Date: February 12, 2009 10:19
I will be posting a larger gallery of photos from my limited time on the floor at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show - look for it later in the Exhaust Notes section. Due to a cancelled flight, I didn't get to the show floor until around 2PM. Chicago is never as energetic as Detroit but this year it seemed especially subdued - obviously the moods in the halls are pretty somber. Apart from the TSX, there weren't many big intros. Of all the things I wanted to check out, I wanted to see the new Genesis Coupe R-Spec but I wasn't able to get over to the Hyundai booth in time. Ford debuted the 365hp AWD Taurus SHO but when I walked through their display the "real" SHOs were hidden while workmen were busy reconfiguring the stage. There was an SHO to the side that had been bisected and attached to a bunch of machinery - I'm guessing when operating it would open up so you could see a cross section.
As for the TSX, I came away with mixed feelings. I think this version will be pretty successful for Acura, if only because this car is now in many ways very close being a replacement to the outgoing TL, which was wildly popular for Acura. This car should capture the attention of the many '04-'08 TL owners who were turned off by the styling and larger size of the 2009 TL. The TSX V6's +1 wheel and tire package looks much better than the 4-cylinder's standard 17" setup. The differentiators between the V6 and 4-cylinder models seem minimal. I didn't have a lot of time to examine the car but one thing I noticed was that the hood used gas pressurized struts as opposed to the prop rod used by the 4-cylinder version. This seems to be a standard practice for Honda - as far as I know, it's always been like this with the Accord 4-cyl and V-6 versions as well. Contrary to one of our earlier rumors, there didn't appear to be any interior or exterior revisions of note. In speaking with various Acura personnel, I was told a few things: 1) supposedly the RDX's turbo engine just won't fit in the TSX - I presume the key reason would be the RDX's top-mounted intercooler, but I wasn't able to find out if any other configurations were considered. 2) When I asked about the possibility of an even sportier variant coming down the pipe (specifically, 6MT/LSD and/or SH-AWD), the reaction indicated that there was very little possibility of such a thing happening.
Bottom line, I think the TSX V6 will perform pretty well in terms of sales, but without at least a manual transmission and LSD available, it's not likely to advance Acura's current standing with serious driving enthusiasts.
Last edited by JeffX on
February 12, 2009 17:57