2012 Acura TL Priced from $35,605

The 2012 Acura TL goes on sale in a couple of weeks, and it gets a new six-speed automatic transmission, some new gadgets, and a facelift to help consumers get over that massive buck tooth.

Honda’s new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission blips the throttle to match gear and engine speeds while downshifting, aping the Nissan 370Z. The computer has been revised to allow drivers to double downshift, and all models now get an external transmission cooler (where only the hi-po SH-AWD model had it).

The new transmission, along with some other features, is good for a 3-mpg increase over the 2011 model, bringing fuel economy to 29-mpg highway.

The interior gets new surface finishes, a brighter nav screen, and revised Bluetooth options to complement the already feature-laden TL. A new set of features for 2012 is called the Advance Package, which includes ventilated front seats, larger wheels and a new blind spot information system.

And, front-and-rear styling has been tweaked, though the spear of aluminum on the front grille still remains: “With the 2009 TL, the exterior design was a lot about passion,” said Damon Schell, Acura’s senior designer. “With the 2012 TL, we pushed for an increased level of sophistication.” Hey, at least the schnoz doesn’t look like some kind of teleoceras.

Hitting dealers March 18th, the 2012 TL starts from $35,605. The Technology Package raises the price to $39,335, and with the Advance Package it’s $41,535. TL SH-AWD models start at $39,155 and jump to $42,885 with the Tech Package or $45,085 for the Advance Package. And in a nod to driving enthusiasts (yes, Acura hasn’t completely shunned them yet) the TL SH-AWD with the Tech Package and a six-speed manual transmission will run $42,885.