we talk about the Acura CL-S 6-spd, the topic that dominates the conversation is the engine.
The engine used by the CL is the J32A2 from Acura's pedigreed stable.
The J32 has already proven its worth in the automatic TL-S
and CL-S, and is a fine motor indeed. Based
on the original J30 (first seen in the '97 3.0CL, and then in the '98 Accord V6), the J32 gains its 200cc bump in displacement by way of a larger bore (89mm) than its progenitor. Compared to the more pedestrian J32 in the base TL, the Type-S version
uses more aggressive valves and cam timing to move the power curve up.
J32A2 engine designation stamped onto the block.
To ensure a fat torque curve, a dual mode intake manifold is used.
This beautifully designed and crafted piece uses bolted in intake
trumpets for each of the six runners! From
the large bore throttle body, air enters a split plenum and then moves into a bolted on
outer plenum (one for each bank) housing the intake trumpets. From there the charge speeds its way to the intake valves.
In the center of the split plenum resides a butterfly valve which opens
at a strategically determined rpm to allow favorable resonances from each bank
of cylinders to improve intake ram tuning.
The net result is an extremely broad, flat torque curve with a nice top
Here you can see the dual plenum chambers.
scary part about the J32A2 is that it isn't even close to being near its
maximum. With simple exhaust
changes, particularly to the somewhat convoluted exhaust header merge, gains of
over 30 hp are common. A 300 hp
J32? You betcha!
The stock exhaust system appears to be quite restrictive. Notice the 180
degree turn in the B-pipe. A properly tuned aftermarket exhaust can offer a
significant weight savings and additional power.
sources also tell us that the intake and possibly the exhaust system on the 6-spd CL-S is tuned
differently to provide a more aggressive sound. Indeed, driven back to back with a TL-S auto, the CL-S6 did
seem to sound more throaty. Whether
these modifications provide any benefits in terms of power is unknown, as a 6-speed option is not available in the TL-S - yet, so we are unable to directly compare it. We're glad
that Acura has taken a look at the aesthetics of the J32. In the CL-S6 it embodies the aural goodness we love to hear in sporty
cars. Smooth and quiet while
cruising, throaty and aggressive when you boot it. It sounds best inside the
car, where we want to enjoy it (other cars, the S2000 for example, often sound better from outside the car).
Various under hood details.
Like on many new Honda motors, this is a
distributorless ignition system.
Notice that the J32 uses 5W-20 motor oil for less internal friction.
These engine mounts noticeably help control any engine vibration from the
already smooth J series engine. Inside, the only clue to this powerful engine is
the moderately aggressive exhaust note.
Front shock tower braces help to stiffen the chassis
The hood is supported by gas struts.