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Daily Driver Fun Machine: The 2015 Acura TLX Drag Test

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A Cars Illustrated exclusive drag test by Dennis Pittsenbarger

The musclecars came, they went away, and then they came back again. When Cars Illustrated was first published (the late-80s), musclecars – real supercars – were in full bloom for the second coming. Fuel injection, overdrive transmissions, and super-efficient small-displacement engines helped drive the performance. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion of technology in performance cars. It’s the type of evolution that has taken us from the front-wheel-drive bore-machines to daily commuters that have true straight line potential.

 

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Now, we aren’t talking about Cadillac V series cars or Chrysler Chargers with Hellcats drivetrains. No, we are thinking about cars that average guys get into, make the monthly payment, and can have some fun with it. There are millions of Accords, Camrys, and Malibus that fit into this description. They were never bought as performance cars, but all of this performance technology finds it’s way into these daily drivers. And, what a nice surprise that is – being able to get some entertainment out of your family-mobile while fighting traffic on your way home each night.

 

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It’s the kind of surprise that we had hoped we would find in the Acura TLX tested here. For the record, our Honda …. ur, we mean … Acura is a 2015 Acura TLX with the 3.5 V6 engine and the SH-AWD “super handling all wheel drive” system. Huh, an all-wheel drive, rev-to-the-moon fun machine? Sure, and for a starting price of only $41,575, you can bring one home yourself.

 

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So, let’s see … It’s got 290 hp, all wheel drive (if anyone thinks this thing is going to spin the tires, you are crazy), and it’s got a transmission that should keep this little sucker in the power brand all the way down the track. Man, this thing should be ready to rock ‘n roll. Right?

 

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Wrong! It’s a crawler. But, we assigned out test pilot, Dennis Pittsenbarger, to the task of spending some time in this one. Throw it around for a week. See how it acts.

 

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You can watch the full drag test video here:

 

 

 

 

Now, Dennis and his video crew are focused on getting you the best numbers possible while entertaining you during your lunch break at work. In fact, the guys take this task very seriously. So, in the video, you’ll see Dennis and crew try all sorts of speed tricks at Portland International Raceway to get maximum straightline performance out of this car. At the end of a week with thing, the team had gotten the best published numbers in the industry; one guy lost his pants; and Dennis was ready to move on to his next project/drag test car.

 

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Going that extra mile, the Cars Illustrated video team did what any enterprising street racer would do to get a car to really move out – they threw some spray at it. Special thank to Mike Christopherson from Pro Tek who threw one of his cheater nitrous kits at this car. Put a note up in the forums here at CarsIllustrated.com if you need details on the kit or want one for you ride home each night.

Acura TLX. We will remember you as a nice car, with loads of potential, lost to a heavy chassis and not enough RPM. But, the nitrous sure makes it fun.

Tell us how you’d set this car up in the comments or on the forum. We’ll keep drag testing cars as long as the publisher’s bankroll holds out.

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You know those comic books movies where folks sit all the way through the credits to get a glimpse of how the story continues?

 

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Yeah, that’s kind of what’s happening here …

 

 

 

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But, you have to remember that you might see something that you don’t really want to see.

 

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It might scar you for life.

 

 

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At this point, we might as well show you what’s up with your crazy Cars Illustrated video crew.

 

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Not sure where the Publisher even found these guys …

 

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I mean, how do you lose your pants during a drag test?  How does that happen to a grown man?

 

 

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And, then someone snaps a picture, and it ends up on the internet.  Damn!

 

 

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You’ve been warned!

 

 

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Thanks for supporting Cars Illustrated, the best car magazine ever published!

 

 

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