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Is the 2021 Acura TLX Type S really worth the wait?

Acura is doubling on efficiency and the upcoming 2021 Acura TLX Type S is an example of what that means in action. The Type S enhancement will go beyond the A-Spec model, adding sporty looks but not much in the way of real performance upgrades. Look at the TLX Type S which packs a heartfelt twin-turbo V-6 (output TBD, but actually wants well over 300 horses)—a mechanical differentiator from non-type S TLXs.

In 2015, the original TLX debuted, replacing both the smaller TSX and a slightly larger TL.

It was intended to compete against luxury sport sedans from Germany but it was never sufficiently exciting or refined to challenge Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz.

Compared with its predecessor, the 2021 TLX is larger and more powerful and should have the overall performance to challenge its established German rivals.


The 2021 Acura TLX Type S is fabulous with Acura Precision Concept influencing styling heavily, designers opted for a lower, wider, and sleeker look. The new model has a 3.7-inch longer wheelbase, a 2.2-inch wider body, a 0.6-inch lower roof, and an extended dash-to-axle ratio of 7.8-inch compared to the prior TLX. Acura claims a top-of-the-range hip and shoulder room. As usual with the brand, there is an array of advanced technologies in connectivity, audio, and infotainment. The new True and Touchpad Interface system features a 10.2-inch HD display and a console-mounted touchpad which Acura says has accurate handwriting recognition among other enhancements.

Additionally, there is a seven-inch full-color display in the center gauge cluster and an optional 10.5-inch head-up display. A premium audio system with four ceiling speakers is also available.

A total of seven interior color options are offered as well as ambient LED lighting, which changes depending on the driving mode selected.

2021 ACURA TLX and Type S Engines, Power, And Safety

The base engine is the renowned 2.0-liter, 272 hp and 280 lb-ft turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which improves 66hp with 98 lb-ft in comparison with the last 2.4-liter engine. The TLX Type S, with a new 3.0-liter direct injection turbo-filled V6, will be on sale later next year. No official power numbers available yet, but Acura adds that the NSX Twin-Turbo V6 engine was developed by the same engineers. All that we know is that this new V6 has "dramatic improvements" in comparison with the old natural 3,5-liter V6 and an improvement of 50 percent in low-end torque.

Both 2021 TLX engines will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission transmitting power to the front wheels in base 2.0 models. The Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system is optional for 2.0 models and standard for 3.0 models.

The new TLX is based on an all-new platform with double-wishbone front suspension, variable steering ratio mechanism, active damping, and even NSX-inspired Electro-Servo brake-by-wire technology. Type S models are equipped with four-piston Brembo brakes. Three modes of driving are offered: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. Type S models also receive a Sport+ setting that incrementally increases the throttle response, the electrical power steering, the AWD system, and the available adaptive dampers.

2021 ACURA TLX and Type S Pricing And Competition

Acura has not announced official pricing at this time, though it can confirm it will start off in the mid-$30,000 range when 2.0 models arrive in dealerships in early fall. Chances are a fully-loaded Acura TLX Type S will come in at around $50,000. It will be available for an affordable car lease deal at Ice Auto Group.

There's no question the 2021 Acura TLX is the best-looking sedan the brand has produced in years and we sincerely hope it'll drive and perform as good as it looks.

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