2015 Acura TLX features clever technology in a sleek package

Read our full 2015 Acura TLX V6 SH-AWD review.

When is a car not a car? When it’s more than one car.

Unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show, the 2015 Acura TLX is actually two cars. It’s the replacement for both Acura’s stalwart TL midsize sedan, and the defunct TSX, which was based on the European version of the Honda Accord.

To that end, the 2015 TLX will be offered with three drivetrains.

Base models will get a 2.4-liter inline-four with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front-wheels through a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) that debuted on the larger RLX sedan.

Buyers can upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 used in the RLX and MDX (it’s also related to the 2.8-liter engine used in the Honda ARX-04b race car), which comes with a new nine-speed automatic and produces 290 hp and 267 lb-ft in the TLX. Front-wheel drive models also get P-AWS.

Finally, the V6 and nine-speed auto can be paired with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which vectors torque for more precise cornering.

Like P-AWS, SH-AWD is a bit of alphabet soup ladled out of other Acura models, but the luxury brand says the version deployed on the TLX is significantly improved.

Thanks to a redesigned rear differential, the latest SH-AWD is 25 percent lighter, more compact, and more responsive than before, according to Acura. It can now vector torque to the inside rear wheel, a feature meant to increase stability during high-speed lane changes.

All of that hardware is packaged in the same body, though. Not surprisingly, it looks almost identical to the TLX Prototype Acura unveiled at 2014 Detroit Auto Show back in January, and features styling that should be familiar to current Acura customers.

While the new bodywork doesn’t break new styling ground, the TLX will be up to 230 pounds lighter than comparable TL models thanks to lightweight materials like aluminum and ultra high-strength steel, and more aerodynamic.

The 2015 TLX also features the seemingly-obligatory array of driver aids, including adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation aided by a new front camera, and Road Departure Mitigation, which allows to car to tug itself back into a lane automatically.

So there’s plenty of technology here, but is there any soul? We’ll find out later this year when the 2015 Acura TLX hits showrooms. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.


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