NEW YORK — Acura's redesigned TL sedan, which goes on sale in September, is a total makeover — inside and outside and under the hood.
The fourth-generation TL gets new and more powerful engines, more safety features and an all-wheel-drive version — the TL's first. Telematics also abound.
The car, designed in California, is critical for Acura as it continues its quest to reach Tier 1 luxury status with the likes of BMW and Mercedes.
The TL was introduced at an event here last month.
The basics: The TL comes in two trim lines: the base TL and the TL SH-AWD (superhandling all-wheel drive). The sporty Type-S trim has been dropped for now but could return.
Every critical dimension, from the exterior and interior size to engine power, is grander than its predecessor. The base 3.5-liter V-6 produces 280 hp, up 22 hp, while keeping the same mileage as the 2008 model — 18 mpg city/26 highway. The awd version gets a new 3.7-liter V-6, the TL's biggest engine ever. And at 305 hp and 275 pounds-feet of torque, it is Acura's most powerful engine — more than the 300 hp flagship RL sedan.
The 3.7-liter version gets 17 mpg city/25 highway. Acura parent Honda says more aluminum parts on the engine boosts fuel economy.
The redesigned car will be introduced with a five-speed automatic transmission only. A manual will debut for the 2010 model year.