LAST HOORAH: 2020 ACURA TLX PMC EDITION
Six years has passed since the first generation Acura TLX had emerged after replacing the ever-so-popular, 3GTL sedan. Crossing the sixth year of production may not seem like it’s that old, but where talking car years – that was like 7-iPhones ago (back when the iPhone 5S was the best phone ever.) As for the first-generation TLX, it’s going out gun-blazin’.
In this last and final year, Acura wanted to do something distinctive and give it a proper send off with a special edition noted as the PMC Edition. Hand built at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, only 360-TLX PMC Editions will be made. Produced alongside their mid-engine NSX, it receives the same craftsmanship and detailed inspection as its high-performance sports car sibling would. With the PMC only available in a stunning Valencia Red Pearl paint, Acura feels there is no reason for a specialty plaque on the exterior as the paint is representation enough of its unique rarity. Considering it takes five days to apply and cure in the same advance clean room factory, the paint speaks for itself in richness and depth through its nano-pigment technology.
The PMC edition is a little more than just a special paint, incorporating both the A-Spec Package with the Advance Package, it combines both the premium attributes of the Advance with the sporty flair of the A-Spec. Distinguished by its special 19-inch gloss black wheels, painted grille, gloss black trim pieces and a numbered plaque on the center console – it’s a pretty snazzy way to end an era. The TLX however isn’t the only one as the MDX is also drawing near a close, and it too will see the same PMC traits as the TLX, built in the same factory with the same paint and special plaque.
Utilizing what seems like an old-school method of a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6, the 290-horsepower that churns out 267lb-ft of torque through a nine-speed automatic seems to be more noise than poise. It takes about 5.5-seconds to get to 60-mph which would seem fairly quick for a semi-sports sedans, but if we were to also look at the Honda Accord 2.0T we see similar performance from a smaller packed engine. Regardless, there is something oh-so-soothing about a soft rumble of six-pistons thrusting against an engine block as it exploits a moan only an automotive enthusiast would enjoy.
Ultimately, the special edition hasn’t affected much of its original design, chassis nor interior components. What would normally be a $2000 option, the PMC Edition comes standard with its infamous Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). This system can send up to 70% of the engines torque to the rear wheels through a torque vectoring rear differential and shuffle its power to each individual wheel that requires the most traction. This helps with cornering acceleration and limits the amount of understeer. With the A-Spec bringing in a stiffer suspension, a beefier rear anti-roll bar and boosted steering, it does manage to make the car fairly enjoyable on a crisp twisty road or at the airport should one con us into being an airport shuttle at the wee early morning hours.
Around town the TLX does what it does best – it sustains smooth composure as it glosses through its transmission and rides comfortably should one enter the rough part of town. The boosted steering and thick sport steering wheel gives it’s a slightly more elevated feel. Even with its V-6 engine, we noticed a decent return on fuel economy as we averaged nearly 24-mpgs combined on 32-mpgs during our 200-mile highway run at 75-mph.
With most of the interior going unchanged – the A-Spec package brings some of the sporty qualities to the seats with black Alcantara and leather combo tied with red stitching. The Advance Package allocates more comfort and convenience with a heated steering wheel, power folding mirrors, heated & ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a wireless charging station. Considering it is the end of its first-gen run, we won’t harp too much on the archaic split-screen system with the lower half being touch screen and the upper half being control through the clunky dash mounted knob. Even though the resolution is sooo 10-years ago, it does incorporate a full 360-degree surround view camera as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
With the entry-level TLX starting at $33,000 featuring a standard 2.4-liter naturally aspirated 206-horsepower four-cylinder, the V-6 carries a $3200 premium. The PMC Edition takes it a notch further than its top-teir Advance making the ultimate TLX possible – its so special that it isn’t even available on the Acura’s builder site and comes in with an all-inclusive standalone price of $50,945. There aren’t many cars on the market that are hand built for less than $50k unless they’re built in your home garage. The last time we built something, we looked at it with one eye shut and said, “yeah… that’s good enough.” The Acura TLX PMC Edition may not be something special to everyone, but it is a bit something special for the Acura fanatic that wants to enjoy its last hoorah.
VEHICLE: 2020 ACURA TLX PMC EDITION
BASE PRICE: $33,000
AS-TESTED PRICE: $50,945
ENGINE: 3.5-LITER V-6
HP | TORQUE: 290-HP | 267LB-FT OF TORQUE
TRANSMISSION: 9-SPEED AUTOMATIC
DRIVETRAIN: SUPER-HANDLING ALL-WHEEL DRIVE (SH-AWD)
MPG: 20 | 29 | 23 (CITY | HIGHWAY | COMBINED)
AS TESTED MPG: 23.6-MPG COMBINED | 32.6-MPG HIGHWAY (200-MILES AT 75-MPH)
FUEL RANGE: 400-MILES
0-60 MPH: ±5.5 SECONDS