With the addition of hybrids to the lineup, Acura dealers are expected to cheer up after having been disheartened over the cancellation of plans for V-8s and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Honda Motor Co.
CEO Takanobu Ito confirmed that the luxury brand will get hybrid variants. No time frame was given. It also wasn't disclosed which models will get the technology. An Acura dealer said that a hybrid version of the TSX sedan is planned for the 2011 model year and two other hybrid models will follow soon after.
In an interview conducted at the Detroit Auto Show, Ito said that Honda still has to complete development of a hybrid system for large vehicles.
John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co. executive vice president for auto sales, explained that the plan for Acura hybrids isn't a new one and that it isn't a result of losing the V-8 and rear-drive vehicles that had been promised to dealers at a national meeting two years ago.
Honda executives in Japan had an agreement to challenge top-tier luxury brands with V-8 and rear-drive models however; these plans were dropped due to the economic downturn that started in the fall of 2008.
Mendel did not provide further details but he did confirm that there will be more than one model getting a hybrid variant.
The new 2011 Acura TSX further continues the brand’s tradition of offering a wide array of user-relevant technology. For instance, the new TSX comes available with Technology Package that includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen that could generate 400-percent higher resolution, as well as a Song By Voice (SBV) user interface. The Technology Package also includes a 60-GB hard disk drive (HDD), with the ability to download 15 GB of personal music or equivalent to more than 3,500 songs.
For the 2011 model year, the new TSX also continues Acura’s tradition of offering a quiet interior. The new TSX boasts of lower levels of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), as made possible by employing a new acoustic glass front windshield, thicker floor mats, new underfloor covers and thicker side glass, as well as more extensive use of sound-deadening insulation.
Serving as the core of the 2011 TSX is any of the two powerful engines: a 2.4-literL inline four cylinder (TSX Sedan and TSX Sport Wagon) and a 3.5-liter V-6 (TSX Sedan only). Both engines have been upgraded to reduce internal operating friction, allowing them to consume less fuel. This means the city, highway and combined fuel economy ratings for TSX models powered by these upgraded engines are expected to be higher than before.
New automatic transmission programming allows the new TSX to offer Shift Hold Control functionality during cornering, while helping maximize the engine output. This new programming also allows the TSX to offer "smart shift" functionality, which enable semi-manual operation when in Drive mode. Likewise, the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic gearbox now comes with a fluid warmer that enhances shift quality and engine fuel economy especially in location experiencing colder climates.