The 2015 Acura TLX is a brand new model; philosophically, it replaces both the TL and the TSX in the Acura lineup, forming the middle column between the entry-level ILX and the RLX luxury flagship sedans.
As it replacing two sedans, one that was geared toward sport and the other with a luxury aura, the TLX will attempt to straddle that fence, to be a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll. In fact, Acura is calling it a midsize sports sedan in one of their product releases, a performance luxury sedan in another.
One of the implications of that market positioning is a wide range of pricing from a $31,000 starting price up to a gonzo $45,000. That's a pretty wide spread, indicative of the car's dual market appeal.
There are two engines, a 2.4 liter, 206bhp inline 4-cylinder engine mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission; and a 3.5 liter V6-cylinder engine, outputting 290bhp and roused to action by a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both transmissions are of the dual-clutch variety. The V6 will sport a push-button transmission rather than the traditional shift lever, a move that is both forward-looking and retro at once.
The TLX will offer Acura's proprietary Precision All-Wheel Steering (P-AWS) technology, which provides some computer-guided steering of the rear wheels that helps the front-wheel-driven car with handling, grip, safety and braking. It is not all-wheel drive, which is provided by the company's Super Handling - All Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD). That will be made available on a yet to be released V6 TLX.
The sticker price begins to sag with the weight of spendy option packages, such the Technology package for the 4-cylinder and the Technology and Advance package for the V6. Adding cost after driving one off the lot is a requirement for premium gasoline.
The automotive press has been all over the place on the TLX. Some harped on Acura's alphabet naming convention (whatever), others said the car handled great while others found the handling inferior to its likely rivals. All agreed that the car was especially quiet and composed. But most also decried the unexciting styling.
The TLX will be assembled in Honda's Maryville, Ohio plant. The company noted that more than 90 percent of Acura vehicles are now made in the U.S., and that the TLX was designed and engineered in Los Angeles and Ohio.
If anyone is jonesin' a TSX model in particular, get one now. The TLX will suitably supplant the TL, but the TSX seems more like a separate concept that the TLX will not accurately replace. The TLX will be peppering Acura dealer lots any day now.
A bit of TSX history - the car that was sold in the U.S. as a TSX was sold as a Honda Accord in Europe and other markets.