Honda's (NYSE: HMC ) luxury brand, Acura, has always done things a little differently, and its new TLX sedan looks to be no exception.
First of all, the TLX that we saw in Detroit this week was a "prototype." Acura didn't show us the car's interior or release any details about pricing. But executives did say that the car is set to go on sale in about six months. (To say the least, it's unusual for an automaker to not have a new vehicle's interior finalized this close to production.)
But the TLX itself is a bit unusual in the sense that Acura is positioning the car as a sports sedan -- but it's being offered with decidedly mainstream-sounding powertrains. Buyers will choose between a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6. Both are loaded with typical Honda high-tech touches that should make them eager to rev and easy on gas consumption, but neither is the kind of engine that gets the attention of serious car enthusiasts.
Still, the TLX has a few things going for it. There's a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that will be offered with the four-cylinder, and a nine-speed automatic with the V6. The V6-powered versions of the 2015 TLX will have all-wheel drive (the four-cylinder cars will have front-wheel drive, as you'd expect with a Honda-built sedan), and Acura promised "vault-like quietness in all driving conditions," along with a full array of high-tech safety features.
We -- the Motley Fool's John Rosevear and Rex Moore -- were at the Acura event in Detroit, and we spent some time getting up close (or as close as the Honda folks would let us get, which wasn't as close as we would have liked) with the TLX Prototype. It's better looking than some recent Acura entries, with sportier lines -- and it was painted in a photo-perfect shade of red, as you can see above.
But we wonder how well it will stand out in a crowded segment, and whether it will be eclipsed by luxury-sport-sedan offerings from other premium brands, some of which seem more complete to our eyes. Check out our video for the full scoop, and then scroll down to leave a comment to let us know what you think: Does Acura have a winner here?
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