2007 Acura TL - Body

OVERVIEW

For 2007, the Acura TL's exterior has been updated to enhance its emotional and athletic impact. With the introduction of the Type-S, visual cues were incorporated to distinguish it from other TLs. All the updates were done while maintaining the high build quality, durability and resale value that Acura buyers expect.

DESIGN CONCEPT

The TL was designed to embody aggressiveness and power, agility and endurance. Designers began with the stance of the vehicle-how it looks and sits on its suspension. They worked towards a look of poise, with a promise of agility and power. The contrast of muscular tension and angular lines flows through the sheet metal, with its long wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs and wide track setting the tone.

The 2004 TL design team were, in part, influenced by "Bauhaus" styling themes. Founded in 1919, Bauhaus was the first and most famous German design house. Bauhaus set a template for European design with the now-famous maxim, "Form follows function." That classic design logic meshes well with already established Acura design philosophies.

With the updates for 2007, the style could more accurately be called "Bauhaus with attitude." Careful attention was paid to give the Type-S its own distinctive and even more aggressive look. Black chrome trim used around the car is an excellent example of the difference between the TL and the Type-S.

The design features and changes include:

Front

  • Aggressive front fascia, a new larger grille opening, larger "A" mark and honeycomb mesh
  • Redesigned bumper with satin chrome crossbar and horizontal trim
  • New headlight clusters with daytime running lights (DRL) on innermost lens
  • New auto-on and auto-off headlights (previously auto-off only)
  • Fog lights repositioned from headlight cluster to lower valance

Side

  • New, split 5-spoke alloy wheels in Blade Silver finish
  • New exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal lights

Rear

  • New rear bumper design
  • Redesigned LED taillight clusters
  • New italicized TL logo

Type-S Exclusive Features

  • Black chrome grille trim (satin chrome on TL)
  • Redesigned bumper with black chrome crossbar and horizontal mesh trim
  • Pronounced "splitter" lip on front valance
  • 10-spoke alloy wheels in Dark Euro Silver
  • Smoked rear side marker lights
  • Wider, more aggressive side sill moldings
  • Exclusive rear bumper with trunk lid spoiler diffuser
  • Redesigned and unique lower valance
  • Large diameter quad exhaust finishers
  • Black chrome taillight trim
  • New Type-S logo

PACKAGING


2007 TL 2007 TL Type-S
Length, in. 189.3 189.8
Width, in. 75.4 75.4

Height, in.
56.7 56.7

Wheelbase, in.
107.9 107.9

Track, Front/Rear, in.
62.1/62.0 62.1/62.0

RIGIDITY

Although adding stiffness to a vehicle's unit body improves road holding and makes the driver feel more connected to the car, it also can add weight. In the 2007 TL, ample use of high-tensile steel accounts for a strong unit body structure that is also light. A front shock tower brace, a rigid front bulkhead, a roof stiffener that extends to the C-pillar, and a rear speaker shelf box section also contribute to stiffness.

HIGH-TENSILE STEEL

High-tensile steel was used for 48 percent of the body. Even though the forming process is similar to that used for standard steel, the molecular composition of high-tensile steel allows it to be stronger after forming. Parts can therefore be made thinner and lighter while maintaining strength.

AERODYNAMICS

Design and engineering objectives for the TL required aerodynamic creativity. The challenge was to allow stylists to craft the TL front end as powerfully and emotionally as they wanted, without impeding the airflow essential for engine operation. Moreover crash safety, high-speed stability, reduced wind noise and high fuel economy were essential.

Achieving the desired exterior styling required that most of the cooling air come from under the front of the car. Several different polypropylene panels enhance underbody aerodynamic performance. These lightweight and durable panels include a curved valance below the front fascia. Air attaches to its smooth radius at highway speeds and is directed into the radiator. The center section of the valance bends out of the way if the TL encounters a curb or other obstruction. For 2007, improved brake cooling strakes were introduced into the front valance as well.

Other aerodynamic elements include a sleek A-pillar shape, front and rear deflectors, an engine undercover and a rear floor cover. These improvements benefit fuel economy, reduce wind noise and improve high-speed stability. Internal testing reveals that the 2007 TL surpasses the Infiniti G35, Lexus IS 350 and Audi S4 in coefficient of drag.

Additionally, the TL Type-S trunk lid spoiler helps produce lift to promote enhanced high speed stability.

WHEEL ARCH GAPS

Minimizing the visual gap between the edges of the tires and the wheel arches was an important design goal. To retain a wide wheel track with these narrow gaps, the TL has a special fender flange design that allows the tires to sweep up and inside without making contact during suspension movement.

