A choice of two different all-aluminum VTEC® engines enables the new 2009 Acura TL to satisfy a wide range of customers. Standard is a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque that sends power to the front wheels through Acura's sophisticated Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel- mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. Though powerful, the new engine is also fuel efficient, with projected EPA fuel economy ratings of 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The engine is targeted to meet California's tough CARB LEV II ULEV emissions certification standards, thanks to features including a Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system, Computer-Controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) for the intake valves.
During spirited cornering, SH-AWD® seamlessly distributes more torque to the outside rear wheel to create a "yaw moment" to help the Acura TL turn in more quickly and precisely - while also continuously apportioning drivetrain torque front to rear and left to right. The result is a remarkably balanced and precise all-wheel-drive performance sedan that excels year-round, not just during inclement weather.
Acura TL's performance achievements extend to durability, reliability and refinement as well. Both engines feature electronically controlled engine mounts to reduce engine noise, vibration and harshness (NVH); quiet and efficient Electric Power Steering (EPS) and maintenance-free serpentine accessory belt also boost operating refinement. A standard Maintenance Minder™ system and up to a 100,000-mile tune-up interval offer further time and cost savings for the Acura TL owner.
The standard transmission on the 2009 Acura TL and TL SH-AWD® is a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic featuring F1®-style steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and Grade Logic Control. Merging the convenience of an automatic with the enjoyment of SportShift manual gear selection, the transmission also features an overdriven top gear for maximum fuel efficiency on the highway. In fact, the Acura transmission has the widest gear-ratio spread of any 5-speed transmission in its class, providing strong acceleration in lower gears and relaxed, fuel-efficient highway cruising.
Major improvements in structural engineering for the unit-body further define the 2009 Acura TL. The list of substantial changes begins with the relocation of frame rails inside (rather than underneath) the vehicle's floor pan, resulting in a nearly flat body underside. Benefits of this design include improved crash safety, a significant reduction in interior noise levels, and reduced aerodynamic drag that helps enhance fuel economy. Another significant improvement is the increased use of high-strength steel, which simultaneously improves the unit-body's overall strength while helping to reduce weight. For additional weight savings, aluminum is used for the hood, the front suspension subframe and rear suspension knuckles.
An evocative and powerful exterior body design dramatically advances the Acura TL's image as a performance luxury sedan. Designed by Acura in Southern California, the Acura TL utilizes an array of styling techniques to express motion - and emotion - even when the car is at rest. Featuring Acura's new signature front grille, body sides defined by strong character lines, sweeping C-pillars and new LED taillights, the 2009 Acura TL is simultaneously Acura and yet wholly unique. Plentiful use of luxury and performance features add visual appeal while adding to the Acura TL's vigorous statement - including bright HID projector-beam front headlights, pronounced wheel arches, a standard power moonroof and genuine stainless-steel body trim.
Wheels and tires are as expressive as the exterior styling. Standard on the 2009 Acura TL are 17-inch aluminum wheels with P245/50R17 all-season Bridgestone Turanza or available Michelin Pilot tires for confident year-round performance. The Acura TL SH-AWD® comes with 18-inch aluminum wheels with lower-profile P245/45R18 Michelin Pilot tires for more agile handling. Finally, the Acura TL SH-AWD® offers available 19-inch aluminum wheels with aggressive P245/40ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer tires for the ultimate Acura TL performance experience.
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) represents a major advance in structural engineering for the 2009 Acura TL. In simple terms, ACE™ better dissipates crash energy in a severe frontal collision through the use of dedicated load-bearing frame structures that efficiently distribute crash energy through the body structure-while also helping to preserve the integrity of the passenger compartment. Acura first introduced ACE™ to the Acura line for the 2005 model year and its inclusion in the 2009 Acura TL means that every vehicle in the Acura model range now has this advanced safety engineering.
Six airbags and a new active head restraint system for the driver and front passenger headrests top the long list of passive safety features built into the new Acura TL. The airbag array includes dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, new dual-chamber front seat side airbags with front passenger seat Occupant Position Detection System, along with side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions. Additional passive-safety features include 3-point seatbelts and head restraints for all seating positions, driver and front passenger seatbelt load-limiters with an automatic tensioning system and a Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system that permits quick, secure attachment of up to two child seats in the rear seating area.
The new Acura TL includes sophisticated active safety features including powerful 4-wheel disc brakes (with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), all-season tires and an available SH-AWD® system. Adding to the list of standard exterior safety features are daytime running lights (DRL) along with 2.5-mph front and rear bumpers.