Developed under the theme of ‘Red Carpet Athlete,’ the all-new TLX is designed to deliver a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium (red-carpet) luxury refinement, while delivering on Acura’s ‘Synergy Between Man and Machine’ product direction – characterized by vehicles that perform “at the will of the driver” with intuitive, exhilarating and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics.
To achieve its dual mission of even sharper sports-sedan performance and increased luxury refinement, the TLX employs a host of new technologies, including two new, high-output direct-injected i-VTEC engines; two advanced new transmissions, including the world’s first automotive Dual Clutch Transmission with torque converter; and the latest iterations of Acura precision-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), next-generation Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and Agile Handling Assist (AHA). These new technologies, in combination with its all-new body and chassis design, help define the TLX as the most dynamically advanced Acura ever produced; quick and responsive in sporty driving, stable and sure-footed in higher speed maneuvers, calm and quiet during long-distance cruising.
All three TLX models carry a long list of standard luxury comfort, convenience and safety features. TLX models with the 2.4-liter engine can be upgraded to the Technology package and models with the 3.5-liter engine are available with Technology or the line-topping Advance Package.
The TLX’s new chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies are wrapped in a lithe new exterior design with taut body surfaces, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Its sporting character is emphasized by more compact sports-sedan proportions: Compared to the 2014 TL, the 2015 TLX is 3.7-inches shorter in overall length while maintaining the same wheelbase and tandem (front-to-rear) passenger-seating distance. The TLX’s front and rear overhangs are shortened by 1.1 inches and 2.7 inches, respectively, when compared to the outgoing TL.
Acura’s signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models, lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. Its LED lighting theme carries through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination.
The TLX also features a new 60/40-split folding rear seatback for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a new trunk design featuring a wider and deeper opening, a lower lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two new optional underfloor storage compartments.
The TLX body is designed to support the twin goals expressed in the vehicle’s “Red Carpet Athlete” development theme – significantly enhanced luxury appeal, in terms of cabin quietness, ride comfort and styling refinement, and exhilarating and athletic sports-sedan performance – while also achieving class-leading fuel economy and crash safety ratings.
To achieve these sometimes-competing goals, Acura engineers created an all-new body design utilizing advanced materials, including ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium, for rigidity, collision performance and weight savings. Special attention was paid to local body rigidity in areas where the body meets up with the suspension, engine and subframes, and to improvements in body sealing and noise insulation.
Vehicle aerodynamics also played a critical role in achieving class-leading fuel economy ratings. The TLX aerodynamics are improved by 15 percent (CdA) over the previous TL and based on internal testing, is the best (lowest) in its competitive class. At the same time, the body also is designed to provide a high level of occupant crash protection incorporating Acura’s latest thinking in advanced body design, including the next-generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) front body structure and one-piece hot-stamped-steel door ring, first applied to the all-new 2014 Acura MDX.
Key TLX body features found in this section include:
- Rigid, lightweight body
- Hemmed rear wheel arch
- Ultra-high strength steel
- Aluminum components
- Magnesium steering hanger beam
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure
- Jewel Eye™ LED Headlights
- LED fog-, tail-, puddle-, license- and side-mirror lights
- Auto-dimming side mirrors
- Acoustic glass windshield
- Acoustic foam applied to critical body sections
- Electric trunk lid and fuel lid release
- Cap-less refueling
- Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
- Exclusive Acura exterior colors (Black-Bronze and Acura Silver Metallic)
Dynamic and Athletic Proportions
With its low and wide stance, the new 2015 TLX possesses a lithe exterior form, taut body surfaces and “just right” proportions for a sports sedan. This sporting character is further defined by shortened front and rear overhangs, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Even the sculpted hood, with its sharply creased bilateral ridgelines, hints at the performance capabilities of the advanced new Acura powertrains it conceals. Meanwhile, the open and airy greenhouse provides commanding sight lines, with slim A-pillars providing improved visibility.
“Just Right” Dimensions
The 2015 TLX’s “just right” body dimensions result from a careful balance of aerodynamic efficiency, interior roominess, dynamic performance, quietness and refinement, and design. Compared to the previous TL, the new TLX has the same 109.3-inch wheelbase, but is 3.8 inches shorter in overall length at 190.3 inches. This positions it between the smaller ILX entry-luxury sedan and flagship RLX sedan. Despite its more compact exterior footprint, the TLX offers a spacious interior that approaches the previous TL.
In comparison to its competitors, the TLX is longer than the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It is also significantly wider than all of its direct competitors, including the Lexus ES and GS, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Rigid Lightweight Body
Light weight and rigidity are the twin foundations for TLX comfort, handling and safety performance. Light weight is achieved by a combination of advanced engineering and the use of high-strength steel, magnesium and aluminum unit-body components. TLX body rigidity is enhanced by precise engineering, particularly in optimizing key component fitting points (up to 25 percent stiffer) for superior bending stiffness, and the unit-body structure’s torsional rigidity is up 21-percent vs. the previous TL.
In order to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions, Acura designers merged the TLX’s dynamic styling with a high level of aerodynamic efficiency, with a reduction in frontal area and lower running resistance (the amount of energy that is lost as the car moves along the road and through the air) as key goals.
Most of the running-resistance improvements are achieved via refinements to the TLX’s body design, with even the smallest details calculated and confirmed by the use of sophisticated computational fluid dynamics (CFD), as well as scale wind tunnel and high-precision coast-down testing.
The new TLX is 0.4-inch lower and 1.0-inch narrower, with a slightly longer roofline, than the previous TL model. The result is 1.5-percent less frontal area than the previous TL, along with a 15-percent improvement in aerodynamics (CdA). Slightly narrower 225mm wide tires also replace the 245mm wide tires on the TL, further improving running efficiency. The end result is 16-percent reduction in running resistance compared to the previous TL. Internal testing shows the TLX to be the most aerodynamically efficient car in its class.
Hemmed Rear Wheel Arch
The rear wheel arches on the TLX use a special roll-hemming process that results in a cleaner edge and smoother appearance than on the previous TL model. In simple terms, the wheel-arch “hems” are the curved sheet-metal edges that surround the rear tires. In the new TLX, a special hemming process is used instead of spot welds to join the inner and outer fender sheet-metal on the inside of the fender opening. The result is a reduced tire-to-fender gap which improves aerodynamics, elimination of visible spot-welds and a cleaner appearance.
High Strength Steel
To achieve the high rigidity that promotes a smooth and quiet ride, crisp steering and handling, safety performance and long-term durability, the TLX utilizes six different grades of high-strength steel (HSS) in 52% of its body structure by weight. This high-grade, high-tensile strength steel adds the required rigidity for these positive traits without adding excessive weight, which in turn enhances fuel efficiency and lowers emissions. Altogether, 59-percent of the TLX body is created from a combination of high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium.
High strength steel uses include:
- UISBOR – USIBOR is a boron-alloyed steel with an aluminum-silicon coating that protects against oxidation during the heating, forming and hardening process. This high-strength hot-stamp steel is used for the TLX’s door opening rings, for 5% of the unit body.
- 980 grade HSS – Used in certain key structural points such as the front edges of the door sills, and in the A-pillars and B-pillars, for 2% of the unit body.
- 780 grade HSS – Used for most structural load paths for ACE™, including the side sills and forward spars of unit body, for 2% of the unit body.
- 590 grade HSS – Used for the front frame spars, floor and roof supports, for 35% of the unit body.
- 440 grade HSS – Used in the front bulkhead, and in front and rear energy-absorbing structures, for 5% of the unit body.
- 340 grade HSS – Sheet steel is used in the roof, for 3% of the unit body.
Aluminum stampings are used in certain key locations to reduce the TLX’s curb weight, which provides benefits in handling, fuel efficiency and emissions reductions. Altogether, the aluminum components comprise 6-percent of the TLX’s body weight, a savings of 27.8 pounds compared to comparable steel components.
Among the aluminum body components are:
- Front bumper beam
- Rear bumper beam
- Front subframe (hybrid aluminum/steel)
Magnesium Steering Hanger Beam
Located behind the instrument panel, a 3-piece magnesium steering-hanger beam replaces the 26-piece aluminum and steel unit in the previous TL model. Its purpose is as a structural attachment point for the steering column, pedals and instrument panel, as well as a structural element that helps the passenger cabin retain its shape in certain collisions. This single robust magnesium component makes up 2-percent of the TLX’s body weight.
The steering-hanger beam offers several advantages compared to the previous unit:
- Simpler construction – Created from just three parts instead of the previous 26 different extrusions and stampings, the new magnesium steering hanger brace offers better construction precision.
- Lighter weight – The magnesium steering hanger beam saves 2.7 pounds compared to a comparable aluminum and steel, contributing to the TLX’s superior ride and handling, fuel efficiency and low emissions.
- Better fit and finish – The exacting tolerances of the magnesium steering hanger brace in turn allow the instrument panel to fit better, exhibiting higher overall interior quality.
The most comprehensive use of LED lighting on any Acura vehicle is a signature design element of the new TLX. From the dramatic Jewel Eye™ headlights to the convenient new puddle lights and back to the new taillights, the LED lighting provides crisp, bright, energy-efficient and long-lasting illumination that directly improves the driving and ownership experience. A summary of exterior lighting includes:
- New LED headlights with incandescent-bulb turn signals
- New LED parking and side marker lights
- New LED under-mirror puddle lights (Advance grades)
- LED front fog lights (Advance grades)
- New LED tail and trunk-lid lights with incandescent-bulb turn signals and backup lights
- New LED Center High Mount Stop Lights (CHMSL) with integrated cover
- LED license-plate lights
Jewel Eye™ LED Headlights
Acura’s signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights give the TLX with an advanced and appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. The headlights utilize an array of high-intensity LED lamps to deliver outstanding light distribution, distant irradiation performance and light characteristics with a wavelength close to the human eye’s luminosity curve. With five “Jewel Eye” lights per headlight, the LED lights provide improved down the road visibility compared to HID and halogen headlights.
On each side of the TLX, the low beams consist of three LED lights, while the innermost LED lights are utilized for high beams. The daytime running light (DRL) function utilizes all five lenses illuminated by LED’s that are clearly and dramatically visible even in bright sunlight. Altogether, they create a dramatic and distinctive appearance with superior lighting capability.
Both the low and separate high beam LED headlights offer outstanding performance in all nighttime driving conditions, including highway, winding roads, intersections, and in inclement weather conditions. The result is that the driver can see further with uniformity, making high-speed nighttime driving easier and less fatiguing.
