No doubt about it, the Acura NSX has a rich tradition and remains the halo car of the fleet. The rest of Acura’s sedan offerings are great cars, but sometimes they lack a certain je ne sais quoi compared with their more mundane Honda counterparts. Enter the TLX PMC Edition. Sometimes you just want something special from the dealership. You can then do some minor personalization to really separate your vehicle from the herd. However, when the herd is limited to just 360 individually numbered units, you know it will be something special.
The lab coat techs who hand-assemble the Acura NSX are also responsible for this bespoke TLX. The work is carried out at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio – hence the PMC-Edition moniker. The PMC Edition gets all of the premium features of the TLX Advance Package with the sporty bits from the TLX A-Spec.
But the real showstopper here is the paintwork. The Valencia Red Pearl paint is the among the highest quality ever offered on a production car. Typically, modern cars use a two-stage basecoat/clearcoat finish. The PMC Edition adds an additional pigment-tinted clearcoat to give off insane levels of depth.
The only drawback is the constant worry of parking lot dings. To electronically protect itself from driving mishaps, the vehicle is equipped with a surround-view camera system and power-folding door mirrors. In addition, to passively protect itself, my tester showed up wearing clear protective film from Opti Coat. On top of that was a ceramic topcoat from Opti Coat that had been applied with quality levels fit for an Acura. Other options for the end user include offerings from Avery Dennison or 3M. If you have a car that you want to protect, you owe it to yourself and your vehicle to discuss paint protection film with your local authorized retailer. When it comes to these films, the results are only as good as the quality of the installation. Luckily, this installation was near perfect and showed off the rich, endless depth of the special Valencia Red Pearl.
The TLX features Acura’s 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 matched up to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It is creamy smooth, but when you want to mimic an NSX, a touch more power would be great. The handling is superlative, with the Honda-engineered Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive with Torque Vectoring. This is one of the few vehicles where I’ve really enjoyed the aluminum paddle shifters. They work with a precise snick, and an informative window appears in the gauge cluster to let you know what gear you are in.
On the interior, you’ll find some nice red stitching on the door panels and center console. The Acura ELS Studio premium audio system features 10 speakers, but I think that Elliot L. Scheiner might like a touch more bass in this system that bears his name. I first heard an ELS system back in the 2004 Acura TL. Now the ELS name runs through the Acura lineup, with most of the electronics and drivers provided by Panasonic. Regardless, there is a lot of good equipment, and those looking for the ultimate experience can have a qualified mobile electronics retailer augment the factory offering. Luckily, controlling the audio is easy with a large touchscreen mounted close to the driver. A secondary screen for the navigation system resides up high in the dashboard. The navigation screen isn’t a touchscreen, so you must use the dash-mounted rotary controller. I would prefer both units to be touchscreen, and Acura could still offer the controller for those who like it. The navigation system, however, uses the old Alpine graphics and looks a generation behind.
I really dug the other nice touches on the PMC Edition that made it feel as though you were riding in something special – for example, the blacked-out roof panel, door handles, grille, exhaust tips, and wheels right down to the lug nuts. A serial plaque on the lower console designates the vehicle as one of the 360 units handcrafted at the Acura PMC.
So, if I were lucky enough to land a PMC Edition, I would first protect that beautiful paint with a top-notch clear protective film with a ceramic coating topcoat. Then I might just tweak the audio system a little. The navigation system graphics can be bypassed using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The TLX is an expensive proposition, as the car retails for just over $50,000. But you’ll have something that very few others in the US will ever have or see. Sometimes exclusivity has a price that is worth it.