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Acura's Type S Concept Is an Exciting Preview of Future Performance Models

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 2019-08-13 Tony Quiroga
a car parked on the side of a road: Said to predict the upcoming TLX Type S, this sports sedan certainly looks the part.© Acura Said to predict the upcoming TLX Type S, this sports sedan certainly looks the part.
  • The Acura Type S is a sporty concept car that previews the next-generation TLX sedan.
  • Expected to arrive next year as a 2021 model, the new TLX will offer a Type S performance model with a turbocharged V-6.
  • The Type S concept is being shown as part of the 2019 Monterey Car Week festivities leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Acura is looking for a hit. While the strong-selling MDX and RDX crossovers are largely supporting the luxury brand, Acura would really like to gain some enthusiast credibility and make good on the brand's performance claims. Hence the return of the Type S performance badge, applied here on the Acura Type S sports-sedan concept.

This new concept car certainly looks the part. The proportions are stunning. There's an elegance to the design, which is clean and without extraneous affectation. Even Acura's "Diamond Pentastar" grille is nicely integrated and tastefully done. In profile, there's more than a little bit of Audi A7. The striking blue color, called Double Apex Blue Pearl, is said to hark back to a hue offered on the 2007–2008 TL Type S.

a car driving on a road: Acura Type S Concept© Acura Acura Type S Concept

The Type S concept, by Acura's own admission, closely previews the next-generation TLX mid-size sedan, which we've already seen in rendered form thanks to leaked images found within Acura's own infotainment system. While the new TLX will almost certainly have a transversely mounted engine, both the concept and the leaked images show us that Acura is working on giving the car a longer dash-to-axle ratio, a design often characteristic of luxury cars with longitudinally mounted engines. We also expect that the concept's taillight and headlight designs will appear on the production car, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the quad exhaust tips also make the transition to reality.

Acura confirmed last year that it will bring back the Type S badge previously applied to performance versions of the TL, CL, and RSX in the 2000s. It seems that the TLX will be the first production Acura to revive this treatment. A turbocharged V-6 is said to be in the cards, although no specs are available yet.

Acura has yet to confirm timing for the next-generation TLX, but we'd wager that it will arrive in about a year as a 2021 model. If it looks like this concept, it just might draw more than a few buyers from the SUVs in Acura's showroom.

a car parked on the side of a road: Acura Type S Concept© Acura Acura Type S Concept
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