2021 Acura TLX's New Airbag Is Like A Baseball Mitt For Your Face

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Acura is confident the 2021 TLX will achieve top safety ratings thanks to this revolutionary new tech.

Last month saw the debut of the 2021 Acura TLX inspired by the stunning Type S Concept, and it didn't disappoint. With its sporty proportions, the 2021 Acura TLX is a very attractive-looking sports sedan. Acura is also bringing back the high-performance TLX Type S, which packs a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. Now, Acura is highlighting an aspect of the next-generation TLX you may have overlooked: its revolutionary safety technology.

As demonstrated in a video provided by Acura, the 2021 TLX features a new three-chamber airbag with world-first technology that's designed to reduce the risk of brain injuries during angled frontal collisions. Instead of featuring a single inflatable chamber like conventional airbags, Acura's new airbag has an uninflated panel that catches and decelerates the occupant's head with less force, while also directing it inward between two inflated chambers to offer further protection.

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Acura says this new airbag operates "like a baseball catcher's mitt." This isn't the first time Acura has developed innovative safety tech, as it also introduced the first vertically deploying passenger front airbag in 1990 for the Legend sedan.

As well as the new passenger front airbag, the 2021 TLX now includes knee airbags for the driver and front passenger that are designed to better control the forward motion of the occupants during a frontal collision. Each knee airbag is contained beneath a panel on the underside of the instrument panel, providing improved legroom. In total, the 2021 TLX is equipped with eight airbags, including front, side and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger and side-curtain airbags with a rollover sensor.

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As standard, all 2021 TLX models come with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assists to help avoid or reduce the severity of a collision, including an enhanced collision mitigation braking system, driver awareness monitor, and traffic jam assist.

Other safety improvements include Acura's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure that enhances occupant protection by absorbing and distributing crash energy away from the passenger compartment and a central floor tunnel made of high-strength steel. Acura expects these safety enhancements will enable the 2021 TLX to achieve a five-star NHTSA rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating, including a 'Good' rating in all collision tests and a 'Superior' rating for frontal crash prevention.

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