The Acura TL stormed into the performance luxury sedan market with impressive styling, best-in-class horsepower, and a luxurious and technology-packed interior. It was an immediate hit with the motoring press and public alike, and quickly became Acura's best-selling model-a title it holds to this day.
In the face of new competition from Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and others, the 2008 TL has been further updated. To solidify its place as the standard bearer in its class, the TL is available in two versions; the luxurious TL and the high-performance TL Type-S.
As part of its comprehensive performance package, the TL Type-S builds on the already impressive performance of the TL with the addition of an enhanced powertrain and more upgraded chassis components. The TL Type-S engine is a 3.5-liter VTEC® V-6 that delivers 286-horsepower. It is connected to either a 6-speed manual transmission or an all-new Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with F1®-style paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control.
The TL Type-S isn't just a more powerful TL; it's a complete performance package that features a re-tuned suspension, heavy-duty Brembo disc brakes, unique exterior styling, and interior trim that distinguishes it from the TL. Just one drive proves that the TL Type-S delivers the emotional thrill of a high performance luxury sedan without sacrificing the comfort and convenience expected from it.
TL features numerous refinements for the 2008 model year. Externally, the TL has two new paint color options: Polished Metal Metallic and Bold Beige Metallic. Inside, TL's with White Diamond Pearl or Carbon Bronze Pearl paint are now available with Parchment interior trim. The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition has been upgraded to include Hawaii. The AcuraLink with satellite communication has an updated real-time traffic system that now includes 76 metropolitan markets-an increase of 32 markets for 2008. Vehicle security has been increased with an updated immobilizer system.
The luxury vehicle market continues to expand, and the "near luxury" sedan segment is enjoying some of the greatest growth. Although the TL has been a consistent top seller in this segment, it has increasing challenges from other sporty sedan offerings such as the BMW 528i/528xi, Infinity G37 and Lexus IS 350. Competition also comes from compact near-luxury sedans like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
HIGH PERFORMANCE POWERTRAIN
Behind the stylish grille of the 2008 TL is one of two engines. The TL receives a 3.2-liter, SOHC, 24-valve VTEC® V-6 powerplant-a smooth and powerful engine that delivers 258 horsepower at 6200 rpm with a broad torque curve that peaks with 233 lb-ft at 5000 rpm. The high-performance TL Type-S receives a larger-displacement 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine that produces 286 hp at 6200 rpm and 257 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm.
The standard transmission for both the TL and TL Type-S is a 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and Grade Logic Control. Similar to the transmission in the RL luxury sedan, this front wheel drive version features larger gears to handle the high torque output of the engine, yet remains compact. However, despite being more heavy-duty, the transmission is more compact than the previous 5-speed automatic. TL Type-S models have a more aggressive shift program than the TL, as well as have F1-style paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. The Sequential SportShift feature is programmed to provide smooth downshifts by "blipping" the throttle between gears, matching revs and significantly improving overall driving smoothness.
Optional only on the TL Type-S is a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that is coupled to a limited-slip differential to help enhance traction and dynamic performance.
Acura's commitment to low emissions continues for 2008. Both the 3.2-liter V-6 in the TL and the 3.5-liter V-6 in the TL Type-S meet stringent CARB ULEV2 emissions requirements.
Among the TL's firsts was the introduction of DVD-Audio and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface as standard equipment. The TL continues its high-tech leadership with the addition of WMA and MP3 playback, Dolby® Pro Logic® II, and speed-sensitive volume compensation to the audio system.
Additionally, 2008 TL Type-S models feature standard Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera as well as Active Noise Cancellation™. The navigation system features a new, easy-to-read interface, and also incorporates AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real-time traffic, just as on the RL, RDX, and MDX. On TL models without navigation, the climate control and audio system read-outs utilize vacuum fluorescent displays commonly found on high-end home audio equipment.
From the 3-spoke sport steering wheel with integrated audio, cruise and voice navigation controls, to the leather front seats that have been designed for improved comfort, the TL's interior is luxurious and stylish. The gauges resemble spun aluminum construction with laser-etched numerals, and both the TL and the TL Type-S receive special aluminum trim. Blue cockpit lighting and Grand Anigre wood patterned trim that extends from the doors into the dash enhance the luxury feel of the TL. The sporty TL Type-S receives red interior lighting, carbon fiber-look trim, a TL Type-S logo on the bottom spoke of the steering wheel and an embossed Type-S logo on the front seat headrests.
STANDARD LUXURIES AND CONVENIENCES
When first introduced to the press and public, the TL impressed with its unprecedented levels of standard luxury equipment, a tradition continued by the 2008 model. With its standard 6-disc DVD-Audio system, plush leather seating, power seats for both the driver and front passenger, and keyless entry with a One Touch Start system (on models with an automatic transmission), the TL is designed to provide a truly comprehensive array of fine amenities as standard equipment. The only factory option on the TL is the DVD-based Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System™.
The TL's clean exterior lines have been described as "Bauhaus with attitude." Bauhaus refers to the design philosophy of form following function. The attitude comes from TL's assertive stance, large grille, narrow headlights and tasteful use of chrome highlights to impart an athletic and sporty demeanor unmatched by its competitors. The front end emphasizes performance by enlarging the grille opening and re-styling the lower fascia to incorporate the foglights. The TL Type-S incorporates special Type-S badging, a more aggressive front fascia, black chrome trim, and a quad exhaust system that emphasizes its performance edge.