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Old 10 Dec 2010, 04:40 am
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Default TL: 2011 Acura TL - Body


The TL's dynamic and bold styling was designed at the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California. The design team wanted the TL's exterior styling to not only be emotional, but to reflect the exhilarating driving experience that would be realized behind the wheel. The 2011 TL also uses the latest materials and technologies to help reduce weight, increase strength and enhance aerodynamic performance.


The exterior design of the TL uses a principle that the design team refers to as "Motion Surface." Simply put, this term expresses the feeling of motion in the surface of the vehicle even when the TL is at rest. The body uses artfully crafted character lines that divide the TL's sides into lower, middle and upper areas, with each catching the light differently while presenting a dynamic and strong athletic shape. As well, the character lines lead the eye along the body side from front to rear, enticing the viewer to take in the whole car and explore and discover its many design details.

One intriguing detail is the Acura signature grille, whose platinum-like finisher appears to be cut from solid billet that "floats" in front of the car. Beneath the finisher is a diamond-pattern black grille opening that adds an aggressive sports-car look. A satin grille surround further accentuates the opening. Below the bumper, two large openings on the front fascia house fog lamps, turn signals (and on the SH-AWD® model) functional front brake cooling ducts. The TL is the third sedan in the Acura lineup to receive the Acura signature grille, after the TSX and RL.

Aggressive front wheel arches and dramatic character lines set a confident and muscular tone for the TL's body side. In addition, the headlight and taillight arrays, which sweep aggressively around each corner of the body, further add character. Below the taillight array are large red reflectors that add style as well as safety. Below the trunk lid is a satin finisher with stylized cues echoing the front finisher.

Acura TL Exterior Features:

  • HID low-beam headlights and halogen high-beam headlights

  • Auto-on/off headlights with integrated daytime running lights (DRL)

  • Front fog lamps

  • 17x8-inch aluminum wheels

  • Bridgestone Turanza EL400 P245/50R17 M+S tires

  • Power tilt/slide moonroof

  • Power windows, door locks and heated outside mirrors with Reverse gear tilt-down function

  • Auto up/down front windows with auto-reverse and key-off operation

  • In-glass radio antenna

  • Dual exhaust finishers

Technology Package Exterior Features:

  • Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/50R17 M+S tires

  • Keyless Access System (with smart entry and pushbutton ignition)

  • Chrome accented door handles

  • Rear trunk-lid spoiler with integrated rearview camera

Available Exterior Features for TL with the Technology Package:

  • 18x8-inch aluminum wheels

  • Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/45R18 M+S tires

SH-AWD® Exterior Features

  • 18x8-inch aluminum wheels

  • Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 P245/45R18 M+S tires

  • Front brake cooling ducts

  • SH-AWD® trunk emblem

  • Quad exhaust finishers

Available Exterior Features for TL SH-AWD® with the Technology Package:

  • 19x8-inch aluminum wheels

  • Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40ZR19 (summer tires)


Despite its larger size and higher overall content level, the 2011 Acura TL increases just 85 pounds in curb weight compared to the last generation TL. Part of the reason for the minimal increase in weight is due to the widespread use of high-strength steel in key structural areas, lightweight (yet high-strength) hot-stamped steel for the B-pillars and doorsills, as well as the use of aluminum for the construction of the hood, front suspension subframe, rear suspension knuckles and steering hanger beam. A total of 51.7 pounds is saved by the use of aluminum body components.


The TL is the second Acura (after the TSX) to use an advanced unit-body frame rail system. With this system, the stamped steel frame rails are positioned above and inside the body structure floor (rather than underneath it) to create a nearly flat body underside. This design results in improved structural strength for safety, reduced interior noise from turbulent air flowing underneath the car, better aerodynamic efficiency for improved fuel mileage and more interior space.


Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) represents a groundbreaking change in the way Acura unit-bodies are constructed. Now a standard feature on every new Acura, ACE™ is an exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes. The ACE™ design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash.

Another important ACE™ characteristic is how it allows the TL to better interface with significantly larger or smaller vehicles during a frontal collision, further protecting both the TL passengers as well as passengers in the other vehicle.


