Acura has released more official information on the all-new, 2009 Acura TSX, which debuts next month at the New York auto show and goes on sale at the end of April. The 2009 TSX does not change radically from the old; it's still a front-wheel-drive, compact sedan powered by a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Turbo fans who hoped Acura would install the turbocharged four-cylinder engine from its small crossover, the RDX, in the 2009 Acura TSX sedan will be disappointed. The engine's intercooler would not fit under the TSX's streamlined hood, and it would have added weight, complexity, and cost to the car.
Instead, Acura appears to have concentrated on refining what was already a very successful formula. Acura says that the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will provide better midrange performance, especially when blasting out of corners, thanks to a higher compression ratio, revised valve timing, and tweaks to intake and exhaust. Power is up to 201 hp, and torque is 172 lb-ft (with manual transmission). Fuel economy is expected to be 21/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined, with the five-speed automatic transmission; ratings fall slightly with the 6-speed manual transmission).
The real TSX powertrain story is yet to come: within a year, Acura will become the first Japanese automaker to offer a diesel engine in the United States, when it introduces the European-market Honda Accord's 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel. This engine will meet 50-state emissions standards without the use of urea-injection, Acura insiders claim, through an advanced catalyst. The engine makes 148 hp and (more importantly) 258 lb-ft of torque in the Accord.
The 2009 Acura TSX is still a tidily proportioned car, but it's some 3 inches wider than its predecessor, with a 2.6-inch-wider track and a 1.3-inch-longer wheelbase. Overall length is up marginally, 2.4 inches. Acura claims that the wider track and new dual-mode suspension dampers make for better handling.
In terms of styling, the TSX has the same muscular, angular lines that we've seen in other Acura products, most recently in the face-lifted RL that debuted at the Chicago auto show. The prow-style grille, specifically, adheres to the new Acura family look.
Inside the 2009 Acura TSX, you'll find evidence of Acura's desire to provide TSX buyers, 50% of whom historically have been women, with the opportunity to have all the same goodies you can get in Acura's other products. Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 7-speaker CD stereo are standard. The optional technology package includes a navigation system with traffic and weather reports and traffic re-routing. And, of course, the Panasonic-engineered, ten-speaker surround sound ELS stereo system that debuted several years ago in the TL is also part of the technology package.
Acura has not yet announced pricing for the 2009 Acura TSX, but we would expect them to roughly mirror those of the outgoing car and to range from about $29,000 to the mid-$30,000s.