MASS REDUCTION

Reducing the TL curb weight was a matter of high priority for Acura. Despite a comprehensive array of technology and the use of insulating materials to promote an even quieter and more luxurious cabin, strict control over component weight has kept the TL to 3623 pounds. The TL Type-S with the 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic weighs 3674 pounds, with the 6-speed model coming in at only 3559 pounds.

POWER GLASS MOONROOF

The TL's 30.7-inch moonroof lends a tremendous open feeling to the car, and features the convenience of one-touch opening and closing and a standard anti-pinch safety feature.

The overhang of the moonroof panel edge into the opening is a scant 1.6 inches when it is fully opened. The moonroof itself is virtually flush, reducing the chance of wind noise. There is also a special flush-type seal that promotes quietness.

HID (HIGH-INTENSITY DISCHARGE) HEADLIGHTS

The TL headlights feature HID high and low beams, as well as daytime running lights (DRLs). These HID high/low beams are made possible by a shutter device that mechanically controls the light output of the HID unit. When the driver selects high beam, an electric solenoid in the headlight moves a shutter forward, opening up a greater reflector area inside the headlight. When the lights are operated on low beam, this shutter repositions to act as a cut-off to keep the lighted area closer to the vehicle. The TL headlights dramatically increase the illuminated area versus non-HID beams, considerably more effective at long range. For 2007, the fog lamps have been moved from the headlight assembly to integrated into the lower bumper.

LED LIGHTING

Extensive use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) provides a high-tech image for side and rear lighting. LEDs are used for the front side marker lights, Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL), taillights, and rear side marker lights.

These LED arrays provide uniform lighting and a unique, modern look. They also have a quicker turn-on time and a projected service life four times longer than normal automotive bulbs. They are also brighter, use less energy and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs.

For 2007, the rear taillights have been redesigned with clear outer covers and red inner lenses. TL models have the two elements separated with a red chrome extension, while the Type-S features a black chrome bar between the two.

5 MPH BUMPERS

The Acura TL uses a highly efficient Xenoy thermoplastic energy absorber with a high-strength steel reinforcement beam that absorbs 80 percent of low-speed crash energy. This allowed designers to reduce the overhang of the bumper, while also reducing the weight and repair costs. Both the front and rear bumpers meet the federal government's 2.5 mph regulation, even when tested at 5 mph.

NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS (NVH) CONTROL

An assortment of NVH measures includes advanced aerodynamic design, the first U.S.-market use of automotive acoustic windshield glass with shade band, insulating panels under the hood and inside the trunk and the fenders.

Key NVH areas include:

Acoustically tuned glass windshield

Since its 2004 introduction, the TL's windshield has been made of 4.7 mm thick acoustic glass, which consists of two layers of safety glass, separated by a thin acoustic resin center. Representing the first time that acoustic glass with a shade band had been applied to a luxury vehicle in North America, the windshield reduces road noise on smooth asphalt significantly in higher frequency ranges. To reduce noise intrusion through the side glass, the front and rear movable door glass is 5 mm thick.

Thinsulate

Patented by 3M, Thinsulate™ insulation was developed for thermal applications but it is also ideal for noise reduction. It is crushable and can be used in tight-clearance areas. In the TL it is used behind the door liners, rear seat side garnishes, center console, rear seatback and front and rear pillar garnishes. It is also used under the instrument panel and parcel shelf and inside the front and rear fenders.

Trunk

Engineers treated the trunk as an acoustic package, containing the speaker array and trunk hinges and springs in a rigid box structure. This improves audio bass performance, reduces interior noise levels, enhances the appearance of the trunk interior, and eliminates the chance that belongings will be damaged by a speaker or hinge.

NVH reduction items

  • Re-designed aluminum-alloy front subframe
  • Re-designed outside mirrors with full seals
  • 5 mm side glass
  • Hood insulator
  • Improved door-handle sealing
  • Flush-mount moonroof

Aluminum-alloy front subframe

Besides its low mass, the TL aluminum-alloy front subframe reduces "starting boom" (resonance noise). For 2007, it has been re-designed with new transmission mounts and bushings for a more comfortable ride.

Melt Sheet

The careful application of a high-density melt sheet makes a huge reduction in high-frequency sound. Testing results show it reduces the vibration of the TL floor panels from approximately 500Hz and above, decreasing noise inside the vehicle.