The 2011 TL has widespread use of high-strength sheet steel, which provides benefits in ride, handling and overall durability. The TL uses five different types of high-strength steel, including ultra high-strength hot-stamp steel that is heated before it is stamped into shape for the front unit-body rails, doorsills, B-pillar and side roof rails. A total of 47.6-percent of the steel used in the TL is high-strength steel. Hot-stamp steel and 980 grade high-strength steel (two premium types of steel) are used in the TL for the first time.


The 2011 Acura TL is 15-percent more rigid overall than its predecessor in key areas, which directly improves handling agility, ride quality, interior quietness and overall durability. Specific rigidity advancements include:

  • 41-percent greater rear vertical rigidity

  • 17-percent greater front lateral rigidity


Aluminum front and rear bumper beams help the TL meet the most rigid crash test standards, while also helping to reduce vehicle mass for improved performance and fuel economy. In front, the bumper beam is tied into an ACE™ beam structure to help equalize the height disparity between large and small cars, resulting in better attenuation of crash energy during a frontal collision. Stylized plastic bumper fascias are an integral part of the TL styling and are rated to withstand 2.5-mph front and rear impacts without substantial damage.

The TL SH-AWD® receives a unique front bumper fascia that incorporates special vent openings and ducts used to better cool the front disc brakes. In addition, the TL SH-AWD® employs the 3.7L V-6's dual-exhaust system capped with quad stainless-steel tips (the TL with 3.5-liter V-6 uses dual exhaust tips).


The 2011 TL has Xenon high intensity discharge (HID) projector-style low-beam headlights as standard equipment. The primary operational benefit of projector headlights is a bright and precisely focused light beam for confident nighttime driving, but they also provide an aggressive and technical appearance. Halogen high beams are mounted inboard of the projector beams, and offer further nighttime driving confidence with a crisp, bright and focused light beam. The halogen high-beams serve double duty as the daytime running lights (DRL) by operating at a lower voltage.

The headlight arrays are protected by flush impact-resistant covers that blend sleekly into the TL's front fascia, hood and fenders, and include wraparound amber side reflectors that are visible from both the front and sides of the vehicle. Fog lamps are integrated into an opening below the front bumper that also includes air inlet ducts for additional front brake cooling on the SH-AWD® model. LED lighting is used for the taillights, center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) and the outside mirror-mounted auxiliary turn signals.


Standard on the TL are 17x8-inch cast aluminum wheels with 10 crisply designed spokes, a silver paint finish and black Acura emblem showcased in a composite center cap. Available for the TL with Technology Package is an 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheel. The TL SH-AWD® features as standard 18x8-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels finished in a silver finish with a premium spun-aluminum center cap replete with black Acura emblem. Available for the TL SH-AWD® with the Technology Package are 19x8-inch aluminum wheels featuring a 10-spoke design finished in silver with a spun-aluminum center cap and a chrome Acura emblem.


The TL comes standard with a power moonroof that tilts or slides via a one-touch control. To tilt or slide the moonroof fully open or closed, simply press the ceiling-mounted switch once (rather than pushing for several seconds). Partially opening or closing the moonroof to achieve partial ventilation simply requires a lighter touch. A built-in auto-reverse system helps ensure that the moonroof will not close if a hand or arm is in the way. If an obstruction is detected, the moonroof mechanism is designed to automatically reopen the moonroof.


Special acoustic glass is used on the TL windshield to help reduce wind noise. Tuned specifically to attenuate wind-noise frequencies, the windshield uses two layers of 2 mm safety glass with an in-between layer of a transparent elastic acoustic membrane for a total thickness of 4.5 mm. The acoustic windshield (in conjunction with 5 mm thick side windows) helps position the TL at the top of its class in wind-noise performance. The windshield (like the side windows and 3.1 mm thick rear window) is UV light absorbing.

Windshield Wipers

The TL's windshield wipers nest below the hood line, where they are out of the driver's line of sight and away from the direct airflow that can cause turbulence, aerodynamic drag and noise. The driver side wiper measures 25.5 inches in length to clean a broad section of the windshield, while the passenger-side wiper measures 18.7 inches long. A 2.5-liter capacity windshield-washer system helps clear dirt from the windshield if necessary.


