Image credits: © Acura.

MSRP: $35,605-45,085
Invoice: $33,132-41,825

2012 Acura TL news, pictures, specifications, and information

Newly Refined 2012 Acura TL Debuts At Chicago Auto Show

Fresh Looks, a New 6-speed Automatic Transmission and Úpgraded Technology Highlight 2012 TL Changes

Making its debut at the 2011 Chicago Auto show, 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, a revised interior and a host of technology upgrades.

'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 wîth 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.

To increase performance, a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is applied on all TL models wîth automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) 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.

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 280 hp
Torque: 254 ft-lbs

Engine : 3.7 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 305 hp
Torque: 273 ft-lbs

6-speed Automatic, 6-speed Manual
In addition, the transmission teams wîth 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 is now 20/29 mpg*— an increase of 3 mpg in highway driving over the 2011 TL. To further improve operating efficiency, the TL's standard 3.5L V-6 engine receives a host of friction-reduction technologies while a revised air inlet system provides cooler air for both the 3.5L and 3.7L engines.


For 2012, two distinct versions of Acura's performance luxury sedan remain: a 280 horsepower, front-wheel-drive TL along wîth a powerful 305 hp TL paired wîth Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™). The performance-minded 6MT model will continue to be offered in the 2012 TL SH-AWD lineup, helping broaden the TL's appeal among luxury performance sedan buyers.

Both the TL and TL SH-AWD™ models offer an available Technology Package which includes the Acura Navigation System wîth Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic wîth Traffic Rerouting™ and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™, and an Acura/ELS Surround® 410-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, ÚSB connection speed is faster, and the full VGA monitor is brighter wîth even richer colors. Also available is a new Advance Package that incorporates all-new ventilated front seats along wîth a new blind spot information (BSI) system that alerts the driver of other vehicles that are in close proximity.
Standard on the 2012 TL are new 17x8-inch 7-spoke aluminum wheels wîth P245/50R17 all-season tires for confident year-round performance. The TL SH-AWD® comes standard wîth new 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels wîth low-profile P245/45R18 tires for more agile handling. Finally, when equipped wîth the available Advance Package, the TL comes wîth 18x8-inch 5-spoke wheels while TL SH-AWD™ is fitted wîth 19x8-inch split five-spoke aluminum wheels wîth new performance minded P245/40R19 all-season tires.

Along wîth every new Acura, the new 2012 TL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 miles powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits of ownership include Acura Total Luxury Care® (TLC®), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.

Source - Acura

Fresh Looks, a New 6-speed Automatic Transmission and Upgraded Technology Highlight 2012 TL Changes

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 wîth 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.'

Powertrain
To increase performance, a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is applied on all TL models fitted wîth an automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) 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 wîth an external transmission cooler.

The transmission teams wîth 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 wîth the new 6-speed automatic transmission increases by 1 mpg in both city and highway fuel economy to 18/26 mpg. Matched wîth 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 wîth 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.


Chassis
For 2012, two distinct versions of Acura's performance luxury sedan remain: a 280 horsepower, front-wheel-drive TL along wîth a powerful 305 hp TL paired wîth Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). The performance-minded 6MT model (with 6-speed manual transmission, handling and §teering 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 wîth P245/50R17 all-season tires for confident year-round performance. The TL SH-AWD® comes standard wîth new 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels wîth low-profile P245/45R18 tires for more agile handling. When equipped wîth the available Advance Package, the TL comes wîth 18x8-inch 5-spoke wheels while the TL SH-AWD® is fitted wîth 19x8-inch split five-spoke aluminum wheels paired wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth unique damper tuning to improve handling performance. Moreover, on the SH-AWD® model special brake tuning teams wîth racing-inspired front brake cooling ducts to provide more performance-minded braking.

Interior
In keeping wîth its mission as a driver's car, the TL interior features a 'dual personal' design that provides both the driver and front passenger wîth 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 wîth refinement of Bluetooth® Audio (now wîth 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 ÚSB port.