Active Noise Cancellation™

To further reduce cabin noise, the '07 TL Type-S uses Active Noise Cancellation. The system uses a pair of cabin-mounted microphones and the car's audio system to cancel out low-frequency noise, greatly reducing cabin "boom." More information about Active Noise Cancellation is available in the Interior section.

POWER WINDOWS

The TL's driver and front passenger windows feature an auto-open and auto-close feature. It also incorporates an anti-pinch safety feature. The glass is 5 mm thick to reduce cabin noise.

EXTERIOR (SIDEVIEW) MIRRORS

A mirror housing needs to be small and aerodynamic to reduce turbulence-without compromising mirror area. To reduce the housing size, engineers devised a way to hold the mirror element from behind instead of at the sides, and carefully controlled the gap between the mirror element and housing to further reduce turbulence. Blue-tinted mirrors also reduce eyestrain in bright conditions. For 2007, the housing has been redesigned to incorporate turn signals.

Engineers also measured the airflow through the channel between the A-pillar and the mirror. By designing this channel in an expanding V-shape, the air actually decelerates (rather than accelerates) as it moves across the glass. This helps keep the air from tumbling across the side glass, reducing high- and mid-frequency noise.

The mirrors have been positioned forward, away from the window glass, to further reduce wind noise, while increasing the driver's side view. A reverse tilt function automatically tilts either the left or right mirror down when the TL transmission is shifted into reverse. This is a driver-selectable function via the mirror adjuster control that may be turned on or off if desired.

DOORS & LATCHES

To resist parking lot dings and dents, the TL door skins are made from special 340H high-tensile steel. This bake-hardened steel has much greater resistance to bending and a higher work-hardening threshold than conventional steel, making the door skins much more resistant to dents and dings. The door skins are 10 to 15 percent stronger with 50 percent better permanent deform resistance than conventional steel.

Door fit is a matter of extraordinary precision on the TL. The gap is just 3.5 mm at the leading edge of the front doors, 4 mm between the doors, and 3.5 mm at the trailing edge of the rear doors.

Acura precisely refined the door closing sound on the TL. A door sash structure, manufactured with a laser-welded blank, increases the rigidity of the door sashes and reduces objectionable high frequency noise as the doors are closed. A door lock structure absorbs sounds caused by the latch, eliminating objectionable noise.

BODY TRIM

The aggressive and sporty styling is subtly enhanced on the TL, and aggressively enhanced on the Type-S. Satin chrome trim graces the new, larger grille on the TL, while black chrome trim is found on the Type-S. The B-pillar and roof seam trim are high gloss black, while redesigned aluminum step garnishes with "TL" or "Type-S" laser-etched on them provide a finished appearance.

EXHAUST FINISHERS

The TLs exhaust has bright trapezoidal finisher tips integrated into the rear styling. The tips are inset far enough to allow adequate bumper stroke in the event of a low-speed collision, but are positioned far enough back to allow exhaust gases to pass beyond the bumper. Special multi-axis rubber mounts control the exhaust tip placement, allowing a gap of only 0.8 inch between the finisher and fascia. A high heat-resistance polypropylene garnish is clipped to the bumper to protect it from heat.

On the Type-S, the trapezoidal finishers are replaced with two round chrome finishers on each side, emphasizing the sporty role the Type-S plays.

EXTERIOR PAINT

The 2007 TL is available in seven pearl and two metallic exterior colors. Four new colors debut for 2007, with one (Kinetic Blue Pearl) exclusive to the Type-S. The painting process begins when the steel body receives a phosphate bath to completely clean it of oils and film after welding is complete. This is followed by an electrodeposition (ED) primer bath, where the unit body is electrically charged to attract the primer. After baking, the color coat is applied, followed by a protective clear coat.

ACCESSORIES

The TL and TL Type-S have a wide range of exterior accessories available through Acura dealers. They are factory warranted for 4 years/50,000 miles when purchased with the vehicle.

Individual exterior accessories include:

  • 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Back-up sensor
  • Bodyside protectors
  • Car cover
  • Decklid spoiler (not available for Type-S)
  • Door edge guards
  • Door window visor
  • Engine block heater
  • Front and rear splash guards
  • Front under spoiler
  • Side Under spoiler
  • Gold emblem kit
  • Moonroof visor
  • Nose mask
  • Rear under spoiler
  • Spoiler wing (not available for Type-S)
  • Sport shocks and springs
  • Wheel locks

Accessories are also available in these dealer-installed packages:

Aero Kit
Includes front, side and rear under body spoilers

Protection Package
Includes wheel locks, splashguards and trunk tray

Wheel Package
Includes 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tires

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