A summary of LED benefits include:
- Outstanding light distribution that surpasses competitors
- Excellent distant illumination performance
- Clear illumination of the road surface and white lines
- High visibility of the entire visible color spectrum (white, red, green, blue and yellow) compared to HID and halogen headlights
- Response time when switching between low and high beam is shortened
- Light congruity is improved between low and high beams
Using just 65 watts total, the TLX’s LED headlights use 41-percent less power than traditional halogen headlights, contributing to the TLX’s overall operating efficiency.
Besides producing better light characteristics with lower energy usage, the TLX’s LED headlights are longer lasting. With an estimated life expectancy of 10,000 hours, the LED headlights are projected to last five times longer than HID headlights and 10 times longer than traditional halogen headlight bulbs – contributing to less frequent replacement and potential associated cost savings. Further, their compact packaging allow for an improved aerodynamic frontal design.
LED Fog Lights
Included in the Advance Package, LED fog lights are positioned at the lower corners of the TLX’s front fascia for maximum effectiveness and a bold appearance.
LED taillights are part of the TLX’s comprehensive exterior lighting array. Highly stylized to compliment the TLX body design, they are also brighter than traditional incandescent-bulb taillights, with a longer projected lifespan. Use of LEDs allows the addition of a “light pipe” styling element extending across the top of the lenses, contributing to the TLX’s unique blend of design and engineering.
LED Puddle Lights
Included in the standard Smart Entry system, LED puddle lights positioned on the undersides of both side mirror housings enhance convenience when entering or leaving the vehicle. The LEDs automatically illuminate when the TLX detects the key fob approaching, in concert with the automatic interior illumination. The puddle lights also illuminate when the driver puts the TLX in Park and leaves the vehicle, fading off after about two seconds after locking the doors, or 30 seconds if the doors are not locked.
LED Side Mirror Lights
Keying off of the Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, each TLX mirror has LED lights fused into the mirror housing. The LEDs come to life when the turn indictors are activated, providing extra visibility and a high tech appearance.
Auto-Dimming Side Mirrors
Included in the Advance Package, auto-dimming side mirrors use the same activation sensor as the TLX’s auto-dimming inside rearview mirror. The auto-dimming function of all three mirrors helps reduce glare during nighttime driving, especially from the headlights of following vehicles. Mirror glass area is 24-percent greater than on the previous TL model for improved rear visibility.
Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
An Expanded View Driver’s Mirror performs like two mirrors in one. The larger, inset portion of the mirror is relatively flat and works like a conventional sideview mirror to show objects to the side of the vehicle. The outer portion of the mirror is optically convex and functions as a wide-angle mirror to expand the driver’s view to the side by approximately 39 percent, helping to reduce the blind-zone area.
To reduce noise in the cabin The TLX utilizes a 4.5-mm thick, 3-layer acoustic windshield that consists of two layers of safety glass, separated by a thin acoustic resin center. The windshield reduces wind noise on in the higher frequency ranges, contributing to a luxurious feeling of isolation in the cabin. Also helping to mitigate wind, road and traffic noise in the cabin is 5.0-mm thick front door glass.
Auto Up-Down Side Windows
The 2015 TLX has power front and rear side windows with an auto-open and auto-close feature with anti-pinch.
Advanced Windshield Wiper System
The sleek, flat design of the wiper blades adds to the TLX’s visual appeal. The flat blade design improves aerodynamic performance and reduces wind noise.
Headlights On With Wipers
Laws in some states require drivers to turn on the headlights when the wipers are operating in the rain. The new TLX helps its driver comply with these laws by automatically illuminating the headlights when the wipers are activated for five cycles or more (with headlight switch in AUTO). The headlights will remain illuminated for as long as the rain continues and the wipers are being operated. When the rain stops, the wiper activation also ceases, with the headlights remaining lit until the wipers stop. Operation is shown via an indicator on the instrument panel.
Rain Sensing Wipers
TLX models equipped with Technology Package and Advance Package include rain-sensing wipers that automatically activate if water is detected on the windshield.
The TLX was designed to deliver vault-like quietness in all driving conditions, with major improvements achieved through enhancements in body stiffness, body and door sealing, and widespread sound insulation.
Acoustic Spray Foam
Applied to the unit body in 10 crucial locations around the door openings, acoustic spray foam helps create a solid foundation for a quieter cabin. The application process is automated and computer controlled, with the foam curing in 7 to 11 seconds after application for a highly precise and effective process.
Additional Materials and Sealing
Additional sound-absorptive materials are used throughout the unit body and interior, each dedicated to blocking a particular noise type and frequency. The materials include Thinsulate insulation, body sealers, noise-absorbing carpeting, and a high-density and dual density melt sheets. Liquid Applied Sound Deadening (LASD) is used in the trunk. Key areas of attention include the TLX’s dashboard lower and floor area. Total body leakage is reduced 50 percent vs. the outgoing TL. The end result is reduced road noise and drumming on both concrete and asphalt surfaces, along with lower engine noise, for a more relaxing and pleasant driving experience.
Significant improvements in both high-frequency and mid-frequency noise heard in the cabin were achieved by lowering the windshield-wiper height and optimizing the shape of the side mirrors. Special sealing methods in the B-pillars and C-pillars, and between the door gaps, further reduce audible wind noise.
Improved Door Sealing
The new TLX adopts the previous TL’s 360-degree double seals that completely surround each passenger door. In addition, the TLX uses a third set of gap seals, positioned at the front, center, rear and bottom edges of each door, that help eliminate potential noise source caused by turbulent airflow in the cavities around the door hinges and latches. The doors’ internal steel stampings receive further sound insulation in the form of large acoustic hole seals, internal foam sound barriers, and specially targeted B-pillar plugs.
The base TLX and TLX with Technology package offer a 13.2 cu. ft. of cargo volume, while the TLX with Advance Package has a larger 14.3 cu. ft. of cargo volume. There is no difference in storage capacity for the TLX two-wheel-drive models and TLX SH-AWD.
Compared to the previous TL, the trunk features an easier load-in height, a wider opening, and a flat, wide trunk floor that makes loading and unloading cargo easier. In specific, the interior dimensions are 14-percent wider, 12-percent deeper, with a 15-percent lower load-in height than the TL dimensions. The new flat floor extends from the rear bumper area, forward to the rear seatback for improved usability. The trunk hinges are fully hidden for a better visual appearance and to eliminate the possibility of catching on stored items. New 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks allow storage of large or bulky items such as bicycles, skis or boards, or flat-screen televisions.
Cargo Bin System
All TLX models include a versatile trunk underfloor storage system that provides convenient storage for such items as groceries, emergency tools and other small items. The flip-up floor reveals a pair of storage bins (or a larger single bin with the Advance Package). These bins are ideal for everyday items such as groceries, shoes, etc. Flipping the floor panel again reveals an additional storage area designed for emergency tools, jumper cables, etc. A molded carrier holding the TLX’s towing eyebolt and tire-inflator kit is also located in this area. Finally, the Advance Package includes a reversible floor panel. Carpeted on one side, it features a plastic surface on the backside to be used when wet or messy items – for instance, wetsuits, beach towels or a car cover – need to be carried in the trunk.
The 2015 TLX is available in seven exterior colors, including two metallic and five pearl colors. All colors have a strong character, offering expressive contrasts that compliment the TLX’s body-panel curves and angles, while also exhibiting a smart luxury appearance. The acid-resistant epoxy clear-coat paint is superior to typical clear-coat paints for increased resistance to urban pollutants.
Acura TLX Exterior Colors
- Acura Silver Metallic (New)
- Basque Red Pearl
- Bellanova White Pearl
- Bronze-Black Pearl (New)
- Crystal Black Pearl
- Graphite Luster Metallic
- Obsidian Blue Pearl
The TLX interior is designed and engineered to support the Red Carpet Athlete development theme of the new TLX, providing a high degree of refinement, luxury comfort and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and woodgrain accents and available leather seating with Milano bolsters.
Technology highlights include next-generation AcuraLink® (on Technology and Advance packages), which delivers a broad spectrum of information and entertainment choices, and Siri™ Eyes Free, which allows the TLX driver to use Apple’s Siri on a compatible iPhone without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
Despite its more compact and nimble exterior footprint, the TLX has the same “tandem distance” – the distance that separates the front and rear rows of seats – as the TL sedan it replaces.
The TLX offers an abundance of available equipment, including a multi-view rearview camera, HomeLink®, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting™, Color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance and much more.
Design and Materials
The new TLX sport sedan interior builds on Acura’s interior styling themes of clean and elegant lines, high-end detailing, and intuitive functionality. A design language called “dual personal structure” divides the space into areas centered on the driver and front passenger, complemented by a wide center stack and a highly functional center console that is easily accessible to each person.
The TLX utilizes Acura’s On-Demand Multi-Information Display, a 2-screen interface with intuitive functionality. The 8-inch color audio/information screen is placed high in the instrument panel, where it’s close to the driver’s sight line. The lower screen, a 7-inch touch screen, eliminates the need for dozens of hard keys, and has contextual menus that make operation simple. The quality of interior materials in the TLX are held to a high standard, with available leather seating, and soft-touch materials throughout.
All important systems and controls in the TLX are positioned within easy reach of the driver. Controls for the systems used most frequently – audio, cruise control, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, available satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and Multi-Information Display – are conveniently positioned on the steering wheel. The main instrumentation is an easy-to-read analog design, supplemented with digital and graphic displays. Typical of Acura interior design, the soft-touch switchgear of the TLX is engineered to deliver a quality feel and positive action. A standard multi-view rearview camera provides a choice of three different views, displayed on the bright, colorful 8-inch audio/information screen. The Technology Package adds Cross Traffic Monitor to the rear camera system, making it easier to maneuver out of parking spots with greater confidence.
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
The leather-wrapped TLX steering wheel incorporates the most commonly used controls, allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel. Phone and audio controls are on the left side; cruise control and Multi-Information Display (MID) controls are on the right side. Grades with LKAS and/or ACC (LSF) have controls located on the right side of the steering wheel as well. Tucked out of view but within fingertip reach are a pair of paddle shifters that allow for manual operation of the Sequential SportShift transmission feature.
The TLX has analog instrumentation with large tachometer and speedometer flanking a Multi-Information Display (MID) that provides a range of information and trip computer functions. The tachometer and speedometer are flanked by an analog coolant-temperature and fuel-level gauge.
The TLX instrument panel provides important vehicle information via a Multi-Information Display (MID) positioned between the tachometer and speedometer. Controls positioned on the right side of the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the MID display through multiple screens of information from sources including LKAS and ACC and more. The Maintenance Minder™ system alerts the TLX driver of upcoming maintenance needs via the MID and should a fault occur with the vehicle, specific warning information will appear.
