The TL Type-S is powered by a modified version of the 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 found in the Acura RL. With more displacement than the TL engine and a high-flow exhaust system, it boasts 286 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines benefit from Acura's groundbreaking VTEC system. This patented technology provides an exceptionally flat torque curve, enhancing high-rpm horsepower without sacrificing low-end torque. The result is an engine with excellent responsiveness at all engine speeds.
The standard transmission in the TL and TL Type-S is an all-new electronically controlled 5-speed automatic. Developed from the RL's 5-speed automatic, this transmission has more torque capacity that the one it replaces, but more compact. It also features Acura's Sequential SportShift system. Inspired by Formula One® racecars, Sequential SportShift gives the driver the flexibility of a self-shifting automatic or the control of a manual. The system has been reprogrammed this year for smoother operation and enhanced gear holding capabilities. In addition, the TL Type-S "rev matches" during manually selected downshifts.
Available on Type-S models is a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. Similar to the manual transmission on the 2006 TL, it features a re-designed bellhousing and improved clutch feel for smoother, more linear engagement.
With Acura's unwavering commitment to the environment, both TL engines meet strict CARB LEV-II ULEV standards. In addition, cold-start emissions are improved thanks to the close-coupled catalytic converter system and under-floor catalyst.
High capacity 32-bit RISC processor engine control unit
Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
- Highly rigid aluminum-alloy block with cast-in iron cylinder liners
- 60-degree V-angle for inherently smooth operation
- Dual-mass flywheel (6 MT) reduces driveline noise and vibration
- Automatically tensioned, maintenance-free serpentine accessory drive
TL's 24-valve 3.2-liter V-6 features all aluminum alloy construction and an inherently smooth running 60-degree V angle. The TL's cold-air intake system combines with Acura's sophisticated dual-stage intake manifold and 3-rocker VTEC® variable valve timing system, an 11:1 compression ratio and a high-flow exhaust system to make it one of the most powerful engines in its class. It delivers exceptional smoothness, refinement and low emissions. To offset the slight weight increase from the new four-shaft 5-speed automatic transmission, the intake manifold and valve covers are made of lightweight magnesium, and the oil strainer is a lightweight composite.
The 3.5-liter V6 in the TL Type-S is based on the engine in the groundbreaking RL. One of the most powerful engines in Acura history, the 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 in the Type-S incorporates many of the refinements and improvements that have been developed in other Acura powerplants. It shares the 3.2-liter V-6's 60-degree V angle, compact dimensions and weight saving use of magnesium, and also uses hollow camshafts to further save weight.
Both the TL's 3.2-liter engine and the TL Type-S 3.5-liter V-6 feature die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy blocks with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners. These thin-wall liners are made with a centrifugal spin casting process, which ensures high strength and low porosity. The rough outer surface bonds the liners securely to the surrounding aluminum block, enhancing liner-to-block rigidity and heat transfer. For rigid crankshaft support and minimized noise and vibration, both blocks incorporate a deep-skirt design with four bolts per bearing cap, and both are heat-treated for greater strength.
CRANKSHAFT/ PISTONS/CONNECTING RODS
The 3.2-liter V-6 in the TL features robust bottom-end construction. The forged crankshaft is counterweighted to offset the heavy-duty 11:1 compression ratio pistons. The connecting rods are made of forged steel for added strength and durability.
The TL Type-S features much of the same internal construction. The forged crankshaft and pistons are the same as the RL. High power output is possible thanks in part to an oil jet system that sprays cooling oil on the underside of the piston crowns to keep temperatures in check. New steel connecting rods are forged in one piece and then the crankshaft ends are "snapped." This process creates a bearing cap that is a perfect fit for the rod it is mated to, and a lighter and stronger rod overall.
CYLINDER HEADS / VALVES
Cylinder heads play an important role in improving power and emissions performance. Both the TL and TL Type-S feature single overhead camshaft cylinder heads made from pressure-cast, low-porosity aluminum, which helps to keep overall engine weight down. A key feature of the heads is an integrated tuned exhaust manifold that is part of the head casting. This improves overall packaging, enhances exhaust flow, and allows the optimal positioning of the primary close-coupled catalytic converters. To ensure positive sealing, the TL and Type-S apply a three-layer head gasket like that of RL. A single Aramid-fiber reinforced belt drives the overhead camshafts. The Type-S heads also feature hollow camshafts to save weight.
