Looking to simplify its sedan lineup, Acura is merging its TSX and TL lines into a single model - the TLX - which debuted in prototype form today in Detroit.
Though billed as a concept, the TLX Prototype is expected to accurately preview the look of the production model. Positioned between Acura's entry-level ILX and range-topping RLX models, the TLX borrows cues from both, including the RLX's "Jewel Eye" LED lamps and the ILX's sinewy character lines.
The TLX rides on the same 109.3-inch wheelbase as the TL but is 3.8 inches shorter overall. However, Acura says it targeting the "most spacious interior in the midsize luxury sedan class" for the new model. Cabin pictures are not yet available.
A pair of sophisticated new transmissions will make their debut in the TLX. Entry-level models, which utilize a 2.4-liter four-cylinder expected to make over 200 horsepower, receive an eight-speed DCT automatic that features a dual-clutch design for quick shifts as well as a torque converter for refined low-speed operation. The step-up motor, a 3.5-liter V6, will pair with a nine-speed automatic.
Acura says it has made class-leading fuel economy a top priority for the TLX, although official figures are not yet available.
Front-wheel-drive will be the standard configuration for both engines, while the V6 will be offered with a next-generation version of Acura's "Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive" that is 25 percent lighter than before. FWD models benefit from Precision All-Wheel Steer, which adjusts the toe angle of the rear wheels in order to increase both agility and stability.
A new Integrated Dynamics System will let the driver choose between four drive modes that adjust steering settings, throttle response, shift mapping, SH-AWD or PAWS control logic, and even Active Noise Control and HVAC settings.
The TLX will be built at Honda's plant in Marysville, Ohio, and is expected to hit the market for the 2015 model year.
Live images by Mark Elias.