We love the 2004 TL. We love the way it looks, the way the UA6 chassis handles, the way the V6 J32A3 engine screams through VTEC. You name it, if it's on the current generation TL we're smitten with it.
Even though Acura markets it as a performance luxury sedan, we think it's a misunderstood car. Team Honda Research got it right when it built its TL for racing (HT, March '05). Not quite a wolf in sheep's clothing, the TL is still a badass four-door aimed for a more refined crowd.
Unfortunately, because it is pitched as a luxo sedan the aftermarket precludes the TL from a lot of the accessories you'd see on more accessible, and tunable, buckets. The current iteration is still new as well, introduced just two years ago, which limits what's out there. That said, Team Honda Research's racecar ran the 25 Hours at Thunderhill with a motor that was pretty much stock, proving the mettle of the motor. Additionally the team was able to finish third in the marathon, a testament to the strength of the J-series powerplant.
To create its own everyday commuter racer, Serenity Sound Performance in Fountain Valley, Calif., snagged a contemporary TL to see what it could do to it with off-the-shelf parts. Like the Honda Research guys, they threw on a cold-air intake, one of Injen's, and the exact same 2.5-inch exhaust from Comptech. Sun Automotive also sent SSP proprietor Thai Nguyen one each of its Hyper Voltage System and Hyper Ground System. Both purport to improve the vehicle's electrical system and make more power.
Finally, we take the TL to MD Automotive in Westminster, Calif., to tie it to the Dynojet rollers and get an idea about what the mods are capable of.