Engineering

Redesigned Acura TLX gets dedicated architecture to enhance its performance

The Acura TLX is set for a complete redesign.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The double wishbone suspension was pioneered by French car maker Citroën 90 years ago, but it's only now coming to the Acura TLX. The redesigned 2021 Acura TLX is set to reposition the car as a true driver's automobile and set about reinvigorating the brand's identity.

Though the cover won't officially be pulled off the model until tomorrow, there are already some details we know.

Type S is slated to be Acura's next step in the performance pyramid. Think of it as the equivalent of Audi's S models (like the S4 and S6). The automaker says that the model will be, "the quickest, best-handling, and most well-appointed sports sedan in Acura history."

Acura teases redesigned TLX for 2021, confirming the Type S. Photo courtesy of Acura

With the teaser photo put out last week, Acura showed just the rear of the car. There, in addition to the badging is a quad exhaust, LED taillights, a fin antenna on the roof, flared fenders, and SH-AWD badging. The SH-AWD badging denotes that the model comes equipped with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. This version of all-wheel drive is available on the current TLX and can transfer up to 45 percent of engine power to the rear wheels, giving the car additional traction in slippery conditions.

We also know that the TLX Type S will be the first model in Acura's lineup to to feature the company's new dedicated turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. Look for the car to have upwards of 300 horsepower. The 2020 TLX has an available V6 that produces 290 horsepower.

Though not shown in the first teaser photo, the front of the car will follow the current Acura design language, which was set in place by the Precision Concept, which debuted in 2016 at the North American International Auto Show.

Now, we're learning more about the car's underpinnings. The new TLX will be built on fresh architecture that was designed for Acura sports sedans. It's a performance-focused chassis that has a double wishbone front suspension, the same as what is in the redesigned 2021 BMW 5 Series and the current Acura NSX. This is in place of the common MacPherson strut setup that is favored by many other sedans.

The reasoning for using this type of suspension is simple. It allows the driver to enjoy a more engaging drive, whether on a highway or carving up a curvy road.

We'll see more of the TLX tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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The car incorporates modern and future Lexus design.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus is putting the pedal down. The company is working to accelerate the production of new models as its moves to diversify its lineup. Currently the brand offers five sedans, eight SUVs, and five coupes, with slightly less than half of those being hybrid variations of other vehicles on the roster.

By 2025, the luxury arm of Toyota will introduce 20 new or improved models, including more than 10 electrified models including battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and other electric vehicles. The company is also is committed to making sportier versions of their more traditional vehicles.

Lexus aims to be a carbon neutral company throughout the lifecycle of its entire model lineup by 2050. To help achieve that goal, in March 2024 Lexus will open a new business and technical center that will allow various Lexus teams to more cohesively work together.

Lexus LF-Z Electrified: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The LF-Z Electrified concept car is a conceptual BEV that puts driving performance, styling, and technology today in one concept car package. The exterior of the mode furthers the Lexus design story, carrying with it many hallmarks of today's vehicle design while infusing new elements. Lines are clean, simple, and directional, drawing the eye forward and back toward simplified design at the face and rear.

It is driven via all four wheels, a technology called Direct4. Lexus says that the system has many advantages, "By controlling the front and rear drive wheels independently, the system can provide the appropriate drive system ...for each driving situation. The system controls the distribution of driving force through the seamless orchestration and calculation of accelerator pedal application and steering wheel operation, resulting in powerful acceleration and exhilarating cornering performance that aligns near-perfectly to the driver's will."

Engineers have given the car the "Lexus Driving Signature", a connected drive experience that made its debut in the refreshed 2021 Lexus IS. This new model is said to raise that driving style to new heights by "evolving the basic performance of the vehicle".

Lexus LF-Z Electrified: Interior

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The BEV hides its battery longitudinally under the floor of the vehicle, attaching it to the chassis and adding rigidity. This, in addition to other design attributes is said to help mitigate vibrations and noises that tens to permeate the cabin.

Lexus designers have created the cockpit with open and minimalist design. Engineers have given the car futuristic tech that interacts with the driver by learning their behavioral traits and patterns. When it does that, the car's infotainment system will be able to offer proposed routes and other lifestyle choices. Mercedes-Benz's infotainment technology already does this.

A panoramic glass roof and simple, molded forms emphasize the car's connection with its environment, according to the automaker. Look closely at it all. Lexus says the design shown here suggests the direction of next-gen Lexus interior styling.

This concept includes numerous technologies already applied in luxury and mass market vehicles, including digital key, which allows phone-as-key technology and makes delivering packages to a vehicle easier. An E-Latch system extends and retracts door handles depending on when they are needed.

Reclining and massaging seats, a next-generation Mark Levinson audio system, and other features complete the Lexus concept car package.

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Three new accessory partners mean Bronco owners will have plenty of customization options.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Ford is extending the Bronco brand further with new partnerships with three off-road aftermarket accessory companies: RTR Vehicles, ARB 4x4 Accessories, and 4 Wheel Parts. Offerings from the companies will allow for Moper-level personalization of Bronco products for owners.

RTR Vehicles was founded by longtime Ford collaborator Vaughn Gittin Jr. ARB 4x4 Accessories has been Australia's largest manufacturer and distributor of 4x4 parts and accessories since 1975. 4 Wheel Parts is an off-road parts retailer with 95 locations across the U.S.

Ford Bronco Sport Accessories: 4 Wheel Parts

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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Ford initially planned to launch Bronco Sport with more than 100 accessories and Bronco with more than 200. The range of accessories being developed with each of the three companies will expand beyond the current catalogue and be available for Bronco and Bronco Sport models.

Ford lists suspension and lift kits, custom wheels and body components, performance driveline parts, plus an extensive list of camping and off-road accessories such as tents, racks, storage solutions, and lighting among the new products in the pipeline.

Ford Bronco Accessories: 4 Wheel Parts Accessories

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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"Off-road enthusiasts crave accessories to create their ultimate off-road machines, so we're accelerating the development of Bronco-specific offerings by working directly with three of the leading suppliers in the 4x4 arena to further build out our list of off-road parts and accessories available this summer," said Jeff Seaman, Ford icons regional product line manager.

Ford Bronco Accessories: RTR Vehicles

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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Ford anticipates that additional accessory partners will come on-board as the Bronco begins to be delivered to customers. The vehicle's modular design (it's been crafted to be easily modified) allows buyers to change out doors, roofs, fenders, grilles and more in their quest for a new level of personalization.

The automaker already has a deal with Yakima to sell its accessories for the Bronco Sport in dealerships.

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