VTEC® (VARIABLE VALVE TIMING & LIFT ELECTRONIC CONTROL)
Acura's VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) gives the TL and TL Type-S engines strong low speed torque and throttle response while enhancing high-rpm power.
At low speeds, the intake valves have lower lift and are open a comparatively short period of time during cylinder filling. At high rpm where breathing is critical, the valves switch to high-lift, long duration mode to deliver the best volumetric efficiency possible.
Both engines continue to use the 3-rocker VTEC system, which allows each of a given cylinder's intake valves to be controlled by its own low-speed cam lobe. (By comparison, with 2-rocker VTEC, both intake valves in a given cylinder are controlled by a single low-speed cam lobe). With different low-speed cam profiles for each intake valve, 3-rocker VTEC allows for staggered valve opening and lift, which promotes swirl in the combustion chambers, thereby improving efficiency. With better mixing in the cylinders, burn speed and combustion stability are improved.
When engine rpm reaches 4700 rpm (4950 rpm in the TL Type-S), the powertrain control module (PCM) triggers the opening of an electric spool valve that routes pressurized oil to small pistons in the intake valve rocker arms. These pistons slide into position to lock together the three intake rockers in each cylinder, which then follow a single high-lift, long-duration cam lobes. With the engine's intake valve lift and opening duration continuously adjusted to suit the operating engine speed, the TL benefits with a broad torque curve and superior peak power. The two engines feature different cam profiles, with the Type-S sharing the same higher lift and longer duration.
COLD-AIR INDUCTION SYSTEM
Cool air is denser than hot air and allows an engine to make more power by packing more oxygen per given volume. To capitalize on this, the TL and TL Type-S have a special cold-air induction system as standard equipment. Ambient air is picked up through an inlet in the left front fascia, and fed by a duct to the engine air intake. Depending on vehicle speed, this system supplies the engine with ambient air that is much as 15 degrees (F) cooler than typical engine compartment air.
DUAL-STAGE INTAKE MANIFOLD
The TL and TL Type-S feature lightweight magnesium dual-stage intake manifolds. Working in concert with VTEC®, this manifold improves low-speed torque without sacrificing high rpm power. The manifold is divided into two banks with three cylinders fed by each bank. The powertrain control module (PCM) controls butterfly valves between each bank. At low engine speeds the valves are closed; each separate bank of the manifold is tuned to maximize the resonance effect of the incoming air. This creates pressure waves, which are amplified within each half of the intake manifold at certain rpm ranges. These waves increase cylinder filling and torque through the lower part of the engine's rpm range. On the Type-S, funnel-shaped intake ports—similar to those used on racing engines—are built in at the uppermost end of the intake runners to improve airflow.
Since the benefits of this resonance effect fade as engine speeds rise, the butterfly valves open at 4,000 rpm to interconnect the two halves of the intake manifold plenum, thereby increasing its volume. With each cylinder drawing intake air from the full plenum chamber, the inertia mass of air rushing down each intake passage helps draw in more charge air than each cylinder would normally ingest. The effect greatly enhances cylinder filling and torque produced by the engine at higher revs.
DIRECT IGNITION AND DETONATION-KNOCK CONTROL
Optimum ignition spark timing is crucial to engine power and efficiency, and varies based on the engine's load, rpm, temperature and other factors. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors engine functions to determine the best spark timing. An engine block-mounted acoustic detonation—or knock—sensor "listens" to the engine; based on this input, the PCM retards the ignition timing incrementally to prevent potentially damaging detonation. The iridium alloy-tipped sparkplugs each have an individual coil unit positioned in the access bore directly above each plug, and require no service prior to 105,000 miles of use.
PROGRAMMED FUEL INJECTION (PGM-FI)
The Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system tracks several engine inputs, including throttle position, intake air temperature, water temperature, intake manifold pressure and monitors the exact state of the exhaust gas. Based on these inputs, PGM-FI knows when to trigger and how long to keep open the high efficiency multi-hole injectors that deliver fuel to each cylinder.
