S Is for Sports Sedan

Nothing succeeds like success. For the 2002 mannequin yr, Acura has revitalized its hot-selling 3.2 TL sedan lineup with extra refinement, extra aggressive styling, and stronger efficiency with the addition of the Kind S mannequin. The Kind S therapy, which we so get pleasure from within the CL coupe, helps the TL full the transformation from “close to lux” to true sports activities sedan.

Acura has made greater than 500 {hardware} and specification adjustments to all TL fashions, essentially the most obvious being the extra aggressive visage, that includes commonplace fog lamps, an air-gulping grille, revised headlamps, and recent sheet metallic. Different styling updates embrace new wheels and clear taillights. It is an efficient look; the sprinkling of garlic the automobile has all the time wanted. Much less apparent are the myriad refinements, similar to aerodynamic aspect mirrors, improved brake really feel, lowered street noise, and enhanced radio reception. Commonplace creature comforts now embrace a six-disc in-dash CD changer, seat reminiscence, auto-up driver’s window, tilt headrests, and 0.8g-endurable cupholders.

The true information for lovers is the Kind S, which shares the CL Type S coupe’s high-revving 3.2-liter V-6 that routes 260 horsepower to the entrance wheels by way of a five-speed “SportShift” automated transmission. This creamy-smooth single-overhead-cam powerplant supplies swift acceleration accompanied by a sonorous, mechanized symphony. Monitoring automobile dynamics by yaw, lateral, and pace sensors, Acura’s Car Stability Help stability management system can tactfully intervene with throttle and braking to instill confidence and take the sting off driver error.

Steering really feel is firmer within the Kind S as a result of a torque-sensing (relatively than speed-sensing, as on the bottom TL) system that applies help based mostly on enter, the resultant torque generated by the tire on pavement, and pace. Combining 205/50VR17 Michelin MXM4 tires and a performance-tuned suspension, the Kind S considerably elevates the TL’s road-holding skills with solely minor suggestions and ride-quality penalties. This more-responsive setup balances effectively with the powertrain positive factors, preserving a robust luxurious really feel and efficiency edge.

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We’re searching for a catch however simply cannot discover one on this case. Acura clearly made automobile higher with the 2002 TL and pushes it to nice within the type of the thrilling, but well-mannered, Kind S. General, the TL’s efficiency/worth/worth ratio solely improves.

This text initially ran in April 2001.

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