Making its first official appearance, Acura pulled the sheet off the 2015 TLX Prototype in Detroit today, but it wasn't just all about the new luxury sport sedan. With the introduction of the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype, the Japanese automaker also introduced a lighter 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine that is mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. A new 9-speed automatic transmission is now paired with the 3.5-liter V6 engine, as well. 

2014 Detroit Auto Show: The New Cars

After deciding to do away with the compact TSX when the production version of the TLX goes on sale in the second half of this year, the all-new TLX is set to replace the outgoing TL in Acura's line-up and slot between the entry-level ILX and flagship RLX sedans. The automaker says the upcoming TLX  will deliver on the sport sedan designation thanks to more refinement and tech-savvy  touches. It will also dictate a new design direction for Acura, as seen with the TLX Prototype's lithe exterior and sharp character lines. A low and wide stance paired with sculpted fender arches and shortened front and rear overhangs help the TLX Prototype fit the sport sedan bill. A set of four 265/35ZR20 low-profile tires have been wrapped around 20-inch custom alloy wheels. The TLX Prototype is 3.8-inches shorter in length than the current TL, while both models ride on identical 109.3 inch wheelbases. Acura says the TLX will boast the most interior space in the midsize luxury sedan class with enough seating for five adults.  

Underneath the sharply creased hood, the all-new 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that features direct-injection and the automaker's VTEC valvetrain will be the standard choice of motivation for the TLX. This engine is lighter than any other similar configuration and displacement to come from Acura. Another all-new feature to debut on the 2015 Acura TLX is an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter. This new gearbox will be mated to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and Acura promises this new powertrain will be responsive, refined and deliver power efficiently. A 3.5-liter V6 engine, which also employs direct injection, VTEC variable valve control and Variable Cylinder Management, will be an available option for those looking for more power and it will be paired with a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Both drivetrains have class-leading numbers in its sights but nothing in the form of actual numbers have been mentioned yet.  

2014 Compact Cars at a glance 

Models with both the 2.4- and 3.5-liter engines will employ the next generation of Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer technology that allows independent left and right rear wheel toe control. The TLX SH-AWD (all-wheel-drive) variant will only be available with the 3.5-liter V6  engine. An Integrated Dynamics System offers four driving modes - Economy, Normal, Sport and the all-new Sport+ - to better suit your driving style. Each setting adjusts the feel of the electric power steering, throttle response, shift mapping and the Active Noise Control. Inside, Acura claims the TLX possesses a vault-like quietness no matter what the environment is like outside due in part to improvements in noise reduction through a rigid body, extensive body sealing,  sound insulation and the Active Noise Control feature. 

No official power ratings, fuel figures or pricing information have been announcedm but we're expecting all that to surface closer to the TLX's launch later this year. However, Acura did say that it expects the TLX to achieve the highest possible safety ratings when tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It was also revealed that the TLX will be assembled at the automaker's facility in Marysville, Ohio which produces the 2014 TL. Be sure to stay tuned for more info on the new TLX as we get it. 


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