Acura TLX prototype revealed, previews the 2015 production model

Acura TLX prototype live in Detroit
Acura TLX prototype live in Detroit

Production model goes on sale later this year

Acura has unveiled the TLX prototype at the North American International Auto Show.

Designed to preview the production model that will go on sale later this year, the prototype is being described as a "Red Carpet Athlete" that will "deliver a compelling blend of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism."

Dressed in Athletic Red Pearl paint, the TLX has an angular front end with a prominent grille that is flanked by Jewel Eye LED headlights. Moving further back, we can see a sculpted hood, aerodynamic side skirts and 20-inch alloy wheels.

The TLX is 3.8 inches shorter than the TL but rides on the same 109.3 inch wheelbase. This means the car will have a spacious cabin with "comfortable seating for five adults."

When the production model goes on sale, it will be offered with two different engines including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that is connected to an eight-speed dual clutch transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 which is paired to a nine-speed automatic. Performance specifications were not released but Acura says the engines will have "EPA fuel economy ratings at the top of the midsize luxury sedan class."

Front wheel drive models will be equipped with the next-generation Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system, while models with the 3.5-liter V6 can be outfitted with a next-generation Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that has a new "torque-vectoring control logic."

Regardless of which engine is selected, all TLXs will have an Integrated Dynamics System with four different modes: ECON (Economy), Normal, Sport and Sport+. Acura says the system will adjust the Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle response, SH-AWD / P-AWS control logic, transmission shift mapping, Active Noise Control settings and HVAC control in accordance with the preferences of the driver.

Acura also confirmed the car will be offered with a variety of safety systems including Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.

Source: Acura

2015 TLX Prototype - Acura's "Red Carpet Athlete" - Unveiled at 2014 North American International Auto Show

Acura TLX Prototype Sets Design Direction for all-new Acura TLX launching mid-year; 2015 Acura TLX will deliver sports-sedan performance and agility in a more refined, sophisticated and technologically-enhanced package

Acura today unveiled the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype showcasing the design and performance direction for the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan launching mid-year at Acura dealerships nationwide. The TLX was developed around the theme"Red Carpet Athlete" to deliver a compelling blend of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism, with exhilarating performance enhanced by next-generation Acura powertrain and dynamic handling technologies. The TLX will join the ILX compact luxury sedan and the RLX luxury performance sedan as the third vehicle in Acura's sedan lineup.

"The Acura TLX Prototype is a precursor of some amazing things we have in store for our Acura sedan customers," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "As you would expect from an Acura, this completely new model will offer innovative technologies that break down the barriers between the driver and the machine to deliver a more intuitive, connected and personal driving experience."

The TLX Prototype, bathed in Acura Athletic Red Pearl, presents a lithe exterior form, taut body surfaces and sports-sedan proportions. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its low and wide stance, shortened front and rear overhangs, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights imbue the TLX Prototype with an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. The prototype's custom-designed five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels and 265/35ZR20 low-profile tires accentuate its athletic stance, while the sculpted hood with its sharply creased bilateral ridgelines hints at the performance capabilities of the advanced new Acura powertrain. Another prototype-exclusive feature is the tailor-made side mirrors. Keying off of the Jewel Eye LED headlights, each mirror has a row of LED lights fused into its base. Click on the turn indictor, and the LEDs come to life, spreading a moving glow around the bottom of the mirror for a high-tech, 3D appearance.

Dimensionally, the TLX Prototype presages the production 2015 TLX sedan and is 3.8 inches shorter in overall length (190.2 inches) than the current TL, yet rides on the same 109.3 inch wheelbase as the TL. The prototype's right-sized dimensions place the new TLX neatly in between the smaller ILX and larger RLX sedans. Despite its more compact exterior footprint, the TLX design targets the most spacious interior in the midsize luxury sedan class - roughly on par with the current TL - with an open and airy greenhouse, commanding sight lines, ample cargo capacity and comfortable seating for five adults.

Like any truly world-class athlete, the TLX will pair power and efficiency with deft agility. With its low and wide stance, rigid yet lightweight body, and nimble and responsive chassis, the TLX is designed to deliver confident, precise and refined ride and handling performance in almost any driving situation. From low-stress urban commutes to relaxed long-distance cruising, or adrenaline-inducing runs down twisting country roads, the TLX is designed to be an intuitive and confidence-inspiring driving partner, a vehicle that epitomizes Acura's dynamic concept of "performance at the will of the driver."

The 2015 TLX Prototype also communicates the diverse range of advanced technologies and performance options that will be available to Acura TLX customers - including two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations; two high-performance, highly fuel-efficient new engines; two new advanced transmissions; and the next generation Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) dynamic performance and handling technologies.

In keeping with the "Red Carpet Athlete" design and development concept, the 2015 TLX's advanced new powertrains will deliver highly responsive, refined and efficient power delivery. An all-new 2.4-liter 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine employs direct-injection and Acura's i-VTEC® valvetrain, and is significantly lighter than previous Acura engines of similar configuration and displacement. The new engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter. This new 8-speed DCT takes full advantage of the 2.4-liter engine's broad power band, delivering incredibly quick and smooth gear changes, expertly matching engine revs on down shifts, and putting the power down in a responsive and intuitive way.

