We are definitely looking forward to the forthcoming 2021 Acura TLX because it not only looks like it could be the rebirth of the sportiness that the brand needs, but it also will come with a lot of new tech-savvy features. And while it’s easy for us to get caught up in the panache of the new turbocharged powerplants that will lie under its hood, we’re reminded that the Acura TLX will have some features that will be ground-breaking for the segment. However, there is one safety feature, in particular, that no other car has.
Hopefully, you will never have to use this feature
According to Acura, the new TLX will aim to achieve the highest safety ratings possible from both NHTSA and the IIHS. In order to do this, Acura is making the AcuraWatch suite of driver-assist features standard across the TLX lineup. These features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front collision warning, and road departure mitigation. But in addition to these features, the brand has also been working on an advanced passenger-side airbag, which will make its debut on 2021 TLX.
This new airbag technology is designed to “better manage lateral collision forces that can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely, or slide off a conventional airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.” How did Acura accomplish the new airbag design? It did it with the help of Honda R&D Americas and safety systems supplier, Autoliv. Together they created the “world’s first” multi-stage airbag that inflates similar to a “catcher’s mitt.” As opposed to a single inflatable chamber, the new airbag utilizes three inflatable compartments with a “sail panel” in the middle to catch the passenger’s head (like a glove) and prevent it from sliding off either side of the airbag.
The new TLX will have more than just airbags
In addition to the advanced passenger-side airbag, the 2021 TLX will boast other new features including knee airbags for both the driver and passenger, which will be tucked beneath the instrument panel so as to not hinder legroom on both sides. In total, the TLX will have eight airbags to keep everyone in the vehicle safe in the event of most types of collisions, including rollovers.
Some additional driver-assist features (in conjunction with the aforementioned ones) include an Enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), which uses a wider-angle radar to better detect obstacles and pedestrians in the road ahead, a driver-awareness monitor, and traffic-jam assist to aid with stop-and-go traffic situations. In addition to these passive and active safety features, the 2021 TLX will also be built with Acura’s Next-Generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure which incorporates high-strength steel to enhance the overall structure of the front bulkhead and distribute the impact energy away from the passenger compartment area in the event of a collision.
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These safety features continue the legacy that Acura has built
While a lot of the safety features on the 2021 TLX are new and innovative, Acura has a “safety firsts” including the first vertically deploying airbag on the Acura Legend back in 1991. One good thing is that this new “catcher’s mitt” style airbag will also be available for use by other automakers, however, you’ll see it first on the new TLX. Or hopefully, you won’t have to actually see it in action.