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Spied! 2018 Acura TLX Prototype Shows off New Grille

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/6/2016 Motor Trend Staff

Sometimes, camouflage only serves to accentuate what an automaker is trying to hide. That's certainly the case with this Acura prototype, which can't hide its new diamond pentagon grille in these photos.

We first saw this grille design on the Acura Precision Concept, and then again on the refreshed 2017 Acura MDX that went on sale earlier this year. On the camouflaged prototype, which we believe is the refreshed 2018 Acura TLX, this grille contributes to a more athletic front end that we've been waiting to see on a production Acura sedan. The headlights maintain their narrow, angular shape as before, but this mule doesn't have any silver window trim like we typically see on the TLX. The back end keeps its large lip at the top of the trunk, but it looks like Acura may have changed the shape of the rear a bit.

2018 Acura TLX prototype rear three quarter© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Acura TLX prototype rear three quarter

A while back, Acura debuted a production-ready TLX show car with visible exhaust outlets, which could potentially make their way to market because Acura owners have been requesting them. All current Acura models hide their exhaust tips. When the concept debuted, we spoke with Acura Global Creative Director Dave Marek, who hinted that an updated TLX would feature more compelling styling. "The next round of styling will be more premium-brand, performance feeling, and more noticeable," he said.

2018 Acura TLX prototype rear three quarter 02© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Acura TLX prototype rear three quarter 02

The current-generation Acura TLX debuted in 2014 for the 2015 model year, so it's due for a mid-cycle refresh in the near future. Today's TLX offers a choice of two engines: a 206-hp 2.4-liter inline-four and a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6.

Photo Source: Alex Gorodetzki

2018 Acura TLX prototype front three quarters© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Acura TLX prototype front three quarters

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