structure and a race-bred, 4-wheel-independent double-wishbone suspension. The suspension is track-tuned to reduce lift, dive and body roll and boasts gas-pressurized shock absorbers and large front and rear stabilizer bars. A quick-ratio, variable power assist rack-and-pinion steering system provides outstanding feel and responsiveness and features an anti-kickback valve for reduced kickback on rough roads.
Handling is further enhanced through the application of a Vehicle Stability Assist system (VSA) that works in concert with the braking and drive-by-wire throttle systems to provide enhanced control during acceleration, braking and cornering. This 4-channel system 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 during acceleration, braking and cornering.
To provide stability and ensure superb stopping power, the TSX is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel ABS, 17-inch alloy wheels and P215/50R17 Michelin tires.
The body of the TSX offers best-in-class aerodynamics while defining its sporting nature with crisp sports sedan lines. In front, styling cues include a signature 5-sided Acura grille, style lines starting at the top of the front fender flares and gradually rising to the rear, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and large air openings beneath the front bumper, which guide airflow to the radiator. In the rear, the backlight slopes to meet a short, high trunk lid, which terminates sharply to help air separate cleanly off the back of the car at speed.
The TSX is available in seven exterior colors: Satin Silver Metallic, White Pearl, Nighthawk Black Pearl, Arctic Blue Metallic, Meteor Silver Metallic, Milano Red and Carbon Gray Pearl.
The five-passenger interior of the TSX is sporty yet refined with modern LED- illuminated instrumentation, intuitive controls, and a long list of standard luxury amenities. The comprehensively equipped TSX features deeply bolstered, perforated leather seating, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel with wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, a 360-watt Acura Premium Sound System, power windows and door locks and keyless entry. Standard 8-way power driver's seat adjustment and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel allow the TSX to accommodate a wide range of drivers.
The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition is available as a factory-installed option. This latest-generation navigation system features an 8-inch touch screen display, a comprehensive destination guide with 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.
In addition to its highly rigid, computer-designed structure, the TSX incorporates a vast arsenal of the latest safety technologies. It is the first Acura to feature 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 TSX 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, it prevents deployment.
The TSX will go on sale in April, 2003 and be priced between $25,000 and $30,000. Acura projects sales of 15,000 units a year.
Like all Acura models, the 2004 TSX 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.