[home][rumors and news][model release matrix][dealer network][desktop calendar][exhaust notes][tov forums][links][search][sponsors][garage][login]

Tire Rack Upgrade Garage
 Search for a Dealer:
 Canadian Flag US Flag
 Honda Acura
 ZIP  
Acura
There are currently no active Acura promotions
Honda
There are currently no active Honda promotions
First impressions and some background info on the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype
More.......................
2019 Acura RDX Prototype Debuts with Evocative Styling, Higher Performance, New Tech and Luxury Appo
More.......................
Live from Detroit! 2019 Acura RDX Reveal
More.......................
Honda releases more information on the 2019 Insight
More.......................
American Honda Sets 3rd Straight Annual Sales Record with Best-Ever December
More.......................
HONDATA Dyno Test: 2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT
More.......................
All-new Acura RDX Prototype Teased Ahead of Detroit World Debut
More.......................
Honda Takes New Approach with Insight Prototype Debuting at 2018 NAIAS
More.......................
Civic --> Re: Just bought a new 2017 Si Sedan!
Join Discussion......
ILX --> Re: 2019 ILX - FMC?
Join Discussion......
Strictly Technical --> Re: Acura V6 Turbo Engine
Join Discussion......
RDX --> Re: 3rd Generation Acura RDX Reviews
Join Discussion......
Classifieds: Buy & Sell --> FLASHPRO FOR ACCORD V6 6 speed Manual 2013-2015
Join Discussion......
Civic --> Re: Civic Si, $199 lease offer
Join Discussion......
Type R --> Re: Snow White
Join Discussion......
Civic --> Re: Finally Drove a New Civic
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Midsize market dominoes starting to fall
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Honda's downfall in Europe continues :(
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: First 1st? McRenault or ToroHonda?
Join Discussion......
NSX --> Re: NSX vs Tesla Model S P100D
Join Discussion......
CR-V --> Re: Switch Between Imperial And Metric?
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> BAT payment for vtec.net?
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Honda adding CR-V production to Marysville
Join Discussion......
Jump to:
article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories TL
Create Date September 26, 2008 03:01
Last Update October 15, 2008 17:08
Impressing TOV 101: TRACK TIME!

If you're reading this, you've probably already seen our early assessment of the 2009 Acura TL, which we drove back in July. During our first drive of the 2009 TL, we were clued in by Acura staffers that an event involving the 2010 Acura TL would be taking place in September, and alas, they were right!

Given the reactions surrounding the 2009 TL thus far, it would seem that Acura has an interest in maintaining the mind share of enthusiasts, and that's probably a key reason why Acura was keen to show off their very early prototypes of the 2010 TL. These cars won't be hitting showrooms for another full year, but Acura is hopeful that this early look will persuade potential buyers to hold tight.

According to Acura's market research figures, somewhere around 5% of '04-'08 TL buyers have opted for the 6MT TL. That contrasts to an overall 25% take rate for BMW models. 5% seems like a small number, but let's be realistic. In the past, the TL's FF platform has been a major limiting factor in terms of driving enjoyment. The TL has always been competitive with its peers (a recent major magazine test pitting the FWD TL Type-S against the G35 and Lexus IS350 at Willow Springs had the TL turning faster laptimes than its rear-wheel-drive competitors), but subjectively the characteristics of the FWD layout have detracted from the overall driving experience.

What's New?
Since the 2004 model year, the TL has offered a 6-speed manual transmission. This has always been a bit of a give and take affair. The gear ratios of the TL's speed manual transmission offered a tremendous benefit in terms of outright scoot. On top of that, 6MT models were exclusively equipped with a limited slip differential and Brembo brakes. All of this meant that the 6MT TLs performed considerably better than their 5AT counterparts. On the flipside, the compromise involved a clutch and transmission that were never quite up to Honda's standards, and the levels of horsepower and torque that were coursing through the front wheels occasionally led to undesirable side effects.

SH-AWD is new to the 2009 TL, but it has been in the Acura lineup since debuting with the 2005 RL. To date, SH-AWD has never been paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, but that all changes next year when the 2010 TL goes on sale. This is huge news, because we've always felt that the benefits of SH-AWD have been blurred by the nature of automatic transmissions.

While the mere fact that SH-AWD is finally getting its due is reason enough to celebrate, we are ecstatic that the SH-AWD system was incompatible with the TL's existing 6-speed transmission. 'Why?', you might ask. We're ecstatic because this forced Acura to engineer a completely new transmission. While they were developing the new gearbox, they decided to do it right and eliminate the aggravating hitch that plagued the clutch takeup in the old 'box. The result is a gearbox and clutch that truly lives up to the very high standards that have been set by Honda.

In spirit, the only difference between the 5AT and 6MT TL SH-AWD models is the transmissions, but since the manual gearbox weighs 110lbs less than the slushbox, a number of other things have been tweaked. Spring and damper rates have been revised, as has the SH-AWD system's calibration. Where the 3rd generation 6MT model was "sported" up compared to the 5AT model, the changes in this case were intended to keep the 6MT closer in attitude to the 5AT model.

[Next Page]

reader's comments
Click Here to Submit Your Comments

Viewing Threshold (What is this?)

[fancy] [flat] [simple]
Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  Jeff, Draph94 & others
crx-man 46
  Road & Track Test of 6MT TL
MASTERNC 0
  Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
cgx 32
  A 335 driver's opinion
Draph94 5
  arm rest - does it slide forward?
mlody 1
  Sounds like 3rd gear snag is gone
CrystalFiveMT 9
  Why not now ??????
tropa2000 1
  Jeff - TL 6MT - why 12 months away?
nowakj66 9
  TL looking way better then all those cars...
Powered by Honda 2
  Given the (suprising) outcome of the TL SH-awd 6MT......
CivicB18 7
  Competitors by Size
sjava 5
  Engine braking with SH-AWD torque vectoring ?
ipribadi 0
  Good timing on the review
A.W.E.S.O.M. - O 10
  Accord 6MT
aznstuart 1
  J37 + SH-AWD + 6MT Coupe in the future...?
klui_188 2
  Tires
mcbrideorama 5
  Why no G35x with the 18" wheel sport package?
PINOCHET 2
  C-Class?
Waatdaehell 1
  jeff- two TLs...
HappaSaiyan 1
  They fixed the Transmission... Excellent.
LudegarH22A7 1
Jump to:
TOV Video: 2019 Acura RDX Walk-around with LPL Steve Hansen
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: 2018 North American International Auto Show
Read Article....................
2018 Acura RLX PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
TOV First Drive: 2018 Honda Accord
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Specifications and Features (FINAL)
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Hybrid PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
Contact TOV | Submit Your Article | Submit Your Link | Advertise | TOV Shop | Events | Our Sponsors | TOV Archives
Copyright © 2017 Velocitech Inc. All information contained herein remains the property of Velocitech Inc.
The Temple of VTEC is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. TOV Policies and Guidelines - Credits - Privacy Policy