All TLX models feature a bright, full-color 8-inch audio/information screen positioned high in the center stack of the instrument panel. Its high placement puts it close to the driver’s line of sight where it’s easy to see. Besides audio system information, the screen also offers backup camera views when in reverse and access to a range of customizable features.
On-Demand Multi-Use Display™
As in the RLX and MDX, a 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touch screen is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger. The touchscreen controls a wide range of features, and with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing clutter. To simplify use, the screen offers audible and vibratory touch (haptic) feedback – both can be adjusted or shut off based on the owner’s preference. Customizable shortcuts allow the TLX driver to set easy-to-access presets for Places, Phone, Climate and Audio functional categories.
One-Touch Turn Signals
The TLX’s one-touch turn signals provide increased convenience for the driver when making routine lane changes. In addition to normal operation, a quick movement of the turn signal lever (less than one second) will cause the turn signals to flash three times.
Electric Parking Brake and Automatic Brake Hold
The Electric Parking Brake (EPB) on all TLX models makes using the parking brake easier. The parking brake is activated by pulling up on a rocker switch located on the center console. To release the parking brake, the driver simply presses on the accelerator pedal (while the seatbelt is buckled) or pushes on the parking brake switch.The TLX also features Automatic Brake Hold, which retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying driving in heavy traffic or hills. Once the driver activates the system via a switch on the center console, Automatic Brake Hold will maintain brake pressure when the vehicle has come to a stop, even if the driver releases the brake pedal. The TLX then remains stopped – even on a hill – until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
Integrated Dynamic System (IDS)
The Integrated Dynamics System allows drivers to customize their driving experience through four driver-selectable modes via a button, located near the console-mounted shifter. The modes are ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+, and are shown in the Multi-Information Display.
Seating in the TLX is designed for all-day comfort, combined abundant lateral support for aggressive cornering. The available leather seating surfaces, perforated in the center sections and with Milano leather on front seat bolsters, are soft to the touch, with the right amount of surface friction to help keep passengers securely in position while cornering.
The driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustability (8-way power seat plus 2-way power lumbar support). The front passenger seat offers 4-way power adjustment on 4-cyl. models, and 8-way power adjustment on V6-equipped cars.
Heated front seats are standard in the TLX. Electronic control allows for three temperature settings, along with fast warm-up and smooth, precise temperature control. Ventilated and heated front seats are standard in the Advance grade.
The driver’s seat has a two-position memory and an easy entry/exit function that moves the seat 35 mm rearward when the front door is open to increase room for entry and exit.
Specially sculpted front seat seatbacks offer extra legroom for rear seat passengers. The outer seating positions are carefully engineered (complete with side bolsters) to combine solid lateral support with accommodating comfort on long trips. A new 60/40 split-folding rear seatback allows the TLX to accommodate long cargo, or to combine one or two rear seat passengers with long cargo. The seatbacks can be conveniently released via a pair of handles positioned in the trunk area.
Efficient driver control carries on after dark with analog instruments that are white backlit with LED lighting and feature high-contrast markings. The gauge package progressively illuminates to give the driver a welcoming feel upon entry. When the door is first opened, the instrument lighting comes to life and then brightens progressively to 100-percent illumination when the ignition is switched on. The illuminated instrument panel then comes alive, indicating that the car is ready to go. At the end of the drive, the instrument lighting dims progressively.
All the interior switches and vent controls are illuminated to make them easy to locate at night, including the switches on all four doors and the steering wheel. The connectivity pocket located in the front of the center console is internally lit, to make the connection of a smart phone easier. In addition to front and rear overhead interior lights and map lights, the TLX also has a complement of low-level interior cabin lighting. Blue ambient lighting in the ceiling illuminates the front center console and the rear flip-down armrest.
Front interior door handle areas are also have LED illumination, and the glove compartment and center armrest compartment are internally illuminated. The front doors have courtesy lights that illuminate when the doors are open. The TLX interior lights feature “theater dimming,” which can be set by the driver to one of several dimming rates via the Multi-Information Display. The trunk has interior lighting, plus the trunk lid has lighting that illuminates the bumper and sill area when the lid is opened.
Center Console and Interior Convenience
The center console blends function and comfort with clean uncluttered layout that includes generous internal storage. A deeply padded armrest covers 269 cu. in. of illuminated internal storage. Compact transmission controls and an electronic parking brake free up space for two large cupholders, along with a connectivity pocket with sliding tray that accommodates a smartphone and cable, while neatly concealing the wiring from view.
A USB port inside the connectivity pocket with sliding tray allows for easy connection of items such as an iPod®, iPhone® or a removable flash drive storage device. The USB port is located alongside a 12-volt power outlet.
Inside the lockable glove compartment is a removable shelf that can help keep contents organized, or can be flipped to free up storage space in the main glove box compartment.
The TLX Owner’s Manual and Navigation System Owner’s Manual are provided on a CD, reducing the size of printed hard copies and freeing up additional space in the glove compartment. A printed Owner’s Guide is provided, however, and the full printed Owner’s and Navigation System manuals are available separately from Acura dealers.
In the rear seating area, a wide fold-down center armrest has a padded top. A dual beverage holder and a small tray sized to accommodate a smartphone are built into the rear armrest top.
Cargo Carrying Versatility
The TLX has a fully finished 13.2-cubic-foot trunk plus underfloor storage for small items. The Advance Package provides additional underfloor space, extending volume to 14.3 cu.-ft. (also available in Base and Technology grades). The trunk is both longer and wider than the TL and has a 15 percent lower lift-over height. 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks allow the TLX to easily carry longer cargo. The seatbacks can be released and folded independently, using a pair of release handles that are easily accessible from the trunk area.
Electric Trunk Lid Release
There are four ways to open the trunk:
- by pressing the trunk opener switch located on the driver side instrument panel
- with the key fob
- with the trunk opener switch located in the middle of the trunk, underneath the trunk lid overhang
- in case the electric trunk release is inoperative, the trunk may be unlocked and opened by using the key stored in the key fob.
The trunk’s emergency key cylinder is located beneath a cover near the headrest on the driver’s side rear seatback.
The contents of the trunk can be secured when the TLX is given to a valet parking attendant. A switch located in the glove compartment can disable the electric trunk release feature. The owner then locks the glove compartment and gives the valet the TLX remote fob with the emergency backup key removed. This allows the valet to drive, lock or unlock the vehicle, without having access to the glove box or trunk.
GPS-Linked, Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
The TLX has a GPS-linked (when equipped with navigation system) temperature control, dual-zone automatic climate control system that lets the driver and front passenger set temperatures to their individual liking.
To operate the HVAC system, easy-to-read buttons and controls are positioned within convenient reach. The HVAC system can also be controlled by voice command, and additional custom settings can be accessed through the 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display™ interface. The climate control system’s control logic is designed to provide smooth operation with subtle changes in airflow.
With its position-sensing ability, the available GPS navigation system contributes to overall passenger comfort with a 3D solar sensing feature. Based on continuously updated vehicle position information, the navigation system determines the position of the sun relative to the driver and passenger. Combining this information with input from a solar sensor located on top of the instrument panel, the climate control system automatically adjusts the temperature from side to side as needed to compensate for asymmetrical solar heating. Further, on the Advance Package, the heated and ventilated front seats are electronically linked to the climate control system.
Siri™ Eyes Free
Siri™ Eyes Free is standard on the TLX. When the TLX’s Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® system is paired with a compatible iPhone, Siri Eyes Free allows you to use many of the features of Siri without removing your hands from the steering wheel. A push of approximately two seconds on the steering wheel-mounted “talk” button activates Siri in the TLX. After the Siri chime sounds, the driver can ask a question, set up a calendar entry and more. Siri offers a wide range of capabilities including sending and reading aloud text and email messages, setting alarms and reminders, checking the weather, posting to social media sites and much more. Siri can also find a point of interest, then provide turn-by-turn audio directions when the audio system is set to Bluetooth® audio or iPod mode. The system switches automatically to Bluetooth audio when playing a song or artist.
The 2015 Acura TLX utilizes a newly designed chassis that incorporates next-generation versions of two pinnacle Acura super-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD™). Both technologies are engineered to deliver intuitive and precise dynamic capabilities in a vehicle that responds directly and accurately to the will of the driver. These next-generation technologies are anchored by the TLX’s rigid unit-body structure and its MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers (ARD). Stable and responsive vehicle dynamic behavior is further aided by Acura’s Agile Handling Assist (AHA) technology and, in emergency maneuvers, by Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).
These chassis features help define the TLX as the most advanced Acura ever produced from a dynamic standpoint, a vehicle that supports the needs of the driver in all conditions – quick and responsive in sporty driving environments; stable and sure-footed in emergency maneuvers; calm and quiet during long-distance cruising – all based on the will of the driver.
The TLX also allows a substantial degree of customization through its Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) with four modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings – that take the TLX from soothing to scintillating all at the touch of a button.
Front Cast-Aluminum and Steel Subframe
In a first for Acura, the TLX employs a cast-aluminum and steel “hybrid” front subframe to reduce road surface vibration and shock inputs for a smoother, quieter ride. The new subframe supports the engine, transmission, front suspension and steering system. The front section of the subframe is steel, and the rear section is cast aluminum. The sections are joined with a newly developed friction-stir-welding process to form a single high-strength, lightweight unit that provides ideal ride and handling properties. Altogether, the front subframe, along with a lower arm hydro-bushing, reduces vertical and fore/aft forces felt at front seats by 61 percent and 46 percent, respectively, compared to the previous TL model.
MacPherson Strut Front Suspension
MacPherson strut front suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers provides precise and engaging handling performance, a responsive feel for the driver, and luxurious ride quality. Specially tuned hydro-compliance bushings improve resistance to shimmy and while also reducing brake judder, further improving the TLX’s refinement and driving character. All TLX models have a 26.0 mm diameter tubular (hollow) front stabilizer bar.
Rear Steel Subframe
Constructed of high-tensile steel, the rear subframe uses hydraulic mounts, along with increased fitting-point stiffness, to reduce road surface vibration and shock inputs for a smooth ride and low noise. The rear subframe reduces vertical and fore/aft forces felt at front seats by 31 percent and 33 percent, respectively compared to the previous TL model. In addition, on TLX models with Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), the rear subframe features a 4-point differential mounting system. Its bushing rates are specially calibrated to reduce the transmission of driveline noise and vibration into the vehicle body, while also helping to maintain ride quality.
Multi-Link Rear Suspension
Multi-link rear suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers provides optimal handling agility, driver confidence and ride sophistication. Geometry, including rear toe control, is optimized for handling competence, stability and a sophisticated ride in a variety of urban, highway and open road scenarios. The system includes multi-link control arms, control-arm bushings that are optimized for the best blend of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) isolation and handling precision, and Amplitude Reactive Dampers. Both the 4-cylinder and SH-AWD models have a 24.7 mm diameter rear stabilizer bar, while the front-wheel drive V-6 has a 25.4 mm diameter stabilizer bar.
