|The 2014 TLX Prototype wears Acura’s trademark grille. (Photo: Acura)|
It’s true. The upcoming 2015 Acura TLX not only combines the TSX and TL names, but will also form a concerted effort to pull more premium sport-luxury sedan buyers away from the likes of Infiniti’s new Q50, Lexus’ IS series, Cadillac’s ATS, Volvo’s S60, not to mention the big three Germans, Audi’s A4, BMW’s 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz’ C-Class. And according to Acura, in less than a month we’ll know exactly what the luxury brand has planned.
The new production-ready 2015 Acura TLX will makes its debut as part of the 2014 New York International Auto Show at 1:50 pm (EST) on April 16 inside Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center. You might remember that a TLX Prototype was unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January and then made its Canadian
|The 2014 Acura TLX Prototype makes a sporty profile. (Photo: Acura)|
Think of a lighter, smaller, sportier version of the RLX and you’ve got it pegged; its overall styling not straying from Acura’s trademark look on iota. Like all Acura models the new TLX will share Honda mechanicals, its two engines pulled from the Civic Si and Accord. The former will be Honda’s high-revving 16-valve, direct-injected 2.4-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder in a state of tune that will likely give it more power and torque than the compact model it now resides in, while the latter engine will be the automaker’s 3.5-litre direct-injected i-VTEC V6.
Rather than just pull transmissions from Honda’s parts bin, Acura will offer the four-cylinder
|The 2014 TLX Prototype doesn’t mess with Acura’s traditional lines. (Photo: Acura)|
Of course, Acura’s trademark Super Handling All-Wheel Drive will be made available on V6-powered TLXs, albeit a new generation that’s 25 percent lighter and features new torque-vectoring control logic, while the next generation of the brand’s Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS) incorporating independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control will be standard on front-drive models using either engine.
Acura promises to “deliver higher levels of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism
|The 2014 Acura TLX Prototype pulls design cues and technology from its larger RLX sibling. (Photo: Acura)|
Available safety features will include Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI).
While it certainly appears that Acura is getting yet more serious about increasing its presence in the sport-luxury sedan sector, it’s difficult to say if one model will be able to do double duty replacing the TSX, which currently starts at just over $34,000 plus about $2,000 for freight and PDI, and the TL, which current starts at just
|The 2014 TLX Prototype shows classic Acura lines. (Photo: Acura)|
The two models are sizably different too, the former closer to a compact and the latter a large midsize model. If the TLX Prototype is as close to the production model as we think, consider that its 4,831-mm (190.2-inch) length sits between the current TSX and TL; it’s 117 mm (4.6 inches) longer than the TSX and 96 mm (3.8 inches) shorter than the TL. When measuring by wheelbase, the TLX’ span between each axle is 73 mm (2.9 inches) longer than that of the TSX, and exactly the same as the TL, which incidentally has an identical wheelbase to the Honda Accord.
So, while smaller than the TL, the new TLX will still be larger than most of its premium competitors, the sales leading BMW 3 Series Sedan measuring just 4,624 mm (182.0 inches) from nose to tail (it’s actually almost identical in length to the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo), so therefore continuing the TL’s example of being
|The 2014 Acura TLX Prototype at its NAIAS introduction. (Photo: Acura)|
Interestingly, while Acura is reducing its model lineup by an entire car, and potentially shrinking its target market, its German competitors are increasing their model lineups into ultra-unique niche segments. BMW, for instance, now produces four different body styles on its 3 Series platform architecture (the 3 Series GT mentioned above being a stretched model) and three different body styles on the same platform dubbed 4 Series (the 4 Series Gran Coupe just added), and that’s not even mentioning its M-badged cars that receive unique bodywork, and not mentioning additional models available in other markets that may once again end up being sold here (the 3
|The 2014 Acura TLX Prototype on the road. (Photo: Acura)|
While the TLX appears to be a step in the right direction, only time will tell if this single model manages to outsell its predecessors, and we’ll never know what sales Acura could have otherwise seen with a redesigned C-segment TSX and an all-new E-segment TLX. Acura is once again bucking the industry trend.
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