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The redesigned 2012 Acura TL available March 18

Honda released art and specs of the 2012 Acura TL, which goes on sale March 18. On sale March 18, Acura's newly refined TL delivers fresh looks, improved performance and upgraded technology. Most apparent are the visual changes that incorporate new front and rear styling, but also present is a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission for improved performance and fuel economy, revised interior appointments, a host of technology upgrades and numerous NVH improvements to make for an even quieter cabin.

2012 Acura TL.
2012 Acura TL Honda

Acura announced this week that the revamped 2012 Acura TL will go on sale March 18. The midsize TL sedan has a freshened-up look and new detailing.

The 2012 TL's new look incorporates improved aerodynamics with a redesigned front bumper, a revised grille, and a shorter front overhang. The most noticeable change to the rear bumper is the repositioned license plate opening, smaller rear reflectors, and thinner rear-trunk edge trim. The new TL also has body-colored door handles and rear window trim.

"With the 2009 TL, the exterior design was a lot about passion," said Damon Schell, senior designer of Acura Design Studio. "With the 2012 TL, we pushed for an increased level of sophistication."

A six-speed automatic transmission (a six-speed manual transmission on the 6MT) replaces the five-speed automatic in the 2011 model. The TL is available in two versions, a 280 horsepower, front-wheel-drive model and a 305 horsepower model. The TL offers 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway--an increase of 3 mpg in highway driving over the 2011 model. The TL SH-AWD has increased fuel efficiency by 1 mpg, to 18 city and 26 highway.

The new TL also has a few technology upgrades, including a refinement of Bluetooth Audio (now with artist's name, song title, etc.), Bluetooth upgrades, dial-by-number and dial-by-voice tags, and a faster connection speed for the USB port. A 60 gigabyte hard-drive delivers an updated infotainment system for maps, audio, and other features.

The TL will start at $35,605, or $39,335 with an available technology package, or $41,535 with the available advance package. The TL SH-AWD will have an MSRP start at $39,155, or $42,885 with an available technology package, or $45,085 with the available advance package. The TL SH-AWD 6MT with the technology package starts at $42,885.

"The 2012 Acura TL is refined, yet aggressive," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "Already known for its great performance, the enhanced TL has a sophisticated new look and an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission that will take performance to the next level."