Amplitude Reactive Dampers (ARD)
Acura’s Amplitude Reactive Dampers provide both superior ride comfort and sporty handling, helping the new TLX provide a truly engaging driving experience in all driving situations. Two separate damping mechanisms are utilized, with one tuned for maximum efficiency on smoother roads with small inputs and the other tuned to handle large inputs such as rough roads, potholes, and sudden steering and braking action. Front triple-path damper mounts further improve ride comfort without sacrificing handling. The result is a vehicle that remains composed and comfortable in a wide range of conditions.
The core technology contained within the Amplitude Reactive Dampers is their two separate damping pistons, including a main piston and a second piston. To improve overall ride comfort, when smaller inputs occur during normal driving conditions, only the main piston works to provide the ideal damping characteristics. To improve the TLX’s ride and handling during more severe conditions, the second piston operates to provide additional damping force.
Amplitude Reactive Dampers operate on a purely mechanical basis that does not require electronic controls.
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)
The TLX’s Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) works in conjunction with the Drive-by-Wire throttle system and ABS to enhance vehicle stability when cornering: If vehicle understeer or oversteer is detected, the system selectively reduces power and/or applies braking force to individual wheels to help correct the condition and stabilize the vehicle.
VSA also supports the functioning of available driver-assistive technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). The advantages of the latest VSA system on the new TLX include quicker response with smoother activation and more accurate control, improved brake-pedal feel and lower operating noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
In addition, traction control monitors front-wheel slippage, such as when starting on slick surfaces or patches of ice. If slippage is detected, traction control activates one or more brake calipers and reduces engine torque to slow the spinning wheel(s) so traction can be regained.
Integrated Dynamic System (IDS)
ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes allow the driver to customize their driving experience. The modes are driver-selectable via a console-mounted button and are displayed on the Multi-Information Display located between the tachometer and speedometer. ECON, Normal and Sport are selectable as default, or last used modes, while Sport + defaults to Sport at ignition off, and must be reselected after a restart. ECON mode favors high fuel efficiency, while Normal mode is for everyday driving. Sport mode enhances throttle, EPS and P-AWS response or SH-AWD rear-wheel torque-vectoring control to sharpen vehicle dynamics, while Sport+ mode enhances transmission shift mapping, maximizing performance.
Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (MA-EPS)
The TLX’s next-generation Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering offers precise direct feel, high energy-efficiency, tunable response and improved active safety. MA-EPS responds instantly to steering input and automatically changes the amount of power assist appropriate to the vehicle’s speed. Its idealized steering effort and linearity, excellent on-center feel, minimal torque steer and maximum parking ease provides a satisfying driving experience under all conditions.
Agile Handling Assist (AHA)
Agile Handling Assist (AHA) extends the P-AWS function by using the brakes in cornering to create yaw, or turning motion, helping the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line with smaller steering-wheel inputs. AHA stabilizes the car earlier than conventional vehicle stability assist systems, resulting in more agile and engaging dynamic performance in everyday driving conditions.
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)
The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically-controlled iteration of Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), which progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. Like its P-AWS counterpart, the TLX SH-AWD system is complemented by the brake torque effect of Agile Handling Assist.
The benefits of the SH-AWD system are superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power. By rotating the outside rear wheel faster than the front axle while cornering, SH-AWD uses torque vectoring to create a yaw moment to help turn the vehicle through the corner – reducing understeer and improving controllability. With cornering forces more evenly distributed between front and rear tires, overall cornering power is increased – on wet or dry roads.
This next-generation SH-AWD system is 25 percent lighter and utilizes new hydraulic control to overdrive the rear wheels by 2.7 percent (compared to 1.7 percent for the previous system), enabling greater turning forces at reduced speeds and in tighter corners.
4-Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS and Brake Assist
The TLX is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes with a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS). The pedal feel is smooth and easy to modulate in light braking, and linear and pleasantly low-effort during medium and hard braking. The result is short, confident stops – with excellent pedal feel – under all conditions.
The front discs measure 12.6 inches in diameter, while the rear discs measure 12.2 inches in diameter. Weighing a total of 2.5 pounds less than the previous TL brakes, the lighter-weight TLX brakes help improve ride quality, handling capability and fuel efficiency. The brake pads are a high-friction type to optimize response and peak stopping performance even under strenuous conditions. The brake calipers are designed to reduce brake drag when not in use, reducing rolling resistance and improving fuel efficiency in the process.
The front brakes feature supplemental external vents that provide a second airflow path around the brake rotors, reducing thermal deformation by 51-percent. The byproduct of this better cooling is a 30 percent reduction in brake judder – felt by the driver as steering-wheel and brake-pedal vibration – during aggressive driving.
ABS independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking, while Brake Assist recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies full braking force when appropriate.
6-Piston Brake Modulator
The TLX employs a premium Bosch 6-piston brake modulator that provides the ultra-quick braking response required for Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Active Handling Assist (AHA), Low Speed Follow (LSF) operation, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). The brake modulator’s function is to build braking pressure almost instantaneously, and utilizing six pistons – instead of the two pistons in the previous TL brake modulator – it delivers significantly quicker response than before.
The new brake modulator also includes two additional pressure sensors, which ensure the smoothest possible pump operation. This reduces the potential vibration that might otherwise be felt through the TLX’s unit-body and brake pedal, improving overall braking-system refinement to an unprecedented level. In addition, a special Active Noise Shaping (ANS) chip incorporated into the motor controller circuitry measurably reduces noise during brake modulator operation. The operating algorithms of the system are proprietary and developed by Acura engineers.
Electric Parking Brake and Automatic Brake Hold
The combination of Electric Parking Brake (EPB) and Automatic Brake Hold meaningfully reduce the effort of driving the vehicle, thereby raising overall enjoyment and comfort for the driver.
Wheels and Tires
All TLX models have 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, with the 2.4-liter TLX models featuring 17×7.5J wheels with black accents, while all V-6 models feature 18×7.5J wheels with gray accents.
All TLX models feature high-performance all-season tires that help deliver an ideal balance of ride and handling, high fuel efficiency, and low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The 2.4-liter TLX models are equipped with 225/55R17 tires, and all V-6 TLX models are equipped with 225/50R18 tires.
The wheel bearings are engineered with special low-drag seals that contribute to a 4.4-percent decrease in rolling resistance compared to a traditional wheel bearing seals.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
A standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) helps the driver maintain proper air pressure to improve driving safety and fuel efficiency, as well as reduce wear and tear on the vehicle’s tires. Located in the Multi Information Display (MID), the TPMS graphic indicates the pressure in all four tires on a real-time basis. A TPMS icon illuminates to alert the driver whenever any of the tires has a significantly low-pressure reading that requires the driver’s attention.
Debuting for Acura on the 2015 TLX is a technology called Fill Assist, which helps the driver inflate tire pressures to the correct level without using a pressure gauge. Instead, during inflation, Fill Assist sounds an audible alert when the tire reaches the required pressure.
Tire Repair Kit
The TLX features an easy-to-use tire repair kit in lieu of a spare tire. This reduces weight and increases trunk volume, and simplifies temporary repairs in the event of a flat tire. Acura Roadside Assistance supports tire repairs. In addition, a temporary spare tire is available as a Genuine Acura Accessory.
Capless Fueling System
The TLX’s capless fueling eliminates the fuel cap, meaning that fueling the vehicle simply requires opening the fuel lid, refueling, and then closing the lid. This smart and easy-to-use design eliminates the need to touch a dirty fuel cap, reduces the possibility of damaging the vehicle’s paint with the fuel cap or tether, or forgetting the fuel cap at the gas station. It also eliminates the possibility of activating an emissions warning by failing to properly re-install the fuel cap. And finally, the capless fueling system allows the use of a smaller fuel-cap door, which cleans up the lines of the vehicle.
The system consists of two integrated components, including an outer shutter mechanism that prevents the intrusion of dirt and dust, and a self-sealing fueling flap that is closed by a torsion spring. Both operate automatically.
At a gas station, the driver simply opens the fuel lid and then inserts the fuel nozzle. Inserting the nozzle automatically opens the outer shutter and fueling flap. When fueling is complete, removing the fuel nozzle automatically closes both the fueling flap and outer shutter.
17.2-Gallon Fuel Capacity
The TLX’s plastic fuel tank capacity of 17.2 gallons gives the TLX ample cruising range. The fuel tank is made of high-impact plastic for light weight and durability. The fuel tank is located in a protected area in front of the rear suspension.
As Acura’s premier sport sedan, the 2015 TLX offers more power and drivetrain choices than ever before, with two all-new direct-injected engines, two completely new advanced transmissions, and Acura’s next-generation precision handling technology – Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®).
The TLX is available in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive layouts. Front-wheel drive models come standard with Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) and can be equipped with either the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, or 3.5-liter V6 engines. The TLX SH-AWD, with next-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, is available only with the V-6 engine.
The TLX’s two new Direct Injection (DI) engines combine power and efficiency. The 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine produces a peak 206 horsepower and 182 lb.-ft. of torque. It has more horsepower and substantially more torque-particularly in the mid-range-than the same-sized engine that powers the TSX sedan. Even though the TLX is larger and heavier than the outgoing TSX 4-cylinder, it actually posts superior EPA fuel-economy ratings of 24/35/281 mpg city/hwy/combined.
A new 3.5-liter direct injected i-VTEC® 24-valve V-6 engine replaces the 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter engines in the TL. The new powerplant gains 10 horsepower (290 peak horsepower) and 13 lb.-ft. or torque (267 lb.-ft.) compared to the 3.5-liter V-6 in the TL sedan. To boost fuel efficiency, Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) automatically deactivates three of the engine’s six cylinders under light engine loads. TLX SH-AWD models also add a new automatic idle-stop feature to further improve fuel efficiency.
The front-wheel drive TLX with V-6 and P-AWS has an EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/34/251 mpg city/hwy/combined; the TLX SH-AWD is EPA rated at 21/31/251 mpg city/hwy/combined. Compared to the 2014 TL with automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive TLX V-6 has a 17-percent increase in EPA highway fuel economy ratings, and the TLX SH-AWD has a 19-percent fuel economy-ratings gain.
To make the most of these powerful, refined and efficient new engines, the TLX features two highly advanced new transmissions. 2.4-liter TLX models have a standard 8-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) featuring Sequential SportShift, the world’s first transmission of this type to be paired with a torque converter. The DCT, with its closely-spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic downshift rev-matching, gives the 2.4-liter TLX an aggressively sporting feel. The torque converter provides exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a DCT alone cannot equal.