DRIVE-BY-WIRE THROTTLE (DBW) CONTROL SYSTEM™
The TL and TL Type-S engines both feature an advanced Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™ technology that eliminates the need for a conventional throttle cable. With the driver's throttle pedal movements interpreted electronically, the precise relationship between pedal movement and throttle butterfly valve opening can be varied to suit the driving conditions. The system monitors various parameters such as pedal position, throttle position, road speed, engine speed and gear position. These inputs are then used to set the moment-to-moment relationship between the pedal position and throttle butterfly opening. By altering the amount of "gain" between the pedal and butterfly valve, significant improvements in drivability, response and fuel efficiency are possible.
The DBW system also allows the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control to be fully integrated with engine function. In the TL Type-S the DBW is programmed to "blip" the throttle during downshifts with the Sequential SportShift automatic transmission for faster and smoother downshifts.
HIGH-FLOW EXHAUST SYSTEM WITH CLOSE-COUPLED CATALYZERS
To reduce weight and move the engine's two primary catalytic converters as close as possible to the combustion chambers, the TL and TL Type-S exhaust manifolds are cast right into the cylinder heads. A 900-cell per-square-inch (600-cell per-square-inch in Type-S) high efficiency converter mounts directly to the exhaust port of each cylinder head for extremely rapid converter light off after the engine starts. This mounting system has the added benefit of eliminating traditional exhaust header pipes for a significant weight savings.
To ensure optimum flow and reduce backpressure, a hydroformed 2-into-1 collector pipe carries spent gases down to a 350 cell per-square-inch secondary converter under the passenger cabin.
After the catalytic converter, the TL Type-S exhaust flows through two underfloor mufflers and dual rear silencers to reduce backpressure.
The TL Type-S features an exhaust system with 14 percent better flow than the TL, with larger pipes through much of its length. Tuned for an aggressive sound befitting
the high-performance image of the Type-S, the system also features finishers with large quad outlets (two on each side).
This generation TL has met tight CARB LEV-2/ULEV emissions standards since its introduction in 2004. For 2007, the TL Type-S also meets this standard.
By integrating the exhaust manifolds into the cylinder head design, the primary catalysts can be mounted very close to the engine. This ensures quick light off after engine start up, key to meeting the low emissions standard. Additionally, a 32-bit RISC microprocessor in the powertrain control module (PCM) boosts computing power for precise fuel and spark delivery. The high efficiency multi-hole fuel injectors deliver fuel to each cylinder and direct fuel around the intake valve stem for improved atomization, which helps to further reduce emissions, particularly after starting.
NOISE, VIBRATION AND HARSHNESS (NVH) CONTROL
The TL and TL Type-S engines have inherently smooth-running 60-degree V-angles and compact, rigid and lightweight die-cast aluminum-alloy block assembly. Rigid forged crankshafts, die-cast accessory mounts, and stiff, cast aluminum-alloy oil pans also contribute to the overall smoothness of both engines. The induction system and the lightweight exhaust system of the TL and Type-S have been tuned to create a refined, sporty engine sound at large throttle openings and high rpm.
105,000-MILE TUNE-UP INTERVALS
With long-lasting components like iridium alloy-tipped spark plugs and a space-saving, self-tensioning serpentine accessory drive belt, the TL and TL Type-S are exceptionally low maintenance automobiles. They require no scheduled maintenance until 105,000 miles, other than periodic inspections and normal fluid and filter replacements. This first tune-up includes water pump inspection, valve adjustment, and replacement of the timing belt and sparkplugs.
The TL and TL Type-S have a Maintenance Minder system that automatically monitors the vehicle's unique operating condition to indicate to the driver when maintenance is required. Maintenance alerts are presented when the ignition is first turned on, not while driving (to prevent driver distraction). The system monitors engine operating conditions such as fluid temperatures and engine revolutions to determine the proper service intervals.
