1998 Acura 3.2 and 2.5 TL -- Body
The body of the Acura TL has been designed and crafted to provide a spacious seating area, excellent visibility, and a quiet cabin free of road and wind noise, and to provide a rigid cell highly resistant to impact forces.
The top priority in creating the body was to impart a sense of luxury to all the mechanical and aesthetic aspects of the TL. To achieve this, the engineers examined every feature of the body and optimized it for function, ease of use, or simply a more pleasing appearance.
In keeping with the sense of luxury and refinement, the designers and stylists created a body of subtle beauty that states its case with authority but doesn't scream its purpose. The shape is classically Acura, with a low sloping hood, large greenhouse, rear quarters properly proportioned and integrated into the design of the front, and a wide, muscular stance.
From the windshield back, both TL models share identical exterior body panels. They differ only in front fenders, hood and grille. The 3.2TL has a grille with vertical strakes while the 2.5TL has horizontal strakes.
PRECISE FIT AND FINISH
To enhance the look and feel of the TL, its body panels were designed to have very narrow gaps and a flush fit between adjacent body panels. The fit between glass and metal has also been kept to a minimum.
GAS-FILLED HOOD DAMPERS
To ease the opening and closing of the 3.2TL hood, the engineers chose to apply gas-filled dampers. These reduce the effort required to operate the hood by imparting the force stored in the compressed gas in the dampers. The initial force required to open the hood is reduced by approximately 50%. When the hood opens to 20 degrees it continues to open automatically.
ALUMINUM BUMPER BEAM
In order to reduce weight and facilitate recycling at the end of the vehicle's service life, body engineers specified an aluminum front bumper beam for the 2.5TL instead of a plastic beam. The aluminum beam also saves over 2 kg compared to a conventional tubular steel beam.
PLASTIC MOULDING DOOR CHECKER
The attention to detail is evident in even small operating systems. For example, body engineers developed a new door checker system. The new system uses a plastic moulding over the door check strap. The moulding has a thicker cross section than the type previously used in Acura automobiles. In addition to enhancing the feel, the new system is also quieter in operation.
The large greenhouse contributes to a spacious feeling for the occupants and also provides excellent visibility for enhanced safety. Visibility was optimized by using slim but rigid pillars, by providing a low sloping hood and a low beltline, and by providing an ideal location for the driver's H-point.
Both TL models have a total visibility of 307 degrees.
In order to minimize heat absorption into the passenger cabin, the TL uses newly developed heat-rejecting, green-tinted glass. This glass is specially formulated to reject radiant heat by deflecting infrared and ultraviolet rays. This new type of glass performs significantly better than conventional blue-tinted glass in keeping the interior cooler.
To enhance the cargo carrying capacity, the TL features a large trunk with a low liftover height. To increase the versatility and utility of the TL, the trunk has been equipped with a storage pocket on the right side of the trunk. It can hold small items, keeping them secure while the car is in motion. A trunk pass-through hatch also allows the storage of long items such as snow skis.