Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Acura TL - Rhinoplasty at Mid Cycle

Mid-cycle updates are a perfect time to back off on a styling theme if you went just a wee bit too far. The Acura TL for 2012, released in mid March of this year, remedies an exuberance of chrome with a gentle and friendly rhinoplasty, while the tail gets reined in a little, too.

It’s not unknown for car manufacturers to do this. I remember the last of the big Chevy Impalas in the early 1990’s. It arrived with low cutouts in the rear wheelwells—like fender skirts. It made the by then huge vehicle seem even more whale-like, and after a few years, the rear wheels once again showed themselves. The 1996 Ford Taurus, a jelly bean introduced at precisely the time when sharp lines were coming back into style, lost some of its distinctive styling after a few years to keep up with changing tastes.

Not long ago, Subaru decided to emulate Alfa Romeo, or some might even say the Edsel, with a slim puckered grille up front. It was a non-starter, and within a couple of years the cars arrived with wide, generic grilles once again. Kind of sad, really, but the goal is to sell cars, and people have to like the way they look before they’ll write that check.

All this is to say that the Acura TL, the brand’s highly regarded sports sedan, will no longer need to be praised for its "inner beauty." I actually got compliments on the car from colleagues and even an unsolicited "beautiful car" from a guy at the Chevron station. The drama of the overall design is no longer hampered by excess in the details.


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