Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LA Show Preview: Acura freshens up 2011 TSX Sedan

Making its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto show tomorrow is the barely botoxed 2011 Acura TSX sedan. Our previous guesstimates about Acura bringing the TSX sedan in line with the new Sport Wagon model, which is based on the corresponding European Honda Accord model, proved to be more or less true.

On the outside, the 2011 TSX gets an extremely discreet facelift that includes, a new front fascia, revised chin spoiler, new fog light garnish assembly and an updated grill. At the back, the sedan model features revised taillights and an updated license plate garnish. The fresh alloy wheel designs and new underbody panels that improve aerodynamics sum up the exterior changes.

Revisions inside the car concern the updated styling of the center console, the darker trim pieces, brightly finished door handles, an updated parking brake handle, new garnishes for the steering wheel and an available LED backlit full VGA navigation screen that generates 400-percent better resolution than before.

Furthermore, there's new contrasting-color stitching for the leather seats and door armrests, while Acura also mounted heating/cooling vents at the rear of the center console.

The thicker side glass, increased use of sound-deadening insulation, improved floor mats and new underfloor covers, complete the interior upgrades.

Under the sheetmetal, the Japanese maker's engineers have tweaked the 2.4L inline four cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines. According to Acura, both units receive numerous improvements to reduce internal operating friction which help improve fuel economy, lower carbon dioxide (CO2) output and increase engine life.

The automatic transmission was also upgraded with new programming that helps maximize engine output by allowing for Shift Hold Control during cornering along with "smart shift" functionality that allows for semi-manual operation when in Drive and not just when in Sport Mode as before.

Acura claims that the changes on 2011MY TSX improve both the 2.4L and 3.5L model's fuel efficiency by 1mpg in both city and highway driving.

The updated 2011 TSX sedan goes on sale in the U.S. on November 23, with prices starting from $29,610 for the 2.4L engine with both manual and automatic transmissions, and from $35,150 for the 3.5L V6 version.