Above the beltline of the TL, the side windows are surrounded by luxurious stainless steel trim. Showing the level of detail that has gone into the TL, its surface shape is slightly concave, which helps eliminate "hot spots" in the reflection caused by direct sunlight. Additional stainless trim along the roofline joins the windshield, roof and rear window together in one smoothly flowing curve. This roofline trim finishes dramatically in the form of a mini bulkhead along each side of the subtly recessed window. The treatment does not impede outward visibility but rather creates a look of strength and solidity at the rear of the TL. So too does a subtle "negative break" running from front to rear along the trunk lid. Matching the pronounced break at the front of the car, the bisected trunk lid and the matching rear bumper and fascia further define the TL as a strong, aggressive sport sedan.


All of the vertical roof pillars and two areas of the front unit-body bulkhead are filled with closed-cell expansion foam that significantly reduces the transmission of road noise from the lower part of the unit-body up into the passenger compartment. The foam is installed prior to the unit body's assembly and welding process, and it expands to tightly fit the pillar openings when the body is later baked after the electro deposition of protective coatings.


The TL has power windows as standard equipment, including a one-touch auto up/down feature that simplifies the lowering or raising process for the driver and front passenger-side windows. As with the power tilt and slide moonroof, the driver and front passenger-side power windows include an auto-reverse feature, and all four windows (as well as the moonroof) may be opened via the TL's Keyless Access Remote. Turning the key twice in the driver's door lock or pressing and holding the lock button on the remote Keyless Access Remote simultaneously closes the windows and moonroof.

Side glass
To help reduce wind and road noise, the TL features 5 mm thick glass for all four side windows. The added thickness (beyond that of typical auto glass) provides an acoustic barrier that makes the interior more quiet and luxurious.


The broad door handles are formed to comfortably fit a wide range of hand sizes as well as to accommodate gloved hands in winter driving conditions. The handles feature painted surfaces on the base TL and a painted and chromed finish on the TL with Technology Package. The TL with Technology Package uses a Keyless Access System that unlocks the driver's door or all doors (programmable as the owner wishes) when grabbing either the driver or front passenger door handle. A button located on the driver's door handle locks all doors with a light touch— and a reassuring audible tone confirms that the vehicle is indeed locked. An emergency lock cylinder, located on the rear edge the driver's door handle, permits locking/unlocking the vehicle in the event the battery becomes discharged.


Satin door sill plates with aluminum garnish greet the driver and front passenger when the front doors are opened. Centered in a durable black composite surround, the metal door sill plates feature the Acura logo. In addition, dual 360-degree seals in all four door openings provide outstanding sealing capability to help keep wind, road and traffic noise, water and dirt out of the interior.


Aerodynamically shaped power-adjustable outside mirrors make use of special tinted glass that reduces glare. Mounted flush with the mirror nacelle are bright LED turn-signals that provide an extra margin of visibility in traffic— without interrupting the TL's dramatic bodylines. In addition, the side mirrors are heated and memory linked to driver preference.


The Acura TL uses an electric fuel-filler door release system. Instead of a traditional floor-mounted cable release, the TL's fuel-filler door opens with a push of a button located on the driver's door next to the trunk-release button. When the button is pushed the filler door pops open 1.2 inches and is then held open by a secondary spring.


A large array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) serves as the taillights on the TL. Used here as well as in the turn signals located in the outside mirrors and Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL), the LEDs illuminate almost instantly, provide exceptionally high-visibility lighting and draw less energy than comparable incandescent bulbs. The LEDs also provide a highly technical look that compliments the TL body design and have a far longer service life.


Included in the available Technology Package is a rear spoiler that contains a trunk release touch button as well as a rearview camera that displays an image on the full VGA navigation screen when the transmission is shifted to Reverse. The composite spoiler is painted body color and smoothly integrated into the bodylines.


Bright finish stainless-steel dual exhaust tips give the TL a powerful presence when viewed from the rear. The 3.7-liter SH-AWD® model takes this look even further with quad exhausts featuring twin "D" shaped outlets that deliver visual strength and appeal to the rear of the vehicle.