3.5-liter TLX models are equipped with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift, which is substantially lighter than the 6-speed automatic in the previous TL. The transmission is engineered to handle the V-6’s substantial power output, and its closely spaced gear ratios enhance performance and fuel efficiency. No competitive vehicle in the segment offers as many transmission ratios.
A new generation of Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ is standard in the TLX SH-AWD. SH-AWD progressively distributes torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. Using torque vectoring to help turn the vehicle, SH-AWD creates a more responsive, neutral and predictable platform while providing outstanding all-weather confidence and control. In the TLX, torque-vectoring effectiveness has been greatly enhanced, benefiting responsiveness, agility and stability.
Front-wheel drive models feature the latest version of Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS), which, like SH-AWD, is designed to help give the TLX greater agility and handling balance.
Direct-Injected 2.4-liter Inline 4-cylinder Engine
The TLX’s new Direct Injection (DI) 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine brings a host of intelligent technology to its segment. The engine’s i-VTEC system combines VTC (Variable Timing Control), which continuously adjusts the intake camshaft phase, with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which changes valve lift, timing and duration of the intake valves. A new Direct Injection (DI) system, dual-stage intake manifold and other technologies combine to produce up to 10-percent more torque as compared to the same sized engine that is standard in the TSX Sedan, with greater power available over the entire operating range. Peak power (206 horsepower) is also higher than that of the TSX engine, with the peak arriving at 6,800 rpm instead of 7,000 rpm.
Fuel economy ratings are exceptional, due in part to efficient Direct Injection, a new combustion chamber design, offset cylinder bores and a range of friction-reducing technologies. The TLX equipped with the 2.4-liter engine and standard 8-speed dual-clutch transmission has an EPA fuel-economy rating of 24/35/281 mpg city/hwy/combined. That’s a significant increase over the smaller TSX sedan, which was rated at 22/31/261 when equipped with an automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder engine meets ULEV-2 emissions standards in select states, and Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 standards.
4-Cylinder Engine Block, Crankshaft and Pistons
The TLX’s 2.4-liter engine has a lightweight die-cast aluminum block with a single main-bearing cradle design that creates a rigid assembly to help minimize noise and vibration. Cast-in iron cylinder liners provide long-lasting durability. Each journal on the forged-steel crankshaft is micropolished to reduce internal friction. To improve smoothness throughout the rpm range and help lower noise levels, the engine is fitted with an internal balancer unit. Consisting of a pair of chain-driven counter-rotating shafts located in the lower block and integrated into the oil pan, the balancing system helps quell the inherent second-order harmonic vibrations that normally impact inline 4-cylinder engines.
To reduce piston-sliding friction, the cylinder bores are offset by 8.0 mm from the crankshaft. This gives the connecting rods a more favorable angle during each power stroke, which reduces side loading on the pistons and in turn, improves efficiency. The engine features a forged crankshaft for high rigidity and low friction. Lightweight pistons have a carefully optimized skirt design to minimize reciprocating weight, and reduced weight minimizes vibration and increases operating efficiency. The piston crowns are dished, to help maintain stable combustion and to optimize distribution of the stratified fuel charge from the direct injector in each cylinder. This close control over the combustion process boosts overall operating efficiency.
4-Cylinder Dual-Stage Intake Manifold
To maximize power output, the 2.4-liter engine has a dual-stage intake manifold has two different intake runner lengths that are selected based on the operating conditions. An actuator and a set of four butterfly valves control the intake runner switching process. At low engine speeds, the long runners are used to improve low-end torque. At higher engine speeds the system switches to the short intake runners for greater high rpm power. The result is intake tuning that is optimized for the engine’s entire operating range.
2.4-liter Engine Cylinder Head and Valvetrain
The lightweight cylinder head is made of pressure-cast aluminum alloy, with exhaust passages cast directly into the cylinder head. This eliminates the need for a traditional separate exhaust manifold and allows the close-coupled catalytic converter to be mounted directly to the cylinder head.
A silent-chain drives the dual overhead cams and features a double-arm tensioner design that reduces operating friction. The cam drive is designed to be maintenance free throughout the life of the engine.
To help boost fuel efficiency and power, the combustion chamber shape and valve angles have been optimized. The included valve angle is a narrow 35 degrees, which decreases the surface-to-volume ratio and helps create a flatter, more compact combustion chamber that reduces unburned hydrocarbon emissions. With this combustion chamber shape and the precise control of direct injection, the compression ratio set at 11.6:1.
The cylinder head features a new “tumble port” intake design. In combination with the new combustion chamber and piston crown shape, the design’s high level of airflow tumble helps create a homogenous fuel mixture for low fuel consumption and high airflow for high power output.
2.4-Liter Engine i-VTEC Valve Control System
The TLX’s direct-injected 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve i-VTEC engine uses an advanced valve-control system to combine high power output with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The system combines VTC (Variable Timing Control), which continuously adjusts the intake camshaft phase, with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which changes valve lift, timing and duration of the intake valves.
At low rpm, the VTEC intake valve timing and lift are optimized for high torque and low fuel consumption.. As engine rpm builds past 4,900 rpm, the VTEC system transitions to a high-lift, long-duration intake cam profile for superior high-rpm engine power.
The “intelligent” portion of the system is its ability to continuously vary the timing of the intake cam relative to that of the exhaust camshaft. This helps boost power and also provides a smoother idle (allowing idle speed to be reduced). The intake cam timing is varied based on input from sensors that monitor rpm, timing, throttle opening, cam position and exhaust air-fuel ratio. The result is increased fuel efficiency and lower NOx emissions.
3.5-liter V-6 Engine
The TLX 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 is closely related to the 3.5-liter V-6 that powers the RLX and MDX. It has a die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners, a smooth-firing 60-degree V-angle, and compact overall dimensions. As in the 2014 Acura RLX and MDX, the TLX powerplant combines Direct Injection with i-VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) to give the TLX impressive fuel economy ratings and overall performance. This clean-running engine meets ULEV-2 emissions standards in select states, and Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 standards.
A wide range of improvements, including revised intake and exhaust ports and new valve timing, help make the 3.5-liter V-6 more powerful than the 3.5-liter V-6 engine it replaces. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine produces 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and generates 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm – gains of 10 horsepower and 13 lb.-ft., respectively. Torque has also improved throughout the entire operating range, with the most substantial gains at low rpm, aiding the TLX’s responsiveness.
The new V-6 contributes to a 17-percent increase in the EPA highway fuel-economy rating of the 2015 TLX with front-wheel drive, and a 19-percent gain in the TLX SH-AWD, when compared with the 2014 TL. The TLX V-6 equipped with the standard 9-speed automatic transmission and Precision All-Wheel Steer has an EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/34/251 mpg city/hwy/combined. The TLX SH-AWD has a rating of 21/31/251 mpg city/hwy/combined.
V-6 Engine Block and Crankshaft
With its 60-degree V-angle, the TLX’s available V-6 engine has compact overall dimensions that allow efficient packaging within the vehicle. The V-6 has a die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners. Made with a centrifugal spin-casting process, the thin-wall liners are high in strength and low in porosity. The block incorporates a deep-skirt design with four bolts per bearing cap for rigid crankshaft support and minimized noise and vibration. The 3.5-liter V-6 uses a high-strength steel crankshaft for minimum weight. A cooling control spacer positioned in the water jacket surrounding the cylinders helps control warm-up and operating cylinder liner temperatures to reduce friction.
V-6 Pistons/Connecting Rods
Designed with “cavity-shaped” crowns, the V-6 engine’s pistons help maintain stable combustion and contribute to optimized combustion. Ion-plated piston rings help reduce friction for greater operating efficiency. The compression ratio (relative to the 2014 TL 3.5- and 3.7-liter engines) has risen from 11.2:1 to 11.5:1. Heavy-duty steel connecting rods are forged in one piece and then the connecting rods are “crack separated” to create a lighter and stronger rod with an optimally fitted bearing cap.
V-6 Cylinder Heads and Valvetrain
Like other Acura V-6 powerplants, the TLX engine’s 4-valve cylinder heads are a single-overhead-camshaft design, with the cams driven by the crankshaft via an automatically tensioned toothed belt. Made of low-pressure cast, low-porosity aluminum, each cylinder head incorporates a laminar flow intake design that improves combustion efficiency by creating a more homogeneous fuel-air mixture. An integrated exhaust manifold cast into each cylinder head reduces parts count, saves weight, improves flow and optimizes the location of the close-coupled catalyst.
V-6 i-VTEC with 2-Stage Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®)
The TLX SOHC V-6 combines Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC), which changes the lift profile and thus timing and lift duration of the intake valves. A switching mechanism allows the engine to operate with the lift and duration optimized for either low or high-rpm operation. The rear cylinder bank closes all intake and exhaust valves to minimize pumping losses on the cylinders which are still firing, increasing overall engine efficiency.
The “intelligent” portion of the system is its ability to vary valve operation based on the driving situation and engine rpm. At low rpm, the i-VTEC intake valve timing and lift are optimized (low lift, short duration) for increased torque, which allows a wide range of 3-cylinder operation. As engine rpm builds past 5,000 rpm, the i-VTEC system transitions to a high-lift, long-duration intake cam profile for superior high-rpm engine power.
V-6 VCM Operation – To help improve the fuel efficiency of the TLX engine, Acura’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) is used. The system cooperates with Active Control engine Mounts (ACM) to allow the engine to operate with three cylinders in a wide range of situations to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. When greater power is needed, the system switches seamlessly to 6-cylinder operation.
During startup, aggressive acceleration, or steep ascents – any time high power output is required – the engine operates on all six cylinders. During moderate-speed cruising and at low or moderate engine loads, the system operates just the front bank of three cylinders.
The VCM system can tailor the working displacement of the engine to match the driving requirements from moment to moment. Since the system automatically closes both the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders that are not used, pumping losses associated with intake and exhaust are eliminated and fuel efficiency gets a further boost. The system combines maximum performance and maximum fuel efficiency – two characteristics that don’t typically coexist in conventional engines.
VCM deactivates specific cylinders by using the i-VTEC (intelligent Variable Valve-Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system to close the intake and exhaust valves while the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) simultaneously cuts fuel to those cylinders. The spark plugs continue to fire in inactive cylinders to minimize plug temperature loss and prevent fouling induced from incomplete combustion during cylinder re-activation.
The system is electronically controlled, and uses special integrated spool valves in the cylinder heads. Based on commands from the system’s Electronic Control Unit, the spool valves selectively direct oil pressure to the rocker arms for specific cylinders. This oil pressure in turn drives synchronizing pistons that connect and disconnect the rocker arms.
