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Old 19 Mar 2008, 02:00 pm
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default 2009 Acura TSX - Body

Torrance, Calif. - Mar 19 —


The 2009 TSX reflects and reinforces Acura's advanced design direction. Forceful and muscular but at the same time sleek and elegant, the styling clearly sets the tone for the new TSX's driving dynamics - agile and invigorating for performance oriented drivers, and quiet and comfortable for those with luxury intentions. The new model introduces several body advancements and improvements, including:

Firsts for TSX model

  • Dual balance shafts

  • Direct ignition system

  • Larger body width (72.4 in.)

  • Slimmer A-pillars

  • Auto up/down front passenger window

  • Reverse-linked passenger-side door mirror

  • Widest trunk opening and lowest trunk lift-over height

Firsts for Acura Division

  • Inside frame rails

  • Closed-channel cross-braced roof structure


The 2009 Acura TSX body design represents a new direction in Acura styling. The TSX was styled in Acura's Wako design studio (located just outside Tokyo) and is assembled at the Sayama Factory in Japan. With a wider body that provides more agile handling and greater interior roominess - along with a lower seating position - the new TSX aims to be the best handling front-wheel-drive vehicle in its segment.

Inside, the new TSX is significantly quieter and more refined than the previous-generation TSX and its European competitors. Advanced aerodynamic treatments such as inside frame rails, underbody air deflectors, and a chiseled aerodynamic body shape help the TSX move through the atmosphere with a minimum of drag - thereby reducing fuel usage and lowering emissions, while enhancing quietness and high-speed dynamic stability.

Carefully styled to provide equal measures of aggressiveness and luxury, the 2009 TSX reestablishes the previous model's relationship with image-seeking successful educated young professionals. The TSX's dynamic styling is designed to appeal to a wide range of customers. These customers are active, regularly hitting the gym and participating in outdoor activities. Thus, they want a vehicle that reflects their passion for performance and athleticism while also supporting their active social lifestyle with roomy, comfortable seating for five and ample storage space.


The 2009 TSX represents the second generation for Acura's entry-level sedan. In evolving the first-generation vehicle into the new TSX, Acura designers sought to retain its crisp, dynamic design elements and enhance them by projecting the wheels outwards to achieve more muscular and distinctive cues to create a keen-edged sports sedan. The key focal point for designers was to create an aerodynamic design that evokes both emotion and tension with a decisively sporty flair - as if a solid piece of billet material was shaped with a sharp knife.

In front, the strong grille is new for Acura, and advances the strong, emphatic appearance that the current design direction of Acura vehicles. Inside the grille's bold, chamfered chromed surround trim is a satin-black parallelogram "honeycomb" mesh that adds a look of power and performance. The headlight arrays, containing reflectors on the outside edges, piercing projector-style low-beam headlights, and sculpted halogen high-beam headlights, all reside behind a smooth contoured lens. Standard fog lamps are located in the outer edges of the front fascia.

Sharp contour lines run alongside the body and connect the front and rear of the new car together in a strong, windswept line that promises both agility and performance. Bold wheel arches that frame the big 5-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels and 50-series tires emphasize strength and muscularity. Chrome door handles and chrome trim surrounding the side windows adds a look of substance and quality.

In back, sculptured taillights compliment large turn signals at the outside edges of the trunk lid. Twin reflectors are low-mounted on the rear fascia near the 3.2-inch diameter exhaust finishers.


The body width for the 2009 TSX is a full three inches wider than was the previous-generation model. This increase, along with the 2.6-inch wider track and the 1.4-inch longer wheelbase, considerably improves interior roominess. There's a dynamic upside to the wider track: enhanced handling agility and stability. The seating position is also 0.4-inch lower than in the previous generation TSX, helping to create a sportier driving experience.