Both the TL and TL SH-AWD® models offer an available Technology Package which includes the Acura Navigation System wîth Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic wîth 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 wîth even richer colors wîth 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.

Safety
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 wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth the 4-wheel disc brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and daytime running lights (DRL).

Pricing
On sale at Acura dealerships on March 18, the 2012 TL will have a MSRP of $35,605. Equipped wîth the available Technology Package, the MSRP is $39,335, or $41,535 when equipped wîth the available Advance Package.
The TL SH-AWD® will have an MSRP of $39,155. Equipped wîth the available Technology Package, TL SH-AWD® MSRP will be $42,885, or $45,085 when equipped wîth the available Advance Package. The TL SH-AWD® 6MT wîth Technology Package will have an MSRP of $42,885.

*Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Úse 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

Source - Acura
Acura's best-selling model, the TL has ranked as the second best-selling luxury sedan in the U.S., right behind the BMW 3-Series. Introduced in 1995, the Acura TL debuted as a mid-size luxury sedan with front wheel drive that was produced to replace the Acura Vigor. Acura incorporated some of the most popular features from the Legend, while that vehicle was discontinued during the same year. The Acura was rebadged for the Japanese market in '96 as the Honda Aspire an as the Honda Saber from 1996 through 2004.

From 1996 until 1998 the TL was available in two engine sizes, a 5 cylinder 2.5 liter, a lavish sports car model and a 6 cylinder 3.2 liter luxury sedan. The first generation was assembled in Sayama, Japan and came with a 111.8 in wheelbase. Its 2.5L 176 HP engine came with a 4-speed automatic transmission. On March 28, 1995 the very first 1996 Acura TL rolled off the assembly line.

In 1999 the second generation was introduced and was available with only the more popular 3.2 liter engine. Much larger than the previous generation, the 1999 TL showcased sleeker updated styling along with a more powerful V6 engine. Acura was attempting to market to a younger generation, and in the Acura TL, it succeeded.

The second generation TL was also called the Honda Inspire and was assembled in Marysville, Ohio. The engine was the 3.2L 224 hp V6 and the 3.2L 260 HP. The transmission was a 4-speed automatic and after 2000 the 5-speed automatic was introduced. The second generation model featured a 108.1 inch wheelbase with an overall length of 192.9 inches.

Honda introduced the TL-X concept car in 1998, and this was a preview of the second-generation TL that would be unveiled in 1999. The newest TL was derived off the USDM Honda Accord platform and featured a newly-designed 3.2 L 225 hp SOHC VTEC J32 V6 that was joined to a four-speed electronic automatic transmission with SportShift.

The 2.5 was dropped for the second generation, and the 3.2 TL was built alongside the Honda Accord before being imported into Japan and sold as Honda Inspire at the Honda Clio dealer network, and as Honda Saber in the Honda Primo and Verno dealer networks. On August 4th, 1998 the very first 1999 Acura TL 2G rolled off of the assembly line. The only available option on the sedan was a hard drive-based navigation system.

For the 2000 model year, the Acura TL was given slightly more features, including a 5-speed automatic transmission with SportShift. The new gear allowed for better fuel economy and acceleration when compared to the previous four-speed automatic transmission with SportShift. Other additional changes on the 2000 model included the addition of side impact airbags for front passengers and a change of format for the navigation system. The CD was also exchanged for a DVD-based navigation system.

The following year a brand new redesigned coupe version of the TL was unveiled; the 3.2CL. Though mechanically identical, the '01 model never reached the height of sales that it's sibling model reached. In May of 2003 this coupe model was discontinued. The 2001 model featured a new redesigned cupholder, a feature that the previous years model didn't have. The warranty of these models were also extended by the manufacturer due to recurring problems with the automatic transmission.

For 2002 the Acura TL received a minor makeover that resulted in a refreshed front fascia, redesigned taillights, a 6 CD in-dash changer along with several other features. For this same year a new Type-S model was also added to the lineup. The Type-S added 35 hp as well as 17-inch wheels, firmer seats and suspension.

