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A Grizzled Veteran is showing its Age
The fourth generation Acura TL has had a hard time fitting in during its short lifetime. Sized closer to a mid-size luxury sedan, the TL is powered, optioned and priced more like a compact luxury sedan. In fact, at a base $36,030, the TL is actually cheaper than the BMW 328i.
With such a cheap entry fee, how is it that the TL still gets outsold by many compact and mid-size luxury sedans? Well, there are many factors like controversial looks and badge snobbery at play here. But not everyone cares about those factors and we wanted to find out for ourselves if this senior citizen is indeed a great luxury performance bargain, or just an also ran ready for a reinvention.
Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, the all-new Acura NSX isn’t just the flagship for the brand, it’s a technology showcase for new hybrid and all-wheel drive technologies. It comes as some surprise then to hear then that the Honda luxury division may be planning a non-hybrid version of the supercar.
First the Mazda2 Yozora, then the Chevrolet Orlando. Now Acura has its own Canada-exclusive model with the TL A-Spec. Canada has gotten previous iterations of the TL in A-Spec trim, but this marks the second time the A-Spec is exclusive to the Great White North.
Available with all-wheel drive and either an automatic or manual gearbox, the A-Spec is basically an appearance package that adds 19″ wheels with summer tires, a body kit, darker chrome grille and A-Spec badging. While Honda says that the A-Spec won’t make it to America, optional Acura accessories like spoilers and wheels can emulate the look, minus the badging. The TL A-Spec retails for $51,290 CAD.
Press release after the jump
First unveiled in pre-production form at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Acura promised the high-riding ZDX four-door coupe would make its way to dealer floors shortly without many design changes. True to their word, the folks at Acura have just released a selection of images of the controversially designed vehicle that defies categorization.
With Acura’s beak-like front fascia shield, as well as an overall design somewhere between a four-door coupe and a sportback, the ZDX also rides high thanks to the use of the company’s SH-AWD system.
Fitted with a 3.7-liter V6 engine the ZDX makes 300hp and 270 ft-lbs of torque and is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. Acura has still not revealed if this a dual-clutch setup (similar to Audi/VW’s DSG system), but the transmission will feature paddle shifters and Acura says it will improve acceleration and fuel-economy – hinting that it may actually be a dual-clutch setup.
Standard equipment will include 19-inch wheels, a panoramic glass roof, a hand-stitched leather interior, Bluetooth connectivity, a power liftgate and a powerful audio system with a USB and iPod interface. A Technology Package will add a navigation system, a surround sound audio system and a multi-view rear camera. An Advanced Package will then add on a blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control and what Acura calls a Collision Mitigating Braking System (CMBS).
The 2010 Acura ZDX will go on sale this December and will slot in between the RL sedan and MDX SUV, meaning pricing will be somewhere between $41,000 and $47,000.
GALLERY: 2010 Acura ZDX
Official release after the jump:
The photos above and below are reported to be of the 2010 Acura RDX, complete with a mid-cycle redesign. Visually, the entry-level luxury crossover gets a little less attractive thanks to the addition of the corporate Acura badge. And if not attractive, at least it will help to set the crossover apart in an incredibly competitive segment.
The only other significant design change is to the tailpipes, which get a new hexagonal shape.
According to SatoAuto, the biggest change to the RDX for 2010 is the addition of a new front-wheel drive layout. This should cut as much as 200 lbs from the crossover, making it a little peppier, while also helping to reduce fuel-consumption – which is particularly important considering the RDX’s less than stellar 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway EPA rating.
On top of those advantages the FWD RDX will no doubt cost noticeably less than the SH-AWD model. Currently the standard RDX costs $33,895, so look for something closer to the $32,000 mark.
Additional upgrades for 2010 include USB and iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, a better backup camera and ambient lighting in the cabin.
GALLERY: 2010 Acura RDX
It seems as though the upcoming Acura ZDX isn’t the only new model Honda’s luxury arm is planning to release in the near future. Both German auto pub Auto Motor und Sport and Japan’s Holiday Auto are both reporting that four-door coupe is in the works and that is likely to be based off the European Honda Accord/North American Acura TSX platform. Holiday Auto even included a few renderings, shown above and below.
A base version of the car would use Honda’s 200hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a front-wheel drive layout. A high-performance model would get a 260hp turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder with a double-clutch paddle-shift transmission and SH-AWD. A V6 powerplant is possible, but unlikely as manufacturers search to use lower displacement forced induction engines to improve fuel economy.
Unfortunately as it will be branded as an Acura in North America the car is likely to get the company’s hideous new front end – and not a nice Honda design like the one shown in the rendering.
The car would slot-in between the TSX and TL, competing with vehicles like the Volkswagen CC and is due out in 2010.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport and Hliday Auto via vtec.net]