The VCM system monitors throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed, automatic-transmission gear selection and other factors to determine the correct cylinder activation scheme for the operating conditions. In addition, the system determines whether engine oil pressure is suitable for VCM switching and whether catalytic-converter temperature will remain in the proper range. To further smooth the activation or deactivation of cylinders, the system adjusts ignition timing and throttle position and turns the torque converter lock-up on and off to seamlessly transition between three and six cylinder modes.
V-6 SH-AWD Idle Stop System
To help improve fuel efficiency, TLX SH-AWD models come equipped with a new Idle Stop capability. When the system is active and certain operating conditions are met, the TLX engine will automatically shut off when the vehicle comes to a stop. When the driver releases the brake pedal after a stop, the engine automatically restarts and the TLX is ready to accelerate.
The system is engineered to operate smoothly and seamlessly. When stopped, a special cold storage evaporator in the air conditioning system helps maintain a comfortable cabin temperature even in warm weather. The TLX’s active engine mounts help smooth the restart. Idle Stop operation is fully integrated into the operation of the TLX’s Brake Hold system and its available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow.
V-6 Active Control Engine Mounts and Active Sound Control
A powerful 28-volt Active Control Engine Mount system (ACM) is used to minimize the effects of engine vibration as the VCM system switches cylinders on and off. The 28-volt ACM is a key factor in the VCM’s broad range of operation in the new TLX. Sensors alert the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to direct ACM actuators positioned at the front and rear of the engine to cancel engine vibration using a reverse-phase motion. In the cabin of the TLX, an Active Sound Control (ASC) system further mitigates low frequency noise that can occur during 3-cylinder operation.
There are two different Active Sound Control profiles available in the TLX. When the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) is in the ECON or Normal setting, the ASC is tuned for maximum interior quietness. When the IDS Sport or Sport+ mode is selected, the ASC allows a more aggressive interior engine and exhaust note.
V-6 Long Range Remote Engine Start with Vehicle Feedback
The 3.5-liter TLX with Advance Package provides the ability to start the vehicle’s engine remotely. This enables drivers to start their TLX, thereby activating the climate control system and heated/ventilated seats before they enter the vehicle – perfect for hot or cold days. The remote is designed to have a range of operation of up to about ½ mile. To start the engine remotely, the owner presses the LOCK button on the remote and then holds the ENGINE button for a few seconds. When the engine is started remotely, the wipers, lighting and audio systems remain off, and the security system remains set. The engine will run for up to 10 minutes after remote starting, and then shut off automatically if the owner doesn’t reach the vehicle within that time. When the owner does get to the TLX within 10 minutes, the engine will keep running while the owner unlocks the vehicle.
This system also provides feedback to the owner to confirm whether the engine is running or the vehicle is locked. The remote has three LED indicators: amber, green and red. To confirm engine start, the owner presses the LOCK button and then holds the ENGINE button for a few seconds. The amber indicator will flash while the remote communicates with the vehicle. If the engine is running, the green LED will then light for one second. If the engine is not running, the red indicator will light for one second. To verify whether the vehicle is locked, the owner presses the LOCK button once. After the amber light comes on, either the green or red LED will light for one second to indicate that the vehicle is locked or not, respectively. And if the red LED flashes three times, the vehicle is out of the remote’s range.
This system can provide owners with the comfort of a pre-warmed and de-fogged/defrosted vehicle on a cold winter morning – or a pre-cooled interior on hot days. Plus, it adds the convenience and confidence of knowing that their vehicle is securely locked, even far beyond the range of a typical remote.
Cold-Air Induction System
To maximize power output, the TLX has a cold-air intake system that picks up engine induction air from the grille area at the front of the vehicle, which is typically about five percent cooler than the air in the hot engine compartment. Cooler intake air has greater density, which allows the Direct Injection system to add proportionately more fuel for enhanced power output.
Direct Injection System
Both 4-cylinder and V-6 TLX engines feature efficient direct injection. The system features a compact, high-pressure, direct-injection pump that allows both high fuel flow and pulsation suppression, while variable pressure control optimizes injector operation. A multi-hole injector delivers fuel directly into each cylinder (not to the intake port, as in conventional port fuel injection designs), allowing for more efficient combustion and greater power output.
The multi-hole injectors help create the ideal stoichiometric fuel/air mixture in the cylinders for good emissions control. Theoretically, a stoichiometric mixture has just enough air to completely burn the available fuel. Based on the operating conditions, the direct-injection system alters its function for best performance. Upon cold engine startup, fuel is injected into the cylinders on the compression stroke. This creates a weak stratified charge effect that improves engine start-up and reduces exhaust emissions before a normal operating temperature is reached. For maximum power and fuel efficiency, fuel is injected during the intake stroke once the engine is fully warmed up. This helps create a more homogeneous fuel/air mix in the cylinder. This improves volumetric efficiency, and the cooling effect of the incoming fuel improves anti-knock performance.
Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System
The TLX Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system replaces a conventional throttle cable with smart electronics that “connect” the accelerator pedal to a throttle valve inside the throttle-body. The result is less under-hood clutter and lower weight, as well as quicker and more accurate throttle actuation. Plus, a specially programmed “gain” rate between the throttle pedal and engine offers improved drivability and optimized engine response to suit specific driving conditions.
Acura’s Drive-by-Wire throttle system establishes the current driving conditions by monitoring throttle pedal position, throttle valve position, engine speed (rpm) and road speed. This information is used to define the throttle control sensitivity that gives the TLX’s throttle pedal a predictable and responsive feel that meets driver expectations.
Three different throttle profiles are available in the TLX. When the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) is in the ECON mode, the system uses a gradual profile that encourages fuel savings. In Normal mode, the throttle profile balances economy and performance for all-around driving. When the Sport or Sport+ mode is selected, the system switches to a more aggressive throttle map to enhance responsiveness.
Direct Ignition and Detonation/Knock Control
The TLX’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) monitors engine functions to determine the best ignition spark timing. Engine block-mounted acoustic detonation/knock sensors “listen” to the engine, and based on this input, the ECU can retard the ignition timing to prevent potentially damaging detonation. An ignition coil unit for each cylinder is positioned above each spark plug’s access bore.
The exhaust manifolds of both TLX engines are cast directly into the aluminum cylinder heads to reduce weight, decrease parts count, and create more underhood space. The result of this casting design is that the primary catalytic converters are positioned much closer to the combustion chambers, enabling extremely rapid converter “light-off” after engine start. A significant weight savings is realized by eliminating traditional exhaust manifolds.
Both 2015 TLX engines meet the tough EPA Tier 2/Bin 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards, and are certified to this level of emissions performance for 120,000 miles. A number of advanced technologies are factors in the emissions performance. The unique cylinder head-mounted close-coupled catalytic converters light off more quickly after engine start up, and a 32-bit RISC microprocessor within the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) boosts computing power to improve the precision of spark and fuel delivery.
Both engines feature Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) that continually adjusts the fuel delivery to yield the best combination of power, low fuel consumption and low emissions. Multiple sensors constantly monitor critical engine operating parameters such as intake air temperature, ambient air pressure, throttle position, intake airflow volume, intake manifold pressure, coolant temperature, exhaust-to-air ratios, as well as the position of the crankshaft and the camshafts.
Both TLX engines make use of friction-reducing technologies designed to improve engine efficiency. The outer skirts of lightweight aluminum pistons feature a special coating that reduces overall friction as the pistons move within the cylinder bores. Plateau honing further lowers the friction level between the pistons and the cylinders by creating an ultra-smooth surface. Plateau honing is a 2-stage machining process that uses two grinding processes instead of the more conventional single honing process. This also enhances the long-term wear characteristics of the engine.
One-Touch Start System
To ensure consistent starting, the TLX has a one-touch start system that maintains starter engagement until the engine starts. Should the driver release the Start button before the engine starts, the system will start the vehicle. Simply push the Start button (with a foot on the brake pedal and the fob in the vehicle) and the engine will automatically start up.
100,000+/- Mile Tune-up Intervals
The TLX’s engines no scheduled maintenance for 100,000+/- miles or more, other than periodic inspections and normal fluid and filter replacements. The first tune-up includes water pump inspection, valve adjustment, installation of new spark plugs, and in V-6 models, replacement of the camshaft timing belt.
Maintenance Minder™ System
To eliminate unnecessary service stops while ensuring that the vehicle is properly maintained, the TLX has a Maintenance Minder™ system that continually monitors the vehicle’s operating condition. When maintenance is required, the driver is alerted via a message on the Multi-Information Display (MID).
The Maintenance Minder™ system monitors operating conditions such as oil and coolant temperature along with engine speed to determine the proper service intervals. Depending on operating conditions, oil change intervals can be extended to a maximum of 10,000 miles, potentially sparing the owner considerable expense and inconvenience over the life of the vehicle. The owner-resettable system monitors all normal service parts and systems, including oil and filter, tire rotation, air-cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, spark plugs, timing belt, coolant, brake pads and more. To mitigate the potential for driver distraction, maintenance alerts are presented on the MID only when the ignition is first turned on, not while driving.
Sequential SportShift 8-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) with Torque Converter
To maximize performance and fuel efficiency, the 2.4-liter TLX has a standard 8-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT), the world’s first transmission of this type to be paired with a torque converter. In the 8-speed DCT, one clutch controls the odd gears while the other clutch controls the even gears. This arrangement allows gear changes with a much smaller interruption in power to the wheels, resulting in millisecond-quick shifts. In addition, the DCT’s efficient power transmission and wider overall ratio range contribute to the TLX’s substantial gain in fuel efficiency compared to the outgoing TSX 4-cylinder.
Compared to a conventional manual transmission, the operation of the clutches and shifting mechanisms are electronically controlled, eliminating the need for a clutch pedal or manual shift lever. The DCT with its closely spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic downshift rev-matching, gives the TLX 4-cylinder an exhilarating and sporty feel. The DCT transmission in the TLX also features a steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter system that lets the driver take manual control of transmission gear selection, further heightening the driving experience.
The ultra-thin torque converter complements the efficient operation of the DCT by providing exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for improved initial acceleration that a DCT alone can’t equal. In an aggressive standing-start launch, the torque converter substantially improves acceleration in the first 1.4 seconds, or about the first 60 feet (as compared to a DCT alone).
Sequential SportShift 9-Speed Automatic Transmission
2015 TLX V-6 models are equipped with an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift. The Sequential SportShift 9-speed automatic is 66 lbs. lighter than the 6-speed automatic in the previous TL, with more closely spaced gear ratios and 25 percent faster gear shifts that enhance performance and fuel efficiency.
