While some car companies are busy jettisoning their sedans and going all-in on crossover-type vehicles, a few bright sparks acknowledge there is still a core market for well-crafted four doors with a modicum of sportiness. The latest to step up to this plate? Acura, with a dandy new TLX sedan.
Styling of the new TLX does a good job of holding true to the design language first seen on the Acura Precision Concept in 2016. That car later evolved into the Acura Type S Concept which debuted at Monterey Car Week last year.
Fans of the brand will be pleased to learn the Type S moniker isn’t just a flight of marketing fancy. Available in about a year from now, Acura says the all-wheel drive TLX Type S will be the quickest Acura sedan ever built and the first model to receive the brand’s exclusive 3.0L V6 turbo engine. Company spox are mum on power specifics but promise more ponies than the outgoing 3.5L V6 which makes 290 horsepower. As rotten ’90s kids with memories awash in cars like the Integra Type R, we can’t wait to have a go.
Even the standard TLX sounds tasty. Its standard 2.0L Turbo engine makes 272 horsepower, 280lb.-ft of torque, and plays with a 10-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive will be an option, which should pair nicely with a snazzy A-Spec package.
Handling details sound trick, highlighted by the return of a double wishbone front suspension. This was once Acura’s calling card, showing up in desirable cars like the Legend and Integra, not to mention both generations of the NSX. The new TLX’s front suspension uses two wishbone-shaped control arms in place of the more common Macpherson strut setup found in many other sport sedans. This party piece delivers more precise control of wheel camber, caster, and toe angles to help maximize tire-to-ground contact. This, of course, should mean more grip than yer average MacPherson strut configuration.
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.
Acura is doubling down on interior design inspired by the NSX, with a large dial controlling the car’s Dynamic Mode system dominating the centre stack. A-Spec and Type S models will feature unique details throughout the cabin, including a thick flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather. Infotainment duties seem to mirror those of the RDX crossover, using a touchpad that includes a sidebar for ancillary functions. And those gauges continue to remind your author of the late RSX sports coupe, which is not a bad thing at all.
Look for the 2021 TLX to arrive at dealerships early this fall with a sticker price starting in the low $40,000 range.