Acura introduced an A-SPEC version of its popular TL Type-S model that was available only in Canada in 2003. This edition was limited to only 800 units produced. Cosmetic differences were the only variations between the A-SPEC and non A-SPEC versions.

On September 30, 2003 the first third generation Acura TL rolled off of the assembly line. The vehicle underwent a complete redesign in 2004, mainly due to the customers that wanted a more powerful vehicle along with a sportier exterior. The new '04 TL was introduced with a redefined chassis, a 270 horsepower 3.2 L V6 engine along with the enhancements such as Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a DVD-Audio surround sound system.

The third generation of the Acura TL was assembled in Marysville, Ohio from 2004 until 2008. The third generation Acura TL was released for sale in North America on October 6, 2003. Derived from the seventh generation USDM Honda Acorrd, the new TL was developed mainly in the Y.S. by a team led by Erik Berkman with bodywork by American Honda designer Jon Ikeda. Powered by a 270 hp, the third generation is based on the new SAE measurement standard for horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque, 3.2 L 24 valve SOHC VTEC V6 engine joined to a 5-speed automatic with SportShift or 6-speed manual.

Honda offered a factory-sanctioned ‘tuner package' version of the TL in March of 2004 to the driving public. Featuring a suspension tuned by Makoto Tamamura, an indication of the TL A-SPEC's aggressive engineering. Other features included an underbody kit, spoiler, limited edition A-SPEC steering wheels, 'A-SPEC' badge on the back, and 18-inch wheels that are all standard features on the A-SPEC package.

The first car in the American market to include a 6 disc DVD-Audio system, the third generation TL featured output through an 8-speaker 225-watt system, engineered by
Panasonic and tuned by Elliot Scheiner. In 2004 the TL became Acura's best selling luxury sedan with more than 79,000 sold in that year.

For 2005 the Acura TL received minor updates that included a tire pressure monitoring gauge along with higher horse power rating that was determined through new testing procedures. A passenger airbag cutoff switch along with extra stitching on the front seats were some of the updates featured on the '05 model. Brembo 4 Piston brake calipers for the front wheels were also featured on manual transmission models.

For 2006 the TL received the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, an updated and improved weight ratio, along with a new engine management system that aided in reducing torque steer. Though the engine remained the same throughout 2007, a new horsepower rating of 258 hp is due to a change in testing procedures.

For 2007 the Acura TL was updated with a slightly revised exterior along with a revised interior that featured a new steering wheel, new gauges, and new colors for 07 models. To improve ride comfort, the 2007 model received suspension changes. LED signal blinkers were added on the side mirrors and fog lights on the bumper. A new rear view camera with image displayed on the navigation screen along with XM NavTraffic on the new navigation models. The sound system is now MP3/WMA compatible along with the new standard auxiliary audio jack. The base model dropped manual transmission due to extremely low sales.

The Type-S edition of the TL returned. The new Type-S received the Acura RL's 3.5-liter V6 engine that was tuned for 286 horsepower and 25 lb-ft of torque with either a 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters of a 6-speed manual transmission. Differences were mainly focused on the exterior with the addition of quad exhaust pipes, newly restyled taillights and front fascia. Additional updates were focused on the lip spoiler, LED lights, Brembo brakes, dark silver 10-spoke wheels, exclusive Type-S badging along with new exclusive color options. The interior of the Type S featured two-tone trim on the headrests and steering wheel, racing pedals, carbon fiber trim and red interior lighting. Standard now was the touch screen navigation along with a re-tuned suspension.

For 2008 the TL showcased an improved new immobilizer system, a separate Tire Pressure Monitoring System warning lamp, along with two new body colors. The navigation system was also updated to now work in Hawaii. There is a rumor that Acura will unveil an all-new special generation of the Acura TL in 2009.

By Jessica Donaldson
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