For even greater power and performance, there is a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 that also employs direct injection and VTEC variable valve control and cam timing along with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) cylinder deactivation technology. The 3.5-liter V-6 is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission with closely spaced gear ratios and a wide overall ratio range to further extend engine performance and fuel efficiency. Both the 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter TLX models will target EPA fuel economy ratings at the top of the midsize luxury sedan class.

Two-wheel-drive models with either the 2.4- or 3.5-liter powerplant will utilize the next generation of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™) technology with independent left and right rear wheel toe control. As four-wheel steering becomes an increasingly popular technology on high-performance automobiles, Acura continues to evolve and improve the capabilities of its cutting-edge P-AWS system, first launched on the RLX sedan in 2013, to deliver even more responsive handling, precise steering control and high-speed stability.

The TLX SH-AWD™, available exclusively with the 3.5-liter V6 engine and 9-speed transmission, employs a new generation of Acura's signature Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ technology that is 25 percent lighter and incorporates new torque-vectoring control logic.

Understanding that customization is a key component of luxury, the TLX will feature an Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) to allow for further personalization and a sportier driving experience. The four driving modes - ECON (Economy), Normal, Sport, and a new Sport+ mode - take full advantage of the TLX's high-performance capabilities. Depending on which mode the driver selects, the Integrated Dynamics System will adjust Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle response, SH-AWD and P-AWS control logic, transmission shift mapping, Active Noise Control settings and HVAC control in accordance with the preferences of the driver.
Also in keeping with its luxury sedan status, the TLX was designed to deliver vault-like quietness in all driving conditions, with major improvements in noise reduction through enhancements to body stiffness, body sealing and sound insulation, and the application of electronic Active Noise Control.

The TLX utilizes Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and is expected to achieve the highest available safety ratings - a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI).

The TLX was designed and developed in the United States by Acura engineers working in the company's Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio new-vehicle development center. The new TLX will be produced using domestic and globally sourced parts at the company's award-winning Marysville, Ohio auto plant, which presently manufactures the 2014 Acura TL performance-luxury sedan.

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Comments (15)

trapezius trapezius
Is this a replacement for the TL? Or for the TL and TSX both? Anyway, I can't believe it, but that body has nice athletic proportions. Very nicely put together without awkward bulges or weird body shape as the current TL. Only thing I don't like are the headlights (make those 5 bulbs invisible, and then it is fine) and the grille (the wide bar in the middle). Love the overal shape and the tail lights. Finally, back to nice tail lights in the TL(X).
Jan 14th, 2014 11:33pm
1 0
michaelg michaelg
It's a replacement for the TL, but the TLX and ILX will for the void for the TSX
Jan 15th, 2014 2:33am
1 0
Kakumbaz Kakumbaz
@trapezius. The ILX was the actual replacement for the TSX, this however is only a replacement for the TL. Acura has added an X at the end of its name because they are doing that with everyone of their cars lately. The second generation TSX proved to be more successful than the TL this replaces and that's why Acura has retained its size and resemblance for the new TLX.. I hope that answers your question..
Jan 15th, 2014 6:05am
1 0
HighRevs HighRevs
Not a fan of the new Acura headlights, 1 or 2 too many bulbs... it looks unfocused.
Jan 14th, 2014 10:45pm
1 0
NYyanks NYyanks
ok, now what?
Jan 14th, 2014 9:39pm
1 0
mongo mongo
I hope it becomes European Accord! With diesel!
Jan 14th, 2014 9:10pm
1 0
tomi.ro tomi.ro
Yes. Good job Acura. you are finally managing to create a good product. It's proportions are right, the design hs been tweaked out. Don't change the final product from this prototype.
Jan 14th, 2014 8:56pm
1 0
williamo williamo
Looks great, but seriously, this car actually is the Ubermacht Oracle 1 from GTA V... http://postimg.org/image/5v6s4tt0t/
Jan 14th, 2014 8:50pm
1 0
tuga tuga
They should sell this in Europe to replace our Accord.
Jan 14th, 2014 8:32pm
1 0
najdier najdier
The current TSX is the Euro Accord. This seems to be a replacement for the larger TL.
Jan 15th, 2014 10:14am
1 0
tuga tuga
It's a replacement for both the TL and TSX, and is shorter than the TL. It's about the same size as a Mondeo or a Mazda6 now.
Jan 15th, 2014 4:03pm
1 0
DBaskov DBaskov
Can't believe I'm saying this, but I think this Acura looks fairly good, especially at the front end. If only this car's body shaped was slightly thinned and lowered similar to 2008 TL (before it went ugly), it would be a perfect looking sedan again.
Jan 14th, 2014 8:15pm
1 0
Nice clean design, but the side really reminds me of previous Lexus IS
Jan 14th, 2014 8:10pm
1 0
jwcf jwcf
well at least Nissan has gotten somewhere else further than this in design with new their Sport Sedan concept
Jan 14th, 2014 8:02pm
1 0
MatthewKeys MatthewKeys
This looks like a mild evolution of the TL, but on a smaller platform. They should have maybe considered keeping the old TL platform and reskinning to keep the extra dimensions.
Jan 14th, 2014 7:56pm
1 1