A Multi-Information Display (MID) is located below the speedometer in the instrument cluster. Redesigned with a higher resolution for 2007, it indicates the remaining percentage of engine oil life, and then shows service is due with a "wrench" icon. A percentage-based countdown to the next service is displayed when the car is within 15 percent of the end of the service interval. An alphanumeric code is displayed to indicate the specific type of service that is required. If the service is missed, the MID indicates past-due mileage to express the urgency of the required service to the driver.
The system is designed to eliminate unnecessary maintenance procedures, environmental impact and expenses, while ensuring important service issues are addressed. In some cases, oil change intervals can extend to a maximum of 10,000 miles, which could spare the owner considerable money and time over the life of the car. The owner-resetable system monitors all normal service parts and systems, including oil, oil filter, tire rotation, air-cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, spark plugs, timing belt, coolant, brake pads and more.
6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
While the TL is now only available with the new 5-speed automatic transmission, the TL Type-S is offered with an available close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. This precise, short-throw unit is similar to the 6-speed offered last year, now features a different housing bell clutch cover to mate properly with the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It's designed to take advantage of the high power and torque of the new Type-S engine and give enthusiast drivers maximum control and responsiveness.
This compact transmission is substantially lighter than the automatic transmission. It features a high-pressure die-cast aluminum-alloy transmission housing to save weight. To further reduce weight and size, special narrow, high-strength steel gears are used, and the shafts are hollow. Close ratio spacing helps provide quicker acceleration by keeping engine revs up close to the power peak. Brass multi-cone synchronizers are used in first through fourth gears with a single-cone synchronizer for reverse to reduce shift load and help ensure smooth, precise shifting. A large gear-tooth contact area helps to reduce gear noise. A reverse lockout feature prevents the transmission from accidentally being shifted into reverse while the car is moving forward.
CLUTCH AND DUAL-MASS FLYWHEEL
The TL has a compact clutch unit that is self-adjusting for consistent pedal height, feel and effort throughout its service life. This innovative clutch system automatically takes up the slack between the pressure plate and clutch disc and lowers release loads while maintaining consistent pressure for the diaphragm spring. For 2007, the clutch mechanism incorporates a clutch feel compensation spring, which results in a more linear engagement feel.
To reduce drivetrain shock and limit the torque load on transmission components, the clutch includes a one-way delay valve located in the slave cylinder that restricts return fluid flow during rapid clutch engagement. This makes the clutch engagement more gradual during overly aggressive release.
A dual-mass flywheel helps to reduce noise, cut down the transfer of engine vibration into the cabin and provide increased comfort during shifting. This unit is divided into two flywheels with a torsion spring and viscous damper sandwiched between the two. This design enhances the durability of the synchronizers, reduces vibration and gear rattle and reduces the shift load.
When equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the TL Type-S features a standard limited-slip differential. This helical-gear-type differential enhances traction during acceleration and reduces understeer in high cornering load situations.
A set of helical gears mounted within the ring gear carrier responds to wheel spin at either front wheel by dividing the torque more equally between the two front wheels for the best possible traction. This system improves traction when cornering and when negotiating slippery surfaces or surfaces where traction is uneven from side to side.
5-SPEED SEQUENTIAL SPORTSHIFT AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Both the TL and TL Type-S receive an all-new 5-speed automatic transmission for 2007. A 4-shaft design with higher torque capacity, it is more robust than its predecessor, but also more compact. It also features slightly revised ratios, new shift control logic for each model and Grade Logic Control and, on the Type-S, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Mechanically related to the transmission that made its debut in the 2005 RL, the 2007 TL unit has modifications to adapt it to the front-wheel drive TL platform.
Designed for low maintenance and a high level of durability, the TL transmission requires no scheduled service until 120,000 miles. To provide strong off-the-line acceleration coupled with a relaxed, fuel-efficient cruising rpm, the unit has one of the widest gear ratio spreads of any 5-speed automatic transmission in its class.
The Sequential SportShift transmission can be operated in conventional fully automatic mode via a front center console-mounted gated shifter. When in automatic mode, the transmission incorporates an advanced Grade Logic Control system and Shift Hold Control, both of which work to reduce gear "hunting" and unnecessary shifting.