The console-mounted shift lever is replaced with a fully electronic, shift-by-wire gear selector. Park, Neutral and Drive are selected with the push of a button. Reverse is selected by pulling back a dedicated switch. Indicator lights near the buttons indicate the mode selected. As an added safety feature, if the vehicle is brought to a stop in Drive, the system will automatically select Park if the driver’s seatbelt is unbuckled and the driver’s door is opened. A steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter system lets the driver take manual control of transmission gear selection.
Cooperative Transmission Control
Both shift performance and smoothness are improved by cooperative control between the Drive-by-Wire throttle system and the two available transmissions. The engine is throttled by the engine management system during upshifts and downshifts; thus the function of the engine and transmission can be closely choreographed for faster, smoother shifting. As a result, the peak g-forces (or “shift shock”) are reduced significantly during upshifts and downshifts.
Both TLX transmissions can be operated in two different, fully automatic modes, which are controlled by the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) switch that is positioned on the center console. In Econ, Normal and Sport IDS modes, the transmission combines fuel efficiency with smooth operation and responsive power when needed. When the IDS is placed in Sport+ mode, the transmission switches to more aggressive mapping that puts the emphasis on performance-oriented driving, with higher engine rpm for greater acceleration and response.
Smart Transmission Logic
Both transmissions incorporate an advanced Grade Logic Control System, Shift Hold Control and Cornering G Shift Control – all of which reduce unwanted shifting and gear hunting. The result is smart transmission operation that optimizes fuel efficiency and keeps the transmission in the appropriate gear for driving conditions, generating excellent performance and smooth operation.
While ascending or descending hills, Grade Logic Control alters the transmission’s shift schedule to reduce shift frequency and improve speed control. The transmission ECU continually measures throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration to determine when the vehicle is on a hill. The shift schedule is then adjusted – during ascents to hold the transmission in lower gears to boost climbing power, and during descents to provide greater engine braking.
Shift Hold Control keeps the transmission in its current (lower) gear ratio during aggressive driving, as in the case of decelerating at a corner entry. Shift Hold Control leaves the chassis undisturbed by eliminating excess shifting and ensures that power will be immediately available (without a downshift) at the corner exit. Cornering G Shift Control monitors the vehicle lateral acceleration to determine when the TLX is turning. When the system detects sufficient cornering speed, it will suppress any unwanted upshifts. This prevents the transmission from upshifting during a corner, which could upset the chassis balance thus requiring downshifting again at the corner exit when the throttle is applied.
Paddle Shifter Operation in Econ, Normal and Sport Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) Modes
While in Econ, Normal or Sport IDS modes, special transmission logic programming allows the use of the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. When the driver operates the paddle shifters, the transmission responds to the driver’s shift command and then returns to its normal fully automatic mode if further paddle shift inputs are not made within a given time. This special logic makes it easy for the driver to command a quick downshift without leaving the convenience of Drive mode.
Paddle Shifter Operation In Sport+ Mode
When the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) is switched to the Sport+ mode, a pull on the racing-inspired paddle shifters (mounted on the steering wheel) places the transmission in fully manual mode until another mode of operation is selected. A digital display in the instrument cluster indicates which gear the transmission is in.
A double-kick-down feature lets the driver command a sport-minded double downshift – such as from Fifth to Third gear. By pulling on the left downshift paddle twice in rapid succession, the transmission will drop directly to the chosen lower gear ratio. The Drive-by-Wire throttle system also creates a “blip” of the throttle to help match gear speeds while downshifting.
To prevent harm to the powertrain when the transmission is paddle shifted by the driver (including during double-kick-down shifts), the system will inhibit potentially damaging shifts. As an added safety measure, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) can also cut off fuel to the engine to prevent over-revving. If fuel cut-off is insufficient to prevent engine over-revving, as may be possible when the vehicle is on a steep downhill, the transmission will automatically upshift to prevent damage. On downshifts, the transmission will not execute a driver command that will over-rev the engine.
Front Wheel Drive
The TLX offers front wheel drive, paired with either a 4-cylinder or V-6 engine. With its efficient and lightweight design, the TLX front wheel drive system makes a significant contribution to overall fuel efficiency.
The latest version of Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) is standard on all front-wheel drive TLX models, and helps give the TLX best-in-class dynamic performance at all speeds.
The system is complemented by Agile Handling Assist, which employs the anti-lock brake system to individually brake either the left or right rear wheel to reduce yaw delay (the period between steering wheel input and the rotation of the body) to improve corner traceability and balance.
Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically controlled iteration of Acura’s acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), which progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. Like its P-AWS counterpart, the TLX SH-AWD system is complemented by Agile Handling Assist.
The benefits of the SH-AWD system are superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power that is unmatched by front-drive, rear-drive or conventional all-wheel-drive systems.
By rotating the outside rear wheel faster than the front axle while cornering, SH-AWD uses torque vectoring to create a yaw moment to help turn the vehicle through the corner – reducing understeer and improving controllability. With cornering forces more evenly distributed between front and rear tires, overall cornering power is increased – on wet or dry roads.
Vehicles with high power ratings using conventional front or rear drive systems often employ a limited-slip differential to help maintain traction when under power. By linking inside and outside drive wheels, these systems tend to resist turning and can increase understeer. Conventional AWD systems similarly work to link the inboard and outboard tires as well as the front and rear axles, which can create resistance to turning. Using torque vectoring to help turn the vehicle, SH-AWD delivers more responsive, neutral and predictable handling performance while providing outstanding all-weather traction and control.
Controls and Parameters – The SH-AWD system works in cooperation with the TLX’s Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) system and Agile Handling Assist to optimize torque distribution for superior handling and traction utilization. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) provides information on engine torque, airflow and transmission gear-ratio selection, while the VSA ECU provides wheel-speed data. The SH-AWD ECU also monitors steering angle, steering angle rate of change, lateral G-forces, vehicle yaw rate and hydraulic clutch pressure for the right and left rear axle shafts. Drive torque is calculated from ECU information, and then the acceleration situation, wheel spin, lateral G-force, steering angle and steering angle rate-of-change are used to determine the front-to-rear torque distribution and the torque split between right and left rear wheels.
Safety and Driver Asistive Technologies
A vehicle’s safety performance starts with its dynamic capabilities. Acura engineers targeted a high level of predictability, precision and stability in the TLX’s steering, braking and emergency handling capabilities. In the event of a collision, the many integrated active and passive safety features help to mitigate the potential for injury. These features include the newest generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and a new one-piece, high-strength steel door stiffener ring, along with advanced airbag and seatbelt restraint systems. Acura engineers also targeted the highest available safety ratings from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Further, the TLX can be equipped with a host of AcuraWatch™ driver-assistive technologies that help to improve the driver’s situational awareness and, in certain circumstances, intervene to help avoid a collision or mitigate its severity. For the 2015 Acura TLX, this includes two available new systems – Rear Cross Traffic Monitor and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) – both being applied for the first time within the Acura lineup.
Next-Generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure
The TLX utilizes the latest version of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body-structure to enhance occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The ACE body structure uses a network of interconnected structural elements – now using an even greater amount of high-tensile steel – to absorb and distribute crash energy away from the passenger compartment. The enhanced frontal crash energy management can also help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. Additionally, ACE helps minimize the potential for under-ride or over-ride situations that can happen during frontal impacts with a larger or smaller vehicle.
Collision Safety Targets
Based on internal testing, the new ACE body design is expected to help the TLX achieve the highest available crash safety ratings. In federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, the TLX is anticipated to achieve a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the TLX is anticipated to achieve a GOOD rating in all categories, including the extremely rigorous new IIHS small overlap front crash test, which involves 25-percent of a car’s front end on the driver’s side striking a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. The new TLX is also anticipated to achieve the TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating based on these GOOD ratings along with available Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW), essential features for meeting the IIHS autonomous crash-avoidance capability.
Crash Energy “Pathways”
Unlike most conventional designs that direct frontal crash energy only to the lower load-bearing structures in the front end, the next-generation ACE body actively channels frontal crash energy to both upper and lower structural elements, including the floor frame rails, side sills and A-pillars. By creating specifically engineered “pathways” that help distribute these frontal impact forces through a greater percentage of the vehicle’s total structure, the ACE body can more effectively route crash energy around and away from the passenger compartment to help limit cabin deformation and further improve occupant protection.
Structural Safety Improvements
Meeting the TLX’s top crash-safety rating targets required numerous structural engineering advancements. Details include:
- Frontal – The next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure is projected to help the TLX pass the most stringent latest IIHS Small Overlap Front Crash Test with a highest available result of GOOD.
- Side – The use of sophisticated advances in collision-load pathways and the use of hot-stamped high-strength steel – including a one-piece door opening stiffener ring – helps improve occupant protection in side impact collisions.
- Rear – Rear-impact performance meeting the federal FMVSS301 standard is achieved by sophisticated engineering design and specifications, and the strategic use of lightweight high-strength steel.
- Rollover/Roof Strength – The TLX achieves the federal FMVSS216a standard and anticipated IIHS Roof Strength GOOD test rating by adopting hot-stamped high-strength steel and optimized engineering specifications.
- IIHS Small Overlap Front (Narrow Offset Barrier) – The ACE structure integrated into the TLX is expected to aid in the compliance with the latest rigorous IIHS Small Overlap Front Barrier test.
Hot-Stamped Stiffener Ring
The 2015 TLX uses a new hot-stamped stiffener ring around the door opening. There are three major advantages of this construction method: (1) The one-piece door-opening ring has no joints, so crash loads are transferred more efficiently; (2) the single-piece construction improves the fit and finish of the door opening; and (3) weight is reduce by 9.0 pounds compared to a conventional multi-part ring.
To form the ring, a single steel blank is loaded into an oven and heated to 940º Centigrade and then formed and quenched in a single stamping and tempering process. This same technology has been applied to the 2014 Acura MDX.
The TLX is equipped with seven airbags, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors, and a new driver’s side knee airbag.
Driver’s Side Knee Airbag – The driver’s knee airbag is designed to better position the driver in the event of a frontal collision, to take greater advantage of the protection provided by the front airbag and seatbelt. The knee airbag is contained beneath a panel on the underside of the instrument panel. For improved knee clearance, the panel is contoured away from the driver’s knees.
Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS) – Every TLX is equipped with dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags (SRS). If deployed, the airbags are capable of being inflated at different rates depending on crash severity, seat-belt usage and other factors. Front airbags are designed to supplement the seat belts to help reduce the likelihood of head and upper body injuries in frontal crashes.
Front Passenger Airbag-Off Indicator – An indicator light marked “PASS AIRBAG,” located on the right of the upper display, illuminates to indicate that the passenger’s front airbag is off and will not deploy during a frontal impact. This happens when the weight of the front-seat passenger, or an object on the seat, is 63.8 pounds or less.
