Acura Introduces All-New 3.2 CL Luxury Performance Coupe
2/24/2000 12:08:19 AM
"The CL is our hot, new entry into the competitive luxury performance coupe segment," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, Acura Division. "With invigorating performance, a long list of standard features and stylish good looks, the Acura CL will definitely stand out as the class-leader." In addition to being up to 30-percent more powerful than the car it replaces, the new CL grows in overall size by two inches in length and one-half an inch in width. The sleek body design echoes the stylish lines of classic Gran Turismo coupes of the automotive past along with styling cues from Acura's own lineage. The long sculpted hood and a short rear deck mark the key styling elements of this roomy 2+2 coupe. The signature Acura pentagram grille adorns the front of the CL while triangular tail lights mark a substantial and sporty rear design.
The new CL coupe is offered exclusively with V-6 power and is available in two distinct versions of Acura's all-aluminum, 3.2-liter, 24-valve engine with the patented VTEC(TM) (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system. The 3.2 CL's V-6 engine produces 225 horsepower and is similar to the engine in the popular Acura 3.2 TL luxury performance sedan. The Type S was designed for high performance driving with class leading technology and power. Producing 260 horsepower, the Type S is the most powerful six-cylinder coupe in its class. To achieve its high output, the Type S incorporates several engine enhancements including a dual-stage induction system, low-restriction dual-outlet exhaust, larger diameter throttle body, increased compression ratio, special intake valves, camshafts and cylinder heads. These elements allow the Type S to achieve a broad torque curve providing 232 lb-ft of torque between 3500 and 5500 rpm. Both the 3.2 CL and Type S engines feature a direct ignition system with knock control which ensures a properly timed spark for optimal power and fuel efficiency at all engine speeds. In addition, platinum-tipped spark plugs are used in both engines allowing a 100,000 mile tune up interval. Both CL models are equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission with the Formula 1 race car-inspired Sequential SportShift system, allowing the driver to select gear changes manually, or operate as an automatic transmission. The 5-speed gearing provides quick acceleration while reducing engine rpm at cruising speed, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and less engine noise compared to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The CL achieves luxury and performance while balancing Acura's commitment to the environment, as both the 3.2 CL and Type S models will be Low Emission Vehicles (LEV). The California model 3.2 CL will be an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) with further reduced emissions.
BODY AND CHASSIS
To complement the performance capabilities of the powertrain, the CL's chassis has been engineered with a rigid unit body structure to provide extraordinary handling that rivals Europe's finest luxury performance coupes. Compared to the car it replaces, the new CL is 6-percent stronger in torsional rigidity and 23-percent stronger in bending rigidity resulting in a solid ride with less body flex.
This rigid platform serves as the foundation for the CL's four-wheel independent, double wishbone suspension with stabilizer bars and a shock tower bar. The Type S incorporates additional suspension enhancements, including firmer springs, increased damping rates and a larger rear stabilizer bar for even greater cornering capability. Both CL models have large diameter, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS to maximize stopping power of the high-performance, V-rated, all season Michelin tires -- 205/60R16 on 3.2 CL; 215/50R17 on Type S.
The world class driving experience is also reflected in the CL's interior, as this new coupe has been equipped with a comprehensive array of comfort and convenience features. Interior appointments include an impressive Acura/Bose(R) six-speaker music system with six-disc, in-dash CD changer, Automatic Climate Control System with micron air filtration, power moonroof and leather-trimmed seating surfaces with four individual bucket seats. Heated power front seats with power walk-in feature, keyless remote entry with driver's seat and side mirror memory, front center console with adjustable armrest, HomeLink(R) remote control system along with front and rear dual cupholders round out this list of standard features. To further enhance its sporty personality, the Types S receives exclusive perforated leather seats and steering wheel, metallic-faced instrument panel and a Type S-badged perforated leather shifter knob. Type S with an ebony colored interior also receives a unique dark wood grained trim on the center console and doors.
The sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, global positioning system (GPS) satellite-linked navigation system is the only factory option available on both the 3.2 CL and the Type S. A pioneer in the area of in-dash navigation systems in North America, Acura is the first and the only luxury automobile brand to offer a Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) mapping database, providing coverage of the continental United States on a single DVD. The DVD database has been programmed to include over 3.7 million points of interest, while a large 6-inch color LCD display with a matte-finish touch screen reduces glare and fingerprinting.
Acura technology extends to the area of vehicle safety with the CL's extensive list of standard safety features. Both CL models are equipped with standard Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights for excellent nighttime visibility, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS) along with driver and front passenger Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags with dual threshold deployment and a dual stage inflation system for the passenger's air bag. Side air bags for the driver and front passenger are also standard and incorporate a sophisticated occupant size and position sensor system on the passenger's seat, allowing the control module to shut off the passenger's side air bag if a child or small adult is leaning into the deployment path of the air bag. The Type S also adds a unique Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system that orchestrates the throttle, injection and brakes to seamlessly integrate traction control, antilock braking and stability control systems. This innovation is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden collision-avoidance maneuvers by applying brake force to the right or left front wheel as necessary and managing the throttle and injection systems.
The new CL is the third Acura to be designed, engineered and assembled in the United States. Like its Acura 3.2 TL sedan sibling, the new CL is assembled at Honda of America's manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio with a high level of locally sourced parts.
On sale March 1st, 2000 through authorized Acura retailers, the all new CL will be priced aggressively against coupes from BMW and Mercedes Benz with a starting MSRP of $27,980 for the 3.2 CL and $30,330 for the 3.2 CL Type S. The only factory option will be the Acura Navigation System, priced at $2,000. Like all Acura models, the CL will be covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.