HEADLINES

2010 Acura TSX - Chassis

INTRODUCTION

In keeping with its lean, athletic appearance, the 2010 TSX offers a flat ride that is free from excessive pitching motions, along with outstanding agility and steering precision. Several chassis development such as a highly rigid body design with a cross-braced roof structure and a safety cage-type rear bulkhead structure all help contribute to the TSX's dynamic performance.

SUSPENSION

The TSX suspension's high roll center (the geometric axis on which the body rolls or leans while cornering) reduces body lean during cornering, which better equalizes the workload for all four tires while also improving passenger comfort.

Front suspension
Double-wishbone front suspension components include stamped-steel upper A-arms, cast-iron steering knuckles, cast-iron lower A-arms, coil-over dampers and a large front stabilizer bar. A steel subframe cradles the engine, transmission and lower suspension components, and mounts on rubber bushings tuned to reduce road and engine noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) without compromising handling agility or steering precision.

For the 2010 TSX with the new V-6 engine, the front suspension has been upgraded with unique front springs and revised dampers. The revised suspension accounts for the increased weight of the 3.5L V-6 engine and generates a level of sporty handling that buyers will expect from the powerful V-6 TSX model.

Rear suspension
The multi-link rear suspension includes stamped-steel upper A-arms, cast aluminum knuckles, double lower tubular lateral links, tubular steel toe-control links, coil-over dampers and a large stabilizer bar. This system provides outstanding agility and handling, together with a flatter ride and excellent control of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

DUAL-MODE DAMPERS

The 2010 TSX features dual-mode dampers. While most conventional dampers are tuned to provide a compromise between ride comfort and sporty handling at different speeds, the TSX's dual-mode dampers are engineered to provide ideal damping rates at both low and high speeds.

With a typical suspension, damping forces rise with the speed of damper compression, such as occurs when the vehicle encounters road irregularities at high speed. This can cause significant ride harshness and noise that reduces passenger comfort and enjoyment. However, the TSX's dual-mode dampers are tuned to provide the ideal damping rates for comfort and smoothness at low speeds of damper compression, while also limiting the maximum damping forces to reduce ride harshness at higher speeds of damper compression. In this way, the TSX provides a wider range of comfortable ride quality and exceptional road holding under a wide variety of driving speeds and conditions.

Deflector plate technology
Acura's dual-mode dampers automatically adjust compression damping characteristics to suit the vehicle speed, cornering forces and road surface. The dampers use a unique "deflector plate stack" that deflects when the compression forces reach a certain level, such as when encountering a large bump or dip in the pavement at high speeds. When these severe forces act on an ordinary damper, oil cannot move quickly enough through the damping orifices and the effective damping rate climbs, resulting in an excessive shock transmitted into the vehicle body.

With the TSX's dual-mode dampers, when severe conditions are encountered, the plate stack deflects, allowing oil to pass through at a much higher rate and in essence "capping" the damping rate at a preset level. Allowing an increased flow rate in extreme situations noticeably reduces the shock transmitted into the vehicle body while enhancing handling stability and road holding.

Deflection of the plate stack is carefully calibrated and controlled by spring pressure force on the plate stack. The simplicity of the dual-mode damper system also means that no electronics or movable valves are required.

ELECTRIC POWER STEERING (EPS)

The TSX uses Electric Power Steering (EPS) which regulates steering via a computer-actuated electric motor. The computer-controlled EPS, advanced algorithms built into the operating software allow fine-tuning of the required steering forces so that minimal force is required at low speeds - such as when parking or maneuvering. Progressively higher steering effort is needed at higher speeds - such as when driving on the freeway.

The EPS system found in the TSX is an evolution of an earlier EPS system found on the Acura NSX supercar. Its key features and advantages include:

  • The TSX's EPS system reduces the steering effort at low speeds, improving agility and ease of effort.
  • Rigidity of the steering mount is higher, which allows a much more precise and "connected" feeling during high-speed maneuvers such as lane changes or winding mountain roads.
  • The steering assist is programmed via computer algorithms according to vehicle speed rather than engine speed, allowing designers the flexibility of tailoring the steering feel to match driving conditions, especially high-speed driving. The steering boost algorithms are minutely altered for every 1 km/h (0.6 mph) change in vehicle speed.
  • EPS employs a sporty, 13.5:1 steering ratio which further improves driving agility.
  • In its evolution from the original NSX system, the TSX's EPS system uses a significantly more powerful electric motor teamed with a more sophisticated microprocessor.
  • By eliminating the conventional power steering pump, EPS uses less engine power, benefiting acceleration and fuel economy.

4-WHEEL DISC BRAKES WITH ABS

The 2010 Acura TSX features 4-wheel disc brakes. The front rotors measure 11.8 inches in diameter and are made of cast iron with radial vents for excellent heat dissipation and wear properties. At 11.1 inches diameter, the rear rotors provide enhanced braking capability during repeated use. Floating-style single-piston cast-iron brake calipers are used front and rear. For the TSX V-6, special rear brake pads are used. In addition, the V-6 model makes use of a larger brake master cylinder, a revised pedal ratio and a new brake booster to deliver a more performance minded braking feel.

A sophisticated 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is standard and works in concert with the vehicle's Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) systems for an outstanding array of electronic dynamic aids.

WHEELS AND TIRES

The 2010 TSX comes standard with 17x7.5-inch five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P225/50R17 93V all-season tires developed specifically for the vehicle. For TSX V-6 models, the wheels are upgraded to 18x8-inches in size and are fit with performance minded Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P235/45R18 94V tires. All TSX wheels have a clear-coat aluminum finish designed to compliment the exterior color choices. Located under the trunk floor panel is a T135/80D16 temporary spare tire mounted on a 16x4-inch steel wheel.

TESTING

Dynamic testing and final chassis tuning for the new TSX was conducted both in Japan and America. The TSX was specifically tuned for the best combination of agility and handling needed in an urban environment and at higher speeds. The Los Angeles area, with its huge variety of road surfaces, freeways and topography, proved invaluable in chassis tuning the chassis achieve a balanced overall package. Also invaluable was a "mini-Nurburgring" test course built in Japan especially to replicate some of the most demanding elements of the famed German racetrack.

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