2013 Acura TL gets Top Safety rating despite stricter rules

Article by Christian A., on December 20, 2012

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded Acura’s 2013 TL with a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating. This is considered as one of the highest ratings that the IIHS hands out. The award was obtained despite stricter standards set by the IIHS.

The guidelines now include the small overlap frontal crash test. This is a test designed to show the collision of a vehicle running at a certain speed and a fixed object, where 25% of the car’s front structure comes into contact with the object.

Aside from the TL model, the ILX, MDX, RDX, and TSX models have all received the TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings as well. All five models have also been rated GOOD in all four different rating categories.

The small overlap frontal crash test is a relatively new test and was included after a study found out that this type of crash comprised 25% of all frontal crashes that have led to either serious injuries or even death. The test looks into the effect of a car travelling at 40 mph as it collides with a utility pole, for instance.

The test looks into how strong the car’s cabin structure is since a slim portion of the car typically absorbs any energy that results from the crash. The TL is just one of two cars that have managed to get high ratings for this particular test. Acura’s dedication to safety is based on its commitment to make sure that safety is the primary concern in all of its models.

Acura is currently working on a new body structure which is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering II. What this does is reinforce the structure, particularly the front frame, in order to strengthen energy management during collisions.

Acura expects that once available, this will improve protection for the occupants ensuring a good rating from IIHS. Acura hopes to have this feature in the new models to be released next. All Acura models already have the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure.

This has already been proven to help with occupant safety by redistributing the energy during collisions. What happens is that it enables the force to the passenger side to be reduced. All Acura models come with the usual safety features.

At the back of the 2013 Acura TL, the rear bumper combines the opening of the relocated license plate and the rear reflectors with reduced size, while the redesigned taillights and thinner edge trim of the rear trunk enhance its sophisticated appearance. The 17 and 18-in aluminum wheels with a restyled central cap that features its embossed, chrome Acura ‘A’ badge also improve the exterior appearance.

To improve performance, all models of the TL come with the latest Sequential SportShift six-speed automatic transmission. Moreover, the car also incorporates engineering upgrades that are meant to maximize efficiency, with an athletic double-kickdown feature to allow the driver to operate a double downshift such as from Fourth to Second gear. In matching gear speeds during downshifts, the car activates its Drive-by-Wire throttle system in creating a “blip” in the throttle.

Moreover, the transmission combines with the modern multi-clutch torque converter that provides for lock-up activation in different driving circumstances to maximize fuel economy and efficiency. It also minimizes heat build-up when the driving. Because of this advanced system, a greater fuel economy is achieved at 20/29 miles per gallon (city/highway), a substantial increase of 3 mpg for its highway rating compared to the 2011 TL model. To enhance its efficiency further, the car’s 3.5-liter V6 engine utilizes a wide range of friction-reducing technologies while the restructured air inlet mechanism cools the air more efficiently for both the 3.7-liter and 3.5-liter engines.

In the past, the Acura TL SH all-wheel drive is the only model that utilized an external transmission cooler. Currently, all 2012 TL models are equipped with one to help especially when driving during the hot weather.

Press Release

2013 Acura TL Earns the New Highest IIHS Rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+

The 2013 Acura TL luxury performance sedan is among the first vehicles to receive the highest possible safety rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) under its more-stringent testing guidelines that now include the new small overlap frontal crash test. The IIHS’ small overlap frontal crash test is designed to simulate a collision between a vehicle and a fixed object, such as a tree or utility pole, where only 25 percent of the vehicle’s front structure is engaged by the opposing object.

In addition to the TL achieving TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating, four additional Acura vehicles have received TOP SAFETY PICK ratings from the IIHS. The Acura ILX, TSX, MDX and RDX have all earned the top rating of GOOD in all four rating areas, including the more rigorous roof-strength test.

The new IIHS small overlap frontal crash test involves a collision between a fixed five-foot-tall rigid barrier and a vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour. This frontal impact test focuses stress on a narrow section of the vehicle, outside of the side frame, which is typically the primary energy absorbing structure in frontal crashes, and requires a strong cabin structure. According to a 2009 study by the IIHS, small overlap crashes accounted for nearly 25 percent of frontal crashes resulting in a serious injury or fatality. The Acura TL was the first of two vehicles to achieve the highest rating of GOOD in the small overlap frontal crash test.

Acura's "Safety Through Innovation" initiative is based on the brand's commitment to make safety a top element in every new vehicle that Acura builds. As such, Acura is in the process of incorporating the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure to all fully redesigned models. This reinforced front frame structure provides further enhanced frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique crashes. The result of such efforts should increase occupant protection while also increasing the likelihood of achieving a GOOD rating in the IIHS new frontal small overlap crash testing, with new Acura model introductions moving forward. The all-new 2014 Acura RLX flagship sedan coming to market in early 2013 will be the first to utilize the next-generation ACE™ II body structure.

All models in the current Acura line up utilize the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. 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.

Standard safety equipment on all Acura models includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, ABS, dual-stage/multiple-threshold front airbags, front-side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

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