Acura is keen to reel in some enthusiasts with its new TL. To really get enthusiasts attention though, you’re going to need to provide them with a manual transmission, period. So that’s exactly what Acura is doing.
Recently, the company announced that it will offer an uplevel all-wheel drive version of the new TL with a upgraded six-speed manual. Acura says this is the first time it has linked a manual gearbox with a Super Handling all-wheel-drive system. It says the new system is "substantially stronger than the previous-generation TL manual transmission," and that it prompted the development of "an entirely new clutch system." All this new hardware also comes with a weight advantage as it tips the scales at about 88 pounds lighter than a comparable automatic TL, while also altering the weight bias slightly.
The new six-speed manual will also have a specially-calibrated Hill Start Assist system that helps to keep the vehicle from rolling backward while stopped on a hill. While pricing has yet to be announced, expect it to be a bit more expensive and probably bundled with some sort of sports package. Acura dealers say that the first generation six-speed TL’s sold relatively well enough to make it a necessary option on the new 2009 models. Look for the new cars to be in dealers nationwide soon.