Shift Hold Control keeps the transmission in its current (lower) ratio when the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied (as might be the case when decelerating to enter a corner). Shift Hold Control leaves the chassis undisturbed by excess shifting, ensuring that abundant power is immediately available without a downshift.
Grade Logic Control alters the 5-speed automatic's shift schedule when traveling uphill or downhill, reducing shift frequency, and improving speed control. Throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration are continuously measured, then compared with a map stored in the transmission computer. The Grade Logic Control system then determines when the car is on a hill. If this is the case, the shift schedule is adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.
The Sequential SportShift transmission can be shifted into manual mode by moving the center console-mounted selector lever laterally to a special gate to the left of the "Drive" position. The TL can then be shifted manually by pushing or pulling the shift lever. TL Type-S owners can also choose to use F1® style paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, which reduces the need to remove their hands from the wheel during spirited driving. A digital display under the tachometer indicates which gear the transmission is in.
Type-S models use special shift algorithms to deliver quicker, firmer shifts, heightening control and driver involvement. Additionally, thanks to the robust construction of the new automatic transmission, downshifts occur over a much wider range than before. TL and TL Type-S drivers can now downshift into first gear. Type-S drivers enjoy special shift programming for the third to second and second to first downshifts that increases this speed by about 7 mph for even greater control.
To help protect the engine and drivetrain from damage, an array of preventive features are active when the transmission is in manual mode. In first, second, third and fourth gears, the logic changes, and the transmission ECU cuts off fuel flow to the engine if there is a possibility of over revving.
In the rare situation where the fuel cutoff alone is unable to prevent engine over revving (as could happen on a steep downhill) the transmission will upshift itself to prevent engine damage. And finally, when downshifting, the transmission won't execute a driver-commanded downshift that would send the engine beyond redline in the lower gear. The Sequential SportShift transmission will automatically downshift to first gear as the vehicle comes to a stop, to prevent lugging away from a stop in a high gear.
5-POSITION SHIFT GATE
The TL benefits from a 5-position shift gate that simplifies the operation of the transmission. It features a quieter linkage and a speed-controlled reverse lockout solenoid valve to prevent transmission damage. When operated in automatic mode, the transmission lets the driver choose between D (Drive) and L (Low). When moved to the Low position, the transmission downshifts to the lowest possible ratio for the current road speed to provide maximum engine braking. If the vehicle continues to slow, the transmission progressively downshifts to maintain engine braking effect. When it has shifted all the way down to first gear, the transmission won't upshift further unless the driver moves the selector back to the D (Drive) position where normal transmission operation resumes.
ACTIVE LOCKUP TORQUE CONVERTER
The 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic includes a new generation active lockup torque converter that improves fuel economy while maintaining a high level of drivability. A precise linear solenoid expands the speed and throttle setting range in which lockup can be engaged in the top four gears. This results in a reduction in transmission slippage for an improvement in fuel mileage. The torque converter is now calibrated to offer more progressive acceleration than in the past, coupled with better acceleration at large throttle openings. The efficient Sequential SportShift automatic transmission couples with tall overall gearing to deliver 28 mpg on the highway in both the TL and Type-S during internal testing using the EPA method, while city mileage is 20 for TL and 19 for the Type-S.
COOPERATION BETWEEN 5AT AND DRIVE-BY-WIRE
With the Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™, the function of the engine and transmission can be closely choreographed for faster, smoother shifting. Upshifts from first to second gear, and from second to third gear, are more than one-tenth of a second quicker. In manual mode, driver-commanded downshifts are also more than one-tenth of a second quicker. Meanwhile, the peak g—or "shift shock"—has been reduced significantly during downshifts.
Manual downshifts are smoothed in the TL Type-S by shift programming that matches engine revs to gear selection and vehicle speed. When the driver toggles the gearshift lever or paddle shifter for a lower gear, the powertrain control module (PCM) senses the shift and opens the throttle slightly, injecting extra air and fuel into the Type-S engine. This revs the engine to the same speed it will be at in the lower gear, smoothing the gear change while simultaneously speeding up the downshift. The driver feels only a quick downshift, with virtually no driveline shock or hesitation.