Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the all-new 2018 TLX A-Spec, available on both front-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ variants of the V6-powered TLX, amps up the sporty character of TLX and features exclusive design elements inside and out, along with key enhancements to chassis tuning and wheel/tire specification. The Acura TLX A-Spec's unique styling begins in front with a matte-black diamond pentagon grille with dark chrome surround, an aggressive lower front fascia with broad center air opening flanked by round LED fog lights, and a dark appearance for the Jewel Eye LED headlights. A-Spec exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels finished in Shark Gray paint are shod with 245-series tires and combine with aggressively flared side sills for a more athletic and planted stance. The A-Spec exterior upgrades continue at the rear with a gloss-black decklid spoiler, "smoked" LED taillights, and an exclusive fascia featuring a lower diffuser accented by 4-inch round dual exhaust finishers. A matte-black side window surround and A-Spec badging on the front fenders and rear decklid completes the look. Inside, the TLX V6 A-Spec features more aggressively bolstered front seats, an A-Spec-badged thick-rimmed steering wheel, red driver's meter highlights, black headliner and pillar treatment, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, stainless steel driver's footrest, and front and rear door sill trim. In addition to the improved lateral grip and responsiveness offered by Michelin Primacy 245/40R19 tires (compared to 225/50R18 on other V6 models), the TLX V6 A-Spec benefits from a retuned electric power steering system and damper settings. Models with SH-AWD also get a quicker steering ratio for increased response and a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. The TLX V6 A-Spec is available in five exterior colors, including a trim-exclusive Still Night Blue Pearl, and one of two unique interior color schemes, Black with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts or Full Red which features a bold red leather throughout. A-Spec models have the same feature set as the TLX V6 with Technology Package as well ventilated front seats, wireless charging pad and LED ambient light piping found in the Advance Package.
Powertrain and Chassis The 2018 Acura TLX continues to be offered with two advanced powertrains: a 2.4-liter, 206-horsepower i-VTEC inline-4 mated to an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter; and a 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower i-VTEC V6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which for 2018 has been retuned for a more refined feel. Two-wheel drive variants of the 2018 TLX, with either the 2.4-liter or 3.5-liter engines, come equipped with Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™), with independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance overall handling precision, low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability. Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), the most sophisticated torque-vectoring AWD system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6-powered variants (previously available with Technology or Advance Package only). SH-AWD elevates the TLX driving experience to a new level, enhancing cornering grip, power delivery and all-weather handling and control through dynamic distribution of engine torque to all four wheels and independent control of torque delivery to the left and right rear wheels. Acura TLX 2.4-liter models can be upgraded with the Technology Package, and 3.5-liter models can be upgraded with either Technology, A-Spec or Advance Packages.
Sequential SportShift 9-Speed Automatic Transmission TLX V6 models are equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift. For 2018, the transmission has been retuned for a more refined feel. The transmission features a fully electronic, shift-by-wire gear selector. Park, Neutral and Drive are selected with the push of a button. Reverse is selected by pulling back a dedicated switch. Indicator lights near the buttons indicate the mode selected. As an added safety feature, if the vehicle is brought to a stop in Drive, the system will automatically select Park if the driver's seatbelt is unbuckled and the driver's door is opened. As with the DCT, a steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter system lets the driver take manual control of transmission gear selection. Paddle Shifter Operation in Econ, Normal and Sport Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) Modes While in Econ, Normal or Sport IDS modes, special transmission logic programming allows the use of the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. When the driver operates the paddle shifters, the transmission responds to the driver's shift command and then returns to its normal fully automatic mode if further paddle shift inputs are not made within a given time. This special logic makes it easy for the driver to command a quick downshift without leaving the convenience of Drive mode.
SH-AWD operating parameters include: Up to 90 percent of available torque can be transferred to the front wheels during normal cruising. In hard cornering and under acceleration, up to 70 percent of available torque can be directed to the rear wheels to enhance vehicle dynamics. Up to 100 percent of the torque sent to the rear axle can be applied to either the left or right rear wheel, depending on conditions. SH-AWD System Layout - The TLX SH-AWD is a full-time all-wheel-drive system that requires no driver interaction or monitoring, thanks to a torque-transfer unit that is bolted directly to the front-mounted transaxle. The torque-transfer unit receives torque from a helical gear that is attached to the front differential's ring gear, and a short horizontal shaft and hypoid gear set within the torque-transfer unit's case send power to the rear propeller shaft, which in turn transfers power to the rear drive unit.
Driver-Oriented Cockpit All-important systems and controls in the TLX are positioned within easy reach of the driver. Controls for the systems used most frequently - audio, cruise control, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, available satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and Multi-Information Display - are conveniently positioned on the steering wheel. The main instrumentation is an easy-to-read analog design, supplemented with digital and graphic displays. Typical of Acura interior design, the soft-touch switchgear of the TLX is engineered to deliver a quality feel and positive action. A standard multi-view rearview camera provides a choice of three different views, displayed on the bright, colorful 8-inch upper screen. The Technology Package adds Cross Traffic Monitor to the rear camera system, making it easier to maneuver out of parking spots with greater confidence. New for 2018 is the available Surround View camera system, included in the TLX with Advance Package.
Multi-Information Display A Multi-Information Display (MID), now color on all models, is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer gives the driver access to a range of useful information. Controls positioned on the right side of the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the MID display through multiple screens of information from sources including Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and more. The Maintenance Minder™ system alerts the TLX driver of upcoming maintenance needs via the MID and should a fault occur with the vehicle, specific warning information appears. On models with Navigation, the MID also provides turn-by-turn route guidance.
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) The TLX SH-AWD features a hydraulically-controlled iteration of Acura's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. Like its P-AWS counterpart, the TLX SH-AWD system is complemented by the brake torque effect of Agile Handling Assist. The benefits of the SH-AWD system are superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power. By rotating the outside rear wheel faster than the front axle while cornering, SH-AWD uses torque vectoring to create a yaw moment to help turn the vehicle through the corner - reducing understeer and improving controllability. With cornering forces more evenly distributed between front and rear tires, overall cornering power is increased - on wet or dry roads.