2009 Acura TSX
2008 Acura TSX
Overall length, in. 186.1 183.7 +2.4
Overall width, in. 72.4 69.4 +3.0
Overall height, in. 56.7 57.3 -0.6
Wheelbase, in. 106.4 105.1 +1.3
Track, F/R, in. 62.2/62.2 59.6/59.6 +2.6
Interior volume, EPA, cu. ft. 107.1 104.1 +3.0
Passenger volume, EPA, cu. ft. 94.5 90.9 +3.6
Trunk volume, EPA, cu. ft. (w/Navi) 12.6 13.2 -0.6
Wheels, in. 17x7.5 17x7
Tires P225/50R17 Michelin

Pilot HX MXM4 M+S
P215/50R17 Michelin Pilot



To improve the field of view for the driver, the 2009 TSX has thinner A-pillars, which permit a broader field of forward view without compromising structural strength. While a robust interior structure helps ensure the necessary structural rigidity, at 4.2 inches wide in their interior dimension, the new pillars are an inch narrower than the previous TSX A-pillars. The outside of the pillar is just slightly (2 mm) wider than before at about 2.9 inches wide. Importantly, the difference in the inner dimension means that from the driver's point of view, the overall width of the pillar is now 0.9 inches thinner. This change in A-pillar width increases outside visibility by a significant 4.3 degrees overall and becomes one of the best in class for outward frontal field of view.


In another important first for the Acura division, the 2009 TSX uses a strengthened roof section designed to significantly reduce flexing and vibration, resulting in less noise in the passenger compartment. Whereas the roof section on the previous TSX used open-channel stiffeners, the new TSX's roof section uses two closed-channel crossbeams that help create a structure that is highly resistant to flexing and vibration.

The installation method of the roof structure is also revised. With the previous TSX, the roof panel and its open-channel stiffeners were welded onto the rest of the unit body as a unit. For the 2009 TSX, the new roof frame assembly is first welded in place without the roof panel, allowing full access to the ideal welding locations. The roof panel itself is then attached. This process creates stronger joints and a stiffer overall roof and body structure - 35 percent greater rigidity in front and 20 percent greater rigidity in back. The end result for the TSX owner is markedly decreased noise and vibration inside the car.


The 2009 TSX's internal frame rail system is a first for Acura. By positioning the stamped steel frame rails above the floor of the passenger compartment - instead of below it - the bottom of the vehicle can be made much flatter. The result is lower aerodynamic turbulence and drag, a quieter ride at highway speeds, and enhanced crash safety (please see Safety section).


A new circular-type rear bulkhead structure significantly improves structural rigidity of the rear area of the passenger compartment, measurably reducing noise and vibration experienced by passengers.


Careful attention to airflow management helps increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve stability at higher speeds and in crosswinds. Visible elements of the aerodynamically efficient body design include flush headlights, hidden windshield wipers, flush side and rear glass, and a tail that cuts off airflow abruptly instead of inducing drag. The aero improvements continue under the vehicle with a series of plastic moldings that redirect air to reduce turbulence underneath the car.

Underbody aerodynamic aids include:

  • A short, wide wickerbill underneath the front fascia that helps separate the airflow and allows it to move underneath the engine and transmission assembly with the least drag.

  • A large aluminum and plastic undercover that further improves airflow beneath the engine and transmission.

  • A pair of deeper, separate air "strakes" located in front of the front tires to help air flow efficiently around the tires.

  • A pair of covers located in front of the rear suspension subframe that help improve airflow.


The 2009 TSX make use of extensive insulation features to reduce the interior sound level. Four separate strategies are employed:

  • A thorough insulation package including melt sheet is applied to lower unit body areas.

  • The floor carpet provides sound absorption and insulation to markedly reduce road noise in the passenger compartment.

  • Floating front and rear suspension subframes are rubber mounted to reduce road and suspension noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

  • A, B and C-pillar separators (see below) are also used.


In vehicles, generally the A, B and C-pillars that extend vertically from the floor of the vehicle to the roofline are hollow, which can transmit road and wind noise into the passenger compartment. In a first for Acura, with the 2009 TSX these pillars are sealed internally, dramatically reducing the transmission of noise and vibration.


A comprehensive series of features dramatically reduces audible wind noise inside the TSX - even at higher speeds or in windy conditions.

Wind noise reduction measures include:

  • Inside frame rail system positions structural frame rails above the floor rather than below it. This smoothes the bottom of the vehicle for reduced air turbulence.

  • A series of underbody fairings controls airflow underneath the car and around the front and rear tires.

  • Windshield wipers and arms are positioned below the hood line.

