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Old 04-08-2008, 09:42 AM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default First Seen: Acura TL Type-S

In any community it's only a select few that bring something new to the masses. Whenever necessary, these individuals look beyond what's currently available to seek something different. Something unique that satisfies their needs. It's especially true in the USVI, where that few become even smaller due to the costs involved in seeking something not yet available otherwise. These individuals are trend setters. In general, they're the ones that others look up to- they have exacting standards and provide something new that others haven't seen. By and large this describes nearly all car enthusiasts- and certainly most people reading this. And yet very often these achievements go undocumented.

Enter StreetSeen. Via a couple new series of articles we'll be addressing that. The first series of which is called FirstSeen. FirstSeen aims to showcase the first of the new, hot cars to hit the island.

...Which brings us to this Acura TL Type-S. When our own ERD Model Chick wrote in letting us know what was coming, I knew we had our first car. So without further ado, making its first public appearance is St Croix's first Acura TL Type-S.

The Acura TL is a crucial car for Acura. Pricewise it competes in one of the most competitive segments today, the entry luxury segment. It goes head to head with the BMW 3 series, Lexus ES/IS, Infiniti's G35, Mercedes Benz's C-Class, Audi's A4, and Cadillac's CTS, among many others. Every aforementioned car in that list is excellent and if you're in the market, you can't go far wrong with any of them. The competition is that fierce. Consistently, the BMW 3 series tends to lead the segment though. Despite that, the Japanese have been doing very well. The Lexus ES/IS pair tend to match the 3 series, and the new Infiniti G35 has been received very well. Indeed, the 3 series remains Germany's last man standing, and the TL doesn't help matters any. In fact, it's one of the single best selling Japanese cars in the segment, winning many customers across the US year after year.

It's easy to see why. The car looks good inside and out. It's reliable and spacious. It rides comfortably. It provides solid handling, braking, and power all at the same time. It's been a home run for Acura, and a critical one since the RL hasn't been received well, and they backed out of the coupe segment by giving the CL and the type-S brands the ax. But just when everyone thought Honda was lost its courage to build sporting sedans, they announced the revival of the type-S.

This is not the TL A-Spec, which was basically a body kit with different wheels. This is a different animal with all the bits of the car tweaked and tuned toward the driving enthusiast. Mechanically the car receives a 286hp 3.5L V6 (up 28hp from the base's 258hp 3.2L V6), a six speed manual, and a fully retuned sport suspension. On the outside the TL-S is differentiated by smoked tail lights, quad exhaust pipes, an edgier front end, Brembo-sourced front brakes, and smoked gray 10-spoke wheels. The interior receives Type-S badging on the headrests, carbon trim, and red interior lighting- not just on the gauges but also ambient lighting.

Everything translates very well from paper to being in real life. The TL was always a good looking car, and this one is no exception. Having had the opportunity to drive the new car, I must say it drives very well too...

I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of front wheel drive sports cars, but credit should be given where its due: I can't see a front drive car feeling and handling much better on the road than this. In fact, I've seen tests where this car has turned in lap times equal to - if not better than- it's rear drive Infiniti G Sedan and Lexus IS350 rivals(!) On the road, the steering is very weighted and confident. Although I didn't drive the car anywhere near it's limits, through transitions on the road the car felt very planted. The steering is that good. My brief stint was enough to tell me that this car could be driven very quickly through turns without any worry.

The TL-S's engine delivers its power with a decisive smoothness. Like the suspension, this wasn't tested extensively either, but I will say that it's midrange felt at least as strong as a Nissan VQ35 powered car (Maxima) or Toyota 2GR-FSE powered sedan (Camry), if not stronger. In other words, it's quite capable.

Meanwhile the transmission is pure Honda, which means that it's among the world's best.

Pedal placement is a treat. Pedals are placed well and generously sized. The car responds fairly quickly and with a great deal of refinement- shift action is smooth. Gates are solid and well defined at all times. The throw is not long. Again, it's a classic Honda manual transmission and most manufacturers can't do better.

Reigning in all it's power are fixed caliper Brembo-sourced 4 piston brakes at front and sliding caliper brakes at rear. The brakes felt confident, and felt solid without being aggressive, so they fit into the package well. Like the steering and transmission, they are very competent. They also serve as an excellent starting point for upgrades...

The interior's world class. The leather is a notch up from its European counterparts in class (read: BMW). The gauges are finely done, functional and very detailed. The LCD screen is very visible in all light and looks good at the same time. The system reads MP3s as well as CD-Text, which means you can navigate your music collection by just touching what you want. But what's even better is the surround sound functionality: the system is capable of playing DVD-Audio and although that's not common these days, it can use Dolby technology to increase the depth of the music you give it. Very cool. From behind the wheel, everything works well. That's also because the car's very intelligent. For example, it detects where the sun is in the sky and uses the AC to try to compensate. It recognizes and welcomes the driver based on the key used. It's navigation system seems to even work here, and although it wants to protest from having been removed from the states, it can show intersections and roads right here on St Croix.

It's the sort of car you can comfortably drive quickly for a very long time if you need to. Honda did a great job with it...

So there you have it, the new Acura TL Type-S. Word on the street is that the owner intends on modding this car away, and that she's even contemplated taking it to the track. So there's a lot more to come from this car. Bigups to our own ERD Model Chick for this opportunity.

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Old 04-08-2008, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: First Seen: Acura TL Type-S

Damn!!! that's hot!!!
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:41 AM
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mentally mentally is offline
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Location: St. Croix U.S.V.I. on MIND in deh GUTTER street........GOING H.A.M
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Default Re: First Seen: Acura TL Type-S

das teh niceness
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: First Seen: Acura TL Type-S

Very cool. I look forward to the modded version
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