Given Acura owners notoriously low manual take rate, it’s hard to find these on the used car market
An uncommon and arguably rare Acura popped up on Autotrader earlier this week, a top of the line 2012 Acura TL with SH-AWD and an optional 6-speed manual making this the sportiest TL you could get.
According to the owner,
“Pristine Condition, Extremely Rare Combination of 6-speed Manual Transmission , Sport Steering System, Sport Body Kit. Only about 42 ever made with these features. 72K miles. If you think the price is crazy you don’t know what your* looking at!“
How rare is it, really?
In 2009, Acura published its market research and concluded TL owners opt for the manual only about 5 percent of the time.
According to Car Sales Base, if Acura sold 33,572 TLs in 2012, it’s fair to assume there are about 1,680 MY 2012 Manual TLs floating around. .
Stretch that out over roughly 170,000 TLs between MY 2009-2014 and we’re looking at around 8,200 fourth gen Manual TLs ever made
Not exactly rare-rare, but super uncommon.
Special but overpriced.
Priced at $79,000, this owner seems to think it’s appreciated 80 percent over its base $43,745 MSRP. It’s priced, proverbially, like someone who doesn’t want to sell this thing.
But, reading the tale of the tape, can you blame the owner?
Acura first offered the TL SH-AWD with a manual in 2010. Paired to the larger 3.7L V6 with an impressive 305 HP and 273 lb-ft, Motor Trend hit 60 MPH in just 5.3 seconds.
But the real benefits of this unique combo come from that close-ratio 6-speed working with Acura Super Handling All-Wheel drive.
SH-AWD meant, during cruising, 90 percent of the power went to the front wheels for efficiency but, at a moment’s notice, could transfer 70 percent of torque to the rear, 100 percent of that torque split to either wheel.
It’s a system Acura eventually put into its Acura NSX, a full-time AWD system they’re still perfecting.
Acura also made TL’s with SH-AWD and 6-speed manuals slightly sportier than its automatic counterpart thanks to an overall stiffer suspension, special SH-AWD tuning, and an overall 88 pounds weight savings thanks to its inherently lighter transmission.
Despite what the seller says, it’s not as mint as he says and, if you inspected this TL with a fine-toothed comb, those 72,000 miles of use surely would show itself in the details.
And, seeing how these photos are from 2018, something’s telling me this TL’s been on the market for far longer than he’s willing to admit.