  • Flush window and moonroof moldings reduce air turbulence.

  • Exterior mirror housings are aerodynamically shaped to further reduce turbulence.


The TSX uses projector-style Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) low beam headlights and 60-watt halogen high beams, plus a bright incandescent taillight array and bright Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL). Bumper-integrated fog lamps are standard and bright backup lights are incorporated into the edges of the trunk lid.


A range of new exterior colors (including a choice of four pearl and four metallic colors) are designed to compliment the TSX's new styling. Body colors are applied with a waterborne paint process to reduce environmental impact and waste.

Basque Red Pearl Crystal Black Pearl Premium White Pearl Vortex Blue Pearl Glacier Blue Metallic Grigio Metallic Palladium Metallic Polished Metal Metallic
Ebony leather interior X X X X X X X X
Taupe leather interior

Parchment leather interior X X X


The 2009 TSX features a power sliding moonroof that provides more open area than that of the previous generation TSX. Flush mounted to reduce wind noise, it also features an inner panel that further reduces noise from entering the passenger compartment when the moonroof is closed. A pop-up wind deflector reduces turbulence and noise when the moonroof is open.

For ease of operation, a one-touch switch is now located ahead of the moonroof on the ceiling, instead of located near the driver's door as in the previous TSX. The switch controls open/close as well as tilt functions. The moonroof also features an auto-reverse, anti-pinch feature for safety and may be operated after the ignition is turned off (until the driver's door is opened).


In the 2009 TSX, both the driver and passenger-side front power windows now have an auto up/down feature. With one light touch of the window switch the windows will either lower all the way or rise all the way. A pinch-protection feature reduces the likelihood of injury in the event that a passenger's hand or arm is extended out the window while it is closing.


For the first time on the Acura TSX, the passenger's power exterior rearview mirror features a reverse gear tilt-down feature. At the driver's discretion (the feature may be switched off), when Reverse gear is engaged, the passenger side mirror automatically tilts downward to provide an improved view of curbs or painted lines. The mirrors are also heated to improve rear visibility in foggy or icy conditions, and feature a special blue tint to reduce glare. The mirror housings are redesigned and incorporate turn indicators at the outer edges of the housings.


In another first for Acura, the 2009 TSX's fuel-filler door locks and unlocks automatically along with the doors. By eliminating the need to reach for the traditional floor-mounted cable release, the new system simplifies the process of refueling the car. As long as the driver's door is unlocked, opening the fuel-filler door is as simple as gently pushing on the rear edge of the door to release its latch. Latching the door closed requires only a gentle push.


All exterior window glass on the 2009 TSX, including the laminated front windshield, safety-glass side and rear windows, have a special UV-resistant coating that helps reduce interior temperatures, lessens glare, and helps protect the leather and other surfaces inside the vehicle from fading.


To provide a more finished interior appearance, an attractive metal garnish covers the inside edges of front and rear door ends except for the door latch (and the child safety locks on the rear doors). This improves the visual appeal of the doors when they are open.


Despite the slightly reduced trunk cargo volume (of 12.6 cu. ft. is slightly reduced from 13.2 cu. ft. in the previous-generation TSX when equipped with navigation system), utility is improved with a larger trunk opening (measured front to rear). The wider opening and reduced lift-over height (3.1 inches lower at 26.7 in.) make loading bulky or heavy items significantly easier.

More widely spaced trunk lid hinges provide greater clearance, and when closed, the hinges disappear into slots in the finished trunk lining and do not intrude on cargo space. Plus, the hidden hinge design improves trunk aesthetics and gives a more high-quality feel. The fully lined and illuminated trunk can accommodate a wide range of cargo, including four golf bags or four Pullman cases.

The trunk lid can be opened anytime the doors are unlocked by pressing a hidden electric switch located on the rear fascia, via a switch in the driver's door panel, or with the ignition key remote.

Trunk Opener

The TSX's trunk latch may be unlatched with the remote transmitter built into the folding ignition key, via a pushbutton on the rear fascia when the doors are unlocked or by pushing a button on the driver's inside door panel. The door-mounted release button replaces the floor-mounted cable release in the previous TSX, improving convenience and simplicity at the same time. An emergency cable release is still available in case the TSX battery should ever run down.
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