Driver and Front Passenger Side Airbags – Driver and front passenger SmartVent™ side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each front seatback are designed to help provide pelvis and thorax protection in the event of a severe side impact and also allows the side airbags to inflate with a low risk of injuring an out of position occupant. This eliminates the need for the previous-generation TL’s Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS).
Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor – All outboard seating positions include a side curtain airbag system. In the event of a sufficient side impact or rollover, the side curtain airbags deploy from the ceiling, providing a significant level of head protection in the window area. Compared to previous systems, the TLX’s new side curtain airbags have a wider deployment profile, and remain fully deployed for an extended time to further mitigate the possibility of an occupant being ejected from the vehicle.
E-Pretensioner Front Seatbelts
Another new TLX safety feature on models with the Advance Package is a driver and front-passenger seatbelt e-pretensioner system. During normal driving conditions, the e-pretensioner system provides a reduced tension seatbelt experience, enhancing driving comfort. During sporty or aggressive driving, based on speed, yaw rate and lateral G, the system uses motors to subtly tighten the seatbelt and firmly hold the driver and front-seat passenger in their seat.
In addition, the e-pretensioner system tightens and holds the seatbelts during sudden steering inputs like those that may occur during an emergency maneuver, skid or minor collision. The e-pretensioner system is fully automatic and requires no intervention from the driver or front passenger, aside from the initial fastening of the seatbelt.
The front passenger seatbelt e-pretensioner system included in the TLX’s Advance Package is supplementary to the load-limiting seatbelt retractors with pyrotechnic pretensioners that are featured on all TLX models.
Adjustable Head Restraints
All five front and rear seating positions feature individually adjustable head restraints, all of which are FMVSS 202a compliant. Compared to the Active Head Restraints in the previous TL model, the 2015 TLX’s front head restraints feature the latest generation of neck protection performance and are lighter and less complex than previous Active Head Restraints.
The previous TL’s rear head restraint folding feature is eliminated, reducing complexity and weight without compromising safety or comfort.
Child Safety Features
Two Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child seat-mounting positions are built into the outboard rear seats. The LATCH system utilizes both an upper child-seat tether anchor and dedicated lower-anchor points that are built into the body of the vehicle. These help ensure correct mounting of a compatible child seat. A third upper tether is located in the rear center position. The TLX also features childproof rear door locks. When engaged, they permit the rear doors to be opened only from the outside, thereby helping to prevent accidental opening by a child.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF)
Included in the TLX’s Advance Package, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a desired speed and distance interval behind the vehicle ahead, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic conditions. This significantly reduces the driver stress of driving in traffic. The system uses the Millimeter Wave Radar and a Monocular Camera to continually track the distance to the vehicle ahead, and then adjusts the TLX’s speed to maintain a safe distance interval. A short, medium, long, or extra long interval can be selected. When required, the TLX autonomously brakes using the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) modulator.
Integrated Low-Speed Follow (LSF), which uses the same Millimeter Wave Radar, Monocular Camera, and VSA modulator, extends the automatic following capability to stop-and-go traffic situations (down to 0 mph). ACC with LSF functions include the following:
- A preceding vehicle is detected in the lane ahead – Decelerates automatically, if required, and then controls the following distance.
- The preceding vehicle stops – Stops automatically and remains stationary.
- The preceding vehicle accelerates from a stop – Resumes following when the SET or RES switch or accelerator pedal is operated.
- Another vehicle merges in between the TLX and the preceding vehicle – Automatically switches “targets” to the nearest preceding vehicle.
- The preceding vehicle exits the lane – ACC with LSF system continues at cruise-control speed previously selected by driver (25 to 90 mph).
A Multi Information Display (MID) message and audible warning alert the driver when either ACC or LSF functions are activated.
Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS)
Included in the TLX with Advance Package, Acura’s newest version of its Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) is one of the most sophisticated driver-assistive technologies available. It continually scans traffic conditions ahead of the TLX, alerts the driver of a potential collision, and then takes emergency autonomous braking action to help reduce the severity of a collision if drivers don’t take corrective action on their own.
When CMBS detects a potential collision, visual, audible and tactile (driver seatbelt e-pretensioning) alerts prompt the driver to take corrective actions. The visual alerts appear on the Multi-Information Display (MID), with another visual warning on the windshield via the head-up warning display. If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it applies the brakes to help reduce vehicle speed and eventual collision forces.
Further distinguishing the new TLX, its CMBS also recognizes shapes, and can differentiate between a vehicle and a pedestrian, warning the driver in each case. A Millimeter Wave Radar unit located behind the front grille and a Monocular Camera mounted at the upper portion of the windshield is used to detect vehicles and pedestrians. The radar unit and camera work simultaneously and cooperatively to control the VSA modulator, which provides any required braking. This “fusion” of radar and camera allows the system to more quickly determine a potential collision, significantly increasing the likelihood of bringing the car to a complete stop and avoiding impact.
It is important to note that CMBS cannot detect all objects ahead, nor is it intended to replace the driver’s assessment of traffic conditions and control of the vehicle. The driver must intervene in certain situations, and must always be attentive when using the system. Although in many cases CMBS will stop the car, it is not intended to apply enough braking force to prevent all collisions. Based on the conditions, the system also may not perform all visual-, audible- and tactile-alert stages, and may instead automatically engage the brakes if the system deems it necessary.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Included in models with the Technology Package or Advance Package, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses a camera mounted in the upper portion of the windshield to detect vehicles and pedestrians ahead and to determine whether a collision is imminent. If the FCW system detects a vehicle or pedestrian in front of the TLX and then determines that a collision may occur (due to a speed differential between the TLX and the object), it will trigger a “BRAKE” message on the Multi-Information Display (MID) and an audible alert. The FCW system in the TLX with Technology Package will not automatically brake, and the driver remains responsible for safely operating the vehicle and avoiding collisions.
Drivers may adjust the distance at which FCW alerts occur and may choose between “Long,” “Normal,” or “Short.” Drivers may also select “Off” to disable the FCW system entirely.
Note that the FCW system cannot detect all objects ahead; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and other factors.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Included in the Technology Package and Advance Package, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is designed to alert the driver if the vehicle is leaving a detected lane without the turn signal being activated. The system functions at speeds from 45 to 90 mph on straight or slightly curved roads, alerting the driver of deviations from a detected road.
In TLX models equipped with the Technology Package or Advanced Package, the same upper front windshield camera is used for LDW, FCW, and LKAS.
If the vehicle begins to move out of a detected lane without the turn signal activated, LDW illuminates a Lane Departure message on the Multi-Information Display (MID) and sounds an audible warning, advising the driver to take appropriate action. With the Advance package, the driver may select rapid steering wheel vibration (haptic feedback) instead of the audible warning. In either case, the system can be activated and deactivated by pressing the LDW button located on the instrument panel, to the left of the steering column.
There are certain conditions under which the system may not engage or operate, including inclement weather (e.g., snow, ice or heavy rain) and extreme cabin heat conditions (due to operability of the camera). It will automatically suspend operation when the brakes are applied or the turn signals are used. LDW may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. The driver remains responsible for safely operating the vehicle.
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
Included in Technology Package and Advance Package, the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) provides a less stressful driving experience by reducing steering correction movements and driving effort on the highway. LKAS uses a camera to read lane markings and uses EPS to assist the driver in keeping in the middle of the lane.
Designed for the U.S. road structure, the system uses a Monocular Camera mounted on the upper portion of the windshield to identify painted lanes, Botts’ Dots and Cat Eye markers at speeds between 45 mph and 90 mph. When LKAS senses that the driver is drifting from the middle of a detected lane, the system generates corrective steering torque to assist the driver in maintaining lane position.
Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
Included in the Advance Package, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) is a new technology for Acura. RDM uses a Monocular Camera (mounted on the upper portion of the windshield) to identify solid or dashed painted lane lines, Botts’ Dots and Cat Eye markers. RDM uses both steering force, via EPS, and braking force, via VSA, to help the TLX stay in its lane.
The monocular camera recognizes lane features and identifies the lane. If the RDM system detects that the TLX is about to leave the detected lane, it will provide steering assist (primary) and in rare occasions when steering is not sufficient, braking assist, to help the driver stay on the road. Only lane departure is activated if the driver is passing over a dashed line, bott’s dots or cat eye, while deceleration support is disabled. In this case, TLX uses active steering force to return to the lane. RDM is integrated with the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system to provide moderate braking, and with the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system to provide steering input.
Multiple visual and audible warnings alert the driver when the RDM system is taking corrective action. These include a lane departure warning on the driver’s Multi Information Display (MID) along with an audible warning.
RDM also has a customizable initial warning of either a steering wheel shake/vibration, or an audible alert. This can be customized in the vehicle settings.
Blind Spot Information (BSI)
Included in the Technology Package and Advance Package, the Blind Spot Information (BSI) system uses two radar sensors to continually monitor conditions behind the TLX and alert the driver if another vehicle is detected in close proximity – especially in the blind spot of the driver. The BSI system uses the LED indicators (mounted on the A-pillar) and an audible warning to alert the driver.
There are two warning levels:
- If a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind spot then the LED indicator on the incoming side illuminates
- If a vehicle is detected and the TLX turn signal is activated, the LED indicator on the incoming side blinks and a buzzer sounds three times
To prevent false alarms while maneuvering at low speed, the BSI system is disabled below approximately 20 mph.
Rear Cross Traffic Monitor
Included in the Technology Package and Advance Package, the new Rear Cross Traffic Monitor is a first for the Acura Division. Rear Cross Traffic Monitor works in conjunction with the TLX’s BSI radar sensors to enhance driver confidence and safety when backing up. The system is especially useful when reversing in congested parking lots with an obstructed view from driver’s seat.
The system utilizes a pair of blind-spot radar units located in the rear bumper corners. When Reverse is selected and an approaching vehicle is detected, arrows indicating the approaching vehicles direction are shown on the 8-inch center display’s rear camera image. Simultaneously, an audible warning is emitted if cross-traffic is approaching from either side.
Pedestrian Injury Mitigation
The TLX has an impact-absorbing front body design to help reduce injury in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. Research shows that the following features can dramatically improve a pedestrian’s chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle:
- Impact-energy absorbing hood – Space is provided between the underside of the hood and key powertrain components, allowing the hood to bend and deform if contact is made with either an adult or a child pedestrian.
- Energy-absorbing fender mounts and supports – Front fender mounts and brackets are designed to deform easily to help absorb impact energy.
- Deformable windshield wiper pivots – Wiper pivots are designed to deform and break away easily.