Acura will unveil the 2020 TLX PMC Edition — the first of its new signature special editions — at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. And like a trendy new craft bourbon, the new top-of-the-line TLX is small-batch, hand-crafted and artisanal.
PMC stands for Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, where its NSX supercar is hand-built to order. The TLX PMC Edition will be put together by the same technicians that assemble the NSX, which should add punch to Acura’s “Precision Crafted” marketing slogan and maybe juice sales of its cars versus SUVs. Just 360 numbered cars will be built over six months; the TLX PMC Edition will be the second vehicle built there in addition to the NSX.
The 2020 TLX PMC Edition will be the first such special edition, but it won’t be the last. Also being unveiled in New York along with the production TLX PMC will be a prototype of the MDX PMC, the next model in line for the treatment.
“We designed the PMC not only to build NSX, but to give Acura the flexibility to explore handcrafted production of limited-edition models,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura brand chief. “The TLX and MDX PMC Edition are the first to take advantage of this unique capability, and we intend to explore additional options.”
Acura’s not saying, but these also could be a first small step to echo the more exclusive (and profitable) upmarket performance versions of vehicles from other luxury brands, such as Mercedes’ AMG models. But for now, the PMC is about appearance and trim, not more performance — more like the AMG Line packages you can get to dress up a new Mercedes-Benz.
Here are six things that make the 2020 Acura PMC Edition special:
1. Hand-Built Exclusivity
Acura says that unfinished TLX bodies will be delivered to PMC where they will be painted, and technicians then will install the powertrain, chassis components and wiring, followed by the interior. Unlike the NSX, the engine will not be hand-built. But the finished TLX PMC Edition will be run through the same quality shakedown as an NSX, including a dynamometer check, final finish inspection and rough-road simulation. Then it gets special delivery to a dealer in an enclosed carrier. A center-console serial plaque will designate its place in the 360-car run.
2. Paint You Can Get Lost In
The highlight of the special edition’s looks is the exclusive Valencia Red Pearl paint finish applied with the same multicoat process as is used for the NSX to produce greater depth and color saturation. The paint is solvent-based rather than more common water-based paint, and it uses what Acura calls “nanopigment technology” with mica, metal flake and tiny high-transparency pigments. Then it gets two clear coats. The process takes about five days to apply and cure, says Acura, as opposed to the typical single-day process.
3. Decked-Out Features With Sportier Look
The TLX PMC Edition is a one-spec vehicle with everything on the menu. In addition to its own PMC details, it combines the top TLX Advance trim level’s luxury features with sportier design elements from the A-Spec model; those can’t be mixed and matched on a regular TLX. The only things left to add would be dealer-installed accessories.
4. Trim That Sets It Apart, Outside and Inside
You want your neighbors to know you got the special one, and PMC Edition-specific details, in addition to the flash red paint job, include a gloss-black roof, grille and door handles along with exclusive 19-inch gloss-black wheels. There also are body-colored grille trim and side-mirror caps, and dual dark-chrome, 4-inch exhaust tips (which for context is the size of a typical drain pipe).
Inside, you’ll find black Milano leather sport seats with Alcantara imitation-suede inserts. There is red contrast stitching on the seats, door panels and center armrest, as well as an A-Spec perforated leather steering wheel with stitching and metal-finish paddle shifters.
5. TLX’s Top Performance Options
The TLX PMC Edition doesn’t add performance you can’t otherwise get on a TLX, but it does come with the top options available, starting with the 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission. It also has Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system and a handling assist to aid direction changes. It also includes Sport and Sport Plus modes that sharpen steering, throttle and transmission response.
6. A Relatively Modest Price
The TLX PMC Edition has not been priced yet, but Acura said to expect a price “around $50,000.” That compares to a price with destination of $46,945 for a 2019 TLX with the Advance Package.
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We’ll be there for the reveal of the PMC Editions and have all the details and photos. Our full team of automotive journalists will be at the media preview for the 2019 New York International Auto Show, April 17-18, and will be bringing you all the action from the show floor, so be sure to check back in with us often.
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