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Type S, as in "Sinister"

Acura's TL line is hot and frisky, yet still elegant

Acura describes its 2007 TL Type-S as ``sinister," a word I've never associated with Honda's upscale division.

But the hot Type-S is surprisingly frisky, something I discovered
during a day of driving it out of the woods of Pennsylvania and through
the twisting back roads of neighboring Maryland.

I also found the base TL version to have the kind of oomph that not
long ago would have been labeled high performance. Maybe that's because
the new TL has the same horsepower as the old Type-S. In fact, it was
powerful enough to make me wonder if the extra few thousand for the
Type-S is necessary, except for those who want crazy power instead of
just superb performance.

The TL in base form has a 3.2-liter V-6 engine that produces a hefty
258 horsepower and 233 lb.-ft. of torque. Upgrade to the Type-S and you
get a 3.5-liter V-6 with 286 horsepower and 256 lb.-ft. of torque.

Expect around 23 miles per gallon from the smaller engine and about 21 from the more powerful option.

The standard transmission in each model is a five-speed automatic with a manual option that can be shifted with paddles on the steering wheel.
In the Type-S, the engine is revved on downshifts (called ``blipping"
in a race car) for smoother transitions while maintaining speed.

It is a transmission that truly let's you be in charge when you opt to
go manual -- something many automatics with manual option do not allow.

As you might guess, Acura's target TL customer -- particularly for the
Type-S -- is a male in his 40s with an income of $100,000 or more.
That's not to say that other people won't be able to afford the car
when it goes on sale in the fall. Acura is pricing its TL models at
between $34,000 and $39,000.

The company calls the TL an ``entry premium" vehicle, something of an
oxymoronic phrase. But I guess it somehow makes sense, since in recent
years Acura has been selling more than 70,000 of the cars annually in
the United States, making it the financial backbone of the company.

And though Acura officials at the press launch for the TL repeatedly
referred to the ``sinister styling" of the Type-S, it is also subtle
and elegant, with its broad slits of headlights, fog lights dropped into the lower fascia, a mesh grille bisected by a chrome crossbar, and a pronounced hipline running front to rear.

Actually, Acura has always been subtle. For example, only the rear ward
flip of a spoiler, hot-looking wheels, and awesome-sounding quad
tailpipes give any outer hint of what lurks beneath and inside the

Inside, stainless steel pedals in the Type-S differentiate it from the base model, as do firmly bolstered, multi seamed bucket seats and carbon fiber treatments.

But safety is what Honda/Acura has been about (and look for the Koreans
to push them into making stability control systems standard in even
lesser models). The TL comes with antilock brake system, brake assist,
stability control, air bags
for front and side, and front and rear curtain air bags, as well as a
front-end crash system that sends the force of an impact below and over
the cockpit .

You also get an array of standard comfort features that include a
moonroof, 17-inch wheels, speed-sensitive wipers, heated power front
seats , a pass-through rear center armrest, and an advanced audio system.

The Type-S comes with better wheels, a sport-tuned suspension,
carbon-fiber interior trim, noise cancellation, and other goodies.

The TL, in both forms, is meant to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35 cars, Mercedes C-Class, and Lexus ES 330. In both performance and interior quality it achieves that goal.

More hp :thumbup: , the manual option is gone :thumbdown: , I can't think of a better FWD sport sedan.
Discuss. :eatpop:

11,645 Posts
meh, it looks the same. id rather get an is350.

Just call me GnG
3,750 Posts
Carbonized_GT said:
meh, it looks the same. id rather get an is350.
It's not a next gen, Acura is just coming out with a higher model... but I agree with you though. I really like the IS350. I beg my cousin to drive it when she needs to go somewhere.
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