With the introduction of the ILX, Acura’s aging TSX has been forced to compete with a much newer model that’s almost the same size and occupies a similar price segment.
This has led to suggestion that the TSX may be dropped from Acura’s lineup or perhaps even merged with the TL to form a new ‘TLX’ model.
The rumored TLX would essentially fill the gap between the ILX and new RLX flagship, with Acura’s reformed lineup mimicking that of many of the rival makes in the luxury segment.
In a report published by Automotive News
(subscription required), Acura boss Jeff Conrad is quoted as saying the TSX will remain in Acura’s lineup "for the foreseeable future."
The same report, however, claims that the TL’s replacement, due in the summer of 2014, will shrink slightly to help differentiate it from the RLX. This ties in with the previous claims that the TSX and TL will be merged into a single model once their current generations run their respective cycles.
The current TSX, meanwhile, is expected to continue into the 2014 model year, which may end up being the last for the car.
But the TL is a crucial model for Acura as it remains the brand’s best seller. Sales figures for the TL in the U.S. during 2012 were 33,572 units. By comparison, the TSX, including its available wagon variant, only managed 28,865 sales over the period.
This means we're likely to see the TL name live on in any successor, making a TLX more likely than another generation of the TSX. The TLX name also fits with Acura's current naming strategy, where conventional sedan models feature an "L" in their names, crossovers and SUVs get a "D" and sports cars, in this case only the NSX, feature an "S".
A Honda-badged concept for a mid-size sedan, sporting some very distinct Acura design elements, was unveiled in 2012
, adding to speculation that the rumoured TLX was coming soon (the TSX is badged a Honda in other markets).
However, the production version of this concept was revealed earlier this year as the Chinese market exclusive Crider, ending hopes that the original--and somewhat impressive--concept was in fact a preview for the rumoured TLX.
It looks like we have at least one more year of the TSX until a replacement arrives. Whether this replacement is merged with the TL and called a TLX, however, remains to be seen.
Stay tuned for an update.
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