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Acura TLX Prototype previews upcoming 2015 model (pictures)

The final 2015 Acura TLX is still months away, but the automaker gives us a thinly-veiled peek at the Detroit auto show.

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Josh Miller
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1 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Acura TLX Prototype (pictures)

What do you get when you cross the large Acura TL with the smaller TSX? Acura hopes that the TLX sedan previewed by this prototype will be just right.
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Dimensions

The TLX is 3.8 inches shorter than the current TL, slotting in between the ILX and the RLX models, but still shares the TL's 109.3-inch wheelbase. This gives the appearance of pushing the wheels out to the corners of the vehicle.
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2.4-liter engine

Two engines will be available for the 2015 TLX when it arrives. The first is an all-new 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that uses direct-injection and Acura's signature i-VTEC valvetrain. The automaker tells us that the new engine is significantly lighter than previous mills of similar displacement.
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Eight-speed dual clutch transmission

The four-banger is mated to a unique eight-speed dual clutch transmission that makes use of a torque converter. (I thought the best part of using a DCT was getting rid of torque converters!)
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3.5-liter engine

The other engine option will be a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that uses direct-injection and cylinder deactivation technologies to boost its fuel efficiency potential. We've seen a version of this engine under the hood of various Honda and Acura models, so we can guess that it outputs about 310 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, despite Acura omitting specs in the release.
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Nine-speed automatic transmission

The V-6 is paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. With so many gears, Acura is able to use closely spaced ratios for good acceleration, while maintaining a wide overall range for good cruising fuel efficiency.
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P-AWS

Front-wheel drive models with either available engine will be able to benefit from Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) technology, which allows independent toe steering of the left and right rear wheels and boosting the sedan's responsiveness.
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SH-AWD

The V-6 engine and its nine-speed automatic are also available with the next generation of the automaker's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which is 25 percent lighter than the previous generation, and now employs torque vectoring on the rear axle.
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Integrated Dynamics System

Further customizing the TLX's driving experience will be the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which allows drivers to chose from four driving modes: ECON (Economy), Normal, Sport, and Sport+.
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Driver aid tech

Acura's driver-assistance technology suite will be available on the TLX, including the awesomely weird Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) that we tested on the latest MDX. There's also forward-collision warning with collision-mitigation braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring.
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Jewel eye LED headlights

These jewel eye LED headlights will certainly see production when the 2015 TLX launches this year; we've already seen them on the MDX and RLX.
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2015 Acura TLX sedan

We expect to see more of the TLX later this year when the production model debuts.

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