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Vehicle Stability Assist

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

The TL is equipped with 4-channel VSA that helps the driver retain control of the car in the event the vehicle reaches its dynamic traction limits, for example through aggressive cornering, encountering ice or dirt on the road, or entering a decreasing-radius corner too fast.

In the event of understeer (where the front tires lose grip), the system applies the inside front and rear brakes to increase yaw (vehicle "rotation"), slowing the vehicle and enabling it to complete the turn. Engine torque may also be reduced by coordination of the Drive-by-Wire Throttle System and Engine Controller.

The 4-channel system controls all four brakes independently. In the event of oversteer (where the rear tires lose grip), the system applies the outside front and rear brakes to decrease yaw, slowing the vehicle and enabling it to stay on its intended path.

An indicator light on the instrument panel alerts the driver whenever the VSA system is actively enhancing the vehicle's stability.

The Traction Control System (TCS) component of VSA uses sensors that monitor each of the wheels and a computer-controlled modulation of engine power and front brakes to help prevent wheel spin when starting out or accelerating. If the sensors detect wheel spin, TCS reduces engine power and applies brake force to the affected wheels. This helps the TL maintain traction during acceleration and helps the driver retain steering control, even when accelerating on slippery surfaces.

A cockpit switch is provided to disable the vehicle stability and traction control aspects of the system while leaving the ABS system fully functional.

Wheels

The 2004 Acura TL has lightweight 17 x 8-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Lighter wheels contribute to quicker suspension movement and better ride quality by contributing to lowering unsprung weight.

Larger 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are available. Finished in Dark Kaiser Silver, they are specifically designed to fit both the automatic- and manual-transmission models.

Tires

Acura surprisingly selected Bridgestone instead of Michelin for the TL's tires. We've complained many times before about the all-season tires on some of Acura's cars and so now we are glad to see Acura not being so conservative with their tire selection. Acura tells us that Bridgestone actually developed new 17-inch all-season and high-performance tires especially for the TL.

The standard wheel is a lightweight 17x8 design. For this wheel size, the standard tire is a P235/45R17 M+S Bridgestone Turanza tire. The high performance tire available on the 6MT is a P235/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE030 tire.

The A-Spec package gets you 18x8 wheels wrapped with P235/40ZR18 Yokohama AVS ES100 tires.

High-Performance Tire AT All-Season Tire MT All-Season Tire
Slalom Speed (MPH) 69.0 64.0 67.0
Lateral G-Force (g) 0.90 TBD 0.84
Braking 60-0 MPH (ft.) 122.0 131.0 130.0

Acura estimates that only 5% of the 2004 TL purchasers will select the high-performance tire option. I find this a little low and I actually hope that more will choose the high-performance tire option to show that enthusiasts make up a larger part of the TL market. This way Acura can see that a large percentage can appreciate the benefits of a high-performance tire and so will continue to provide this option on all their cars.

It's interesting to note that the 6MT has a larger temporary spare tire than the 5AT. The 6MT spare tire is a T145/70R17 while the 5AT is a T135/80R16. The larger spare for the 6MT is most likely so that the wheel can clear the larger Brembo brake calipers.

Available Sport Suspension

An available sport suspension kit including all four shock absorbers and springs is scheduled for release shortly after the TL launch. Known as the "A-SPEC" kit, it provides firmer damping and spring rates for sportier handling. A lower ride height further distinguishes the Sport Suspension-equipped TL cosmetically.

The A-SPEC kit includes:

  • Pre-assembled performance springs and shocks that lower the vehicle approximately 1.2 in. (30 mm)
  • 18-inch wheels with 235/40ZR18 Yokohama AVS ES100 tires
  • Aero kit
  • Rear spoiler
  • Special steering wheel with distinctive shape and stitching
  • Performance brake pads (for automatic transmission vehicles only)
  • A-SPEC badging

Source: Honda PR


See which TOV Dealer Network affiliates are currently accepting pre-orders for the 2004 Acura TL.



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