Fuel capacity on the 2011 TL is 18.5 gallons— a volume that helps deliver an excellent cruising range between fill-ups. Manufactured of high-density polypropylene resin, the tank is also located farther forward than in the past, helping to improve mass centralization for better ride and handling.


Further reducing wind noise inside the TL was essential to making the vehicle a top performer in the premium sport sedan market. Designers employed many different strategies, including the use of an acoustic glass windshield, thicker side glass, special insulators, and precise aerodynamic tailoring of the body and the vehicle's underside. The result is that the TL more smoothly moves through the air, benefiting interior quietness and fuel economy.

The underside of the TL has significant aerodynamic advancements. At the front of the vehicle, a precisely shaped deflector directs part of the airflow from underneath the front fascia and up through the radiator to provide a steady supply of cooling air at speed. The aerodynamic tailoring continues with another deflector that guides remaining airflow smoothly underneath the engine. Racecar-inspired deflectors located ahead of the front tires also help steer air around them more efficiently.

The inside frame rails (described in the Body section) allow air to flow more smoothly underneath the car. The TL also has a mid-floor cover that smoothly transitions air from the underside of the body to the underside of the fuel tank. The dual muffler undersides are flat, and the vehicle's underbody is also coated with a sound-absorbing coating.


The Acura TL offers a generous 13.1 cu. ft. of storage volume while the SH-AWD® model has 12.5 cu. ft. of storage (due to the space requirements of the SH-AWD® rear differential). The TL's trunk is spacious enough to hold four golf bags, four 22-in. Pullman-style suitcases or a family-sized cooler.

When equipped with the Technology Package, the Keyless Access System allows the trunk to be opened by simply pressing a "smart button" located on the rear spoiler. As long as the remote transponder is in their possession, the TL's Keyless Access System will recognize the presence of the driver and allow the trunk to be opened.

Fully Lined Trunk
The trunk is fully lined to protect the cargo as well as for improved visual appeal. The trunk has a highly finished overall appearance thanks to a spring-loaded cover that hides the latch striker, a convenient strap for lifting the spare-tire cover, a neatly finished edge to the trunk lining material and hidden trunk lid hinges.

Underneath the trunk floor is a T135/80D17 temporary spare tire mounted on a steel wheel, a jack, lug-nut wrench, and an eyelet that screws into a locating point on the front bumper in the event the TL ever needs to be transported on a flatbed truck. The trunk also features six anchor points for attaching a cargo net, along with a fold-down rear seat pass-through to accommodate long items such as snow skis.


The 2011 Acura TL offers a total of eight available exterior colors— including four pearl colors and four metallic colors. Specifically chosen to mirror the TL's "emotion unleashed" character, the colors look particularly dramatic in bright sunlight, where the TL's strong character lines present different facets of the body to the light differently, creating a highly evocative and dynamic 3-D appearance. All exterior colors feature a durable, hard clear coat that resists damage from industrial pollution, acid rain and fog, as well as organic contaminants such as bird droppings. The exterior colors were selected to compliment the TL's four available interior colors including Ebony, Parchment, Taupe and Umber Tan.

Basque Red Pearl
Borealis Blue Pearl  
Crystal Black Pearl
Grigio Metallic
Palladium Metallic
Polished Metal Metallic
White Diamond Pearl
Mayan Bronze Metallic


A line of Acura Genuine Accessories was developed simultaneously with the TL to provide personalization for the Acura owner. Like all Acura Genuine Accessories, the TL accessories are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty if installed by the dealer at the time of original vehicle purchase.

  • 18-inch diameter aluminum wheel (chrome look)

  • 19-inch diameter aluminum wheel (chrome look)

  • 19-inch diameter aluminum wheel (polished)

  • Wheel locks

  • Front sport grille

  • Rear sport trim

  • Rear back-up sensors

  • Front spoiler

  • Side spoilers

  • Rear spoiler

  • Rear decklid spoiler

  • Side splash guards

  • Body side moldings

  • Door edge guards

  • Door edge film protection

  • Car cover

  • Front nosemask

  • Moonroof visor

  • Remote engine starter

  • Engine block heater (for winter use)

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