If you’re worried about the state of sedans as Lexus kills the GS, Ford puts a countdown on the Fusion, and indeed Acura reportedly axes the flagship RLX, don’t despair. There are still sports sedans in the world, and Acura will digitally reveal its second-generation TLX next Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 A.M. PDT. The brand as a whole is moving in an edgier direction when it comes to styling and performance, and they’ve billed this new TLX as the next chapter in that story. We’ve seen this car in concept form below, but Acura’s latest teaser shows what the actual production version will look like.
On the performance side, the 2021 Acura TLX is getting a special name it hasn’t worn since 2008: Type S. It’s a name that brandished the quickest of Acura’s older sedans and coupes, and now it’s making a return here. In its return, the company says the new TLX will be the “quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sport sedan in Acura history, with the Type S being the model’s performance pinnacle.”
Old name, new engine
To that end, the 2021 Acura TLX Type S will house a brand new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. We have it on good authority that the engine will develop over 300 horsepower, which would be a healthy improvement on the outgoing TLX. With a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6, the current TLX manages just 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Exactly how much the 2021 Acura TLX Type S will make is a mystery, but it needs to make somewhere in the mid-300 horsepower range to compete against the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
An entry-level, 2.0-liter engine should round out the 2021 Acura TLX lineup, and that’s coming as a similar powertrain to what currently powers the Honda Accord. That means expect power somewhere in the 250 horsepower range, and a 10-speed automatic transmission (as should also make it into the Type S).
One area the 2021 Acura TLX and its Type S variants will undoubtedly appeal against the German competition is price. While it may not have the power of the Audi S4, BMW M340i or Mercedes-AMG C43 (again, horsepower numbers aren’t confirmed yet), the TLX has long been a bit of a bargain. While the even the standard Audi A4 starts at a relatively reasonable $37,400 excluding destination (the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class both start over $40,000), the TLX starts at just $33,000. Bring the Type S into the mix, and it will most likely still undercut that competition by a wide margin.
Judging by the picture above, if Acura can bring both the Type S Concept’s styling and respectable turbocharged performance to the table, the TLX’s rivals may have to watch their flanks much more closely.
Stay tuned on May 28 for more updates!