SP Rides: Sultry and Sophisticated

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Year, make, model: 2019 Acura TLX A-Spec
Owners: Jonathan Natividad and Malerie Ibarra
Occupation: Corrections and patient advocate
Hobbies: Cars, Xbox
Color: Crystal Black Pearl
Engine: Drop-in K&N filter
Interior: window tint installed by AL’s Tinting, Junction Produce red and black limited edition fusa kiku knot, Junction Produce seat cushion
Exterior: S Factor Fabrication splitter kit with rear valence, rear windshield spoiler from Spoiler Kings, ceramic coating done by Ohana Detail Garage
Wheels, Tires: Work Emotion Kiwami wheels set front 19-by-9.5, rear 19-by-10.5, Nexen Nfera SU1 225035ZR19 and 235/35R19
Suspension: Airlift 3P suspension kit

It’s been awhile since I’d seen Jonathan Natividad. The last time was on track at the Super Lap Series where he was busting out times in his Subaru STi at Hawaii Raceway Park. But of course, that was awhile back. Times change, and now along for the ride is his significant other, Malerie Ibarra. Gone is the STi, having been replaced by this svelte and sultry 2019 Acura TLX A-Spec.

This is quite a change from the track beast of old. This is a sophisticated daily driver that oozes a sultry type of appeal. This being Ibarra’s first tuned import, it was also her first foray into a world well known by Natividad. Obviously, Natividad already had a game plan in mind when it came to the future modifications. The A-Spec is already Acura’s performance package and it also takes cues from the new NSX — but a little bit of additional love doesn’t hurt.

“I just wanted to make it look sweet for her to drive,” said Natividad.

Before, having a drop wasn’t something Natividad was concerned with. It was pure performance minded. However, with a ride like this, the obvious choice was some sweet air suspension from Airlift. Thanks to a stealth install by Samson of Revision Audio, this car is able to tuck quite nicely and ride high when needed.

The install is sequestered away in a small compartment that looks like it was purpose-built from the factory for the install.  Regardless, it allows for full use of the trunk space with no compromises which is important when you have kids and places to go. Remember, this is a daily driver and not a no-compromises track car.

The wheels came next and this part seemed to pair up perfectly strictly by chance. His best friend happened to be selling a set of gorgeous 19-inch Work Emotion Kiwami wheels. After a quick install and alignment, the wheels fit perfectly. A small point of interest is that the rear has a much deeper and concave face in comparison to the fronts.  It totally came out cherry.

With the drop and the wheels fitted, the ground effects came next.  An S Factor Fabrication splitter kit was added along with a sweet rear valence. The sideskirts also received additional splitter love.  Combined with the drop, this creates a floored stance that’s hard to deny. 

The interior has received some minor additions such as the Junction Produce fusa kiku knot as well as the seat cushions. This TLX has some trick interior lighting straight from the factory which matches all of this and adds a nice depth. The interior already looks like a high-tech cockpit so it certainly doesn’t hurt.

This has been a slow build for Natividad and Ibarra — most likely a wrap and some starlights are in its future, but they’re content to roll in luxury while being sultry and sophisticated. This is a bit of a comeback for Natividad as well — just a chance to get with the times.

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