Acura revealed the prototype of its mid-range sports sedan, the TLX, in Detroit this morning. Set to replace the current TL and TSX models, the new prototype features the same nomenclature as its RLX and ILX counterparts and follows the now-familiar Acura design language. Although the vehicle looks more production than prototype, the missing interior and oversized wheels suggest that the real version is still a while away.
Led by a passionate introduction from Mike Accavitti, the senior vice president of Automobile Operations, the TLX prototype is touted as a “red-carpet athlete,” embodying the luxurious performance that consumers expect from Acura products. Accavitti touched on the new car’s “vault-like” interior experience while emphasizing “the physical sensation of being in total control of exhilarating performance.” All marketing jargon aside, the TLX has great vehicle dynamics roots in the previous TSX model and hopefully some of that prowess will show in the new vehicle as well.
Engine choices will be familiar to Acura and Honda buyers, with an entry-level 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder and a range-topping 3.5L V-6 (also with direct-injection) completing the lineup. However, transmissions are completely new for the TLX. The four-cylinder will be paired with an eight-speed dual clutch automatic while the V-6 receives a nine-speed to put its power to the ground.
Acura surprised all journalists by also revealing the TLX GT race car set to race in the Pirelli World Challenge Series. With a towering rear spoiler, slick Pirelli tires and front splitter, this racer is the real deal. It features a twin-turbo version of the 3.5L V-6 engine, developed by Honda Performance Development, and the ubiquitous SH-AWD system. The race car will be seen in the series in only a few short weeks, well before the release of the TLX production model in mid-2014.
For more on the TLX GT, please visit TheDrivingLife’s “NAIAS 2014 Unveiled: Acura TLX GT Race Car.