Acura has revealed its newest addition to its lineup, the 2021 TLX, which also marks the return of Acura’s Type S high performance variant after a decade-long hiatus.
The TLX Type S, arriving next spring, will be powered by an all-new Acura exclusive 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine developed for Type S levels of performance. Additionally, the new TLX Type S will be the first Type S model to feature Acura’s torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
The 2021 TLX integrates a variety of performance, comfort and connectivity technologies first deployed on the third-generation Acura RDX. These include a 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged engine, 4th-generation SH-AWD system, Acura ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio system and the latest iteration of Acura’s driver-focused True Touchpad Interface.
“With this new TLX, we’re doubling down on what today’s sport sedan enthusiasts are asking for – a more stylish, personal and performance-focused driving experience,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. “Our designers and engineers really took the gloves off, rethinking what an Acura sport sedan should be, right down to its most essential elements – stance, proportion, platform and powertrain. This is unquestionably our most ambitious redesign of an Acura sedan.”
At the front, a bolder and more upright diamond pentagon grille is flanked by signature, next-generation Acura lighting cues previewed in the Type S Concept. These include new Jewel Eye LED headlights with four LED elements and bright-white “Chicane” LED daytime running lights inspired by the championship-winning Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype race car.
Acura’s A-Spec sport package continues, adding sport appearance upgrades inside and out. Exterior A-Spec features includes Shark Grey 19-inch wheels, gloss black accents front to rear, darkened headlight and taillight treatment and a pronounced rear decklid spoiler.
Type S: High Performance Variant
Arriving spring 2021, the TLX Type S builds upon the A-Spec styling elements. At the front, a unique open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille and larger side air intakes feed an all-new powerful V6 turbo engine developed for Acura Type S models. Aerodynamic elements include a rear decklid spoiler, aggressive front splitter and rear diffuser and large quad exhaust outlets that harken back to the 2007-2008 TL Type S. Two exclusive 20-inch wheels designs will be offered, a split-10 spoke design from the Type S Concept and an NSX-inspired lightweight “Y-Spoke” wheel, both wrapped in 255-series performance rubber.
Body and Chassis
The 2021 TLX is a built on a new dedicated Acura sedan platform designed for Type S-levels of performance. The new chassis heralds the return of double-wishbone front suspension to Acura’s top-selling sedan, offering more precise handling and cornering grip, as well as greater mechanical compliance for improved ride quality. In addition, the TLX chassis incorporates multiple new performance-focused engineering upgrades, including a variable-ratio steering system, electro-servo brake-by-wire technology applied from the NSX and an available driver selectable Adaptive Damper System.
An ultra-rigid new center tunnel serves as the backbone of the TLX’s higher structural rigidity, complimented by triangulated front shock tower bars, front and rear underfloor braces, a one-piece rear bulkhead stiffener and new cast-aluminum front shock tower mounts. Front-to-rear weight balance is also improved by an extensive use of aluminum, including the front bumper, hood, front fenders and front damper mounts, in addition to locating the 12-volt battery in the trunk.
The new TLX will offer two, powerful and high-torque turbocharged engines.
Standard power comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged engine with VTEC, with peak output of 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift.
When it arrives in spring 2021, the TLX Type S will deliver power from an all-new 3.0-liter, 24-valve, DOHC direct-injected and turbocharged engine. The new transverse-mounted V6 will be highly compact and lightweight, utilizing a dual scroll turbocharger and electronic wastegate to deliver immediate, high-torque response. Final specifications for the new engine, including power output, will be released closer to launch timing.
The 2021 TLX’s more premium, personal and tech-focused cabin features authentic, high-grade materials including real aluminum, open-pore wood and full-grain Milano leather.
A-Spec and Type S models feature unique details throughout the cabin, including a thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather with contrast stitching and larger metal-plated paddle shifters. In addition to unique materials and colors, the TLX Type S interior is distinguished by Type S badging on the door sills, steering wheel and embossed headrests.
The 2021 TLX also incorporates a full array of Acura technologies designed for enhanced comfort, connectivity and audio entertainment, starting with a new implementation of Acura’s innovative and driver-oriented True Touchpad Interface. This system features a high-mounted 10.2-inch HD display and a console mounted touchpad with “Absolute Position” mapping.
The 2021 TLX features a standard 7-inch full-color Multi-Information Display (MID) in the center gauge cluster and an available 10.5-inch full-color Head-Up Display (HUD). The available Acura ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio system features four ultra-slim Highline ceiling-mounted speakers as well as a new Twin Telford subwoofer design.
The new TLX also features the latest generation of AcuraLink with in-vehicle 4GLTE Wi-Fi, over-the-air software update capability and a wide array of available cloud-based services, including emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and Acura concierge services.