Acura has brought back the Type S moniker as it attempts to bring back its performance credentials. The 2021 Acura TLX Type S is the first vehicle in the lineup to wear the iconic badge since 2007 where it was used in the third generation TL. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how it drives yet, so let’s take a deep dive and see what makes the TLX Type S different from your average TLX.
What’s Different with the 2021 Acura TLX Type S?
The front fascia of the 2021 Acura TLX Type S is instantly different from the standard car. There are more openings to improve cooling and lots of black accents from the headlights to the grille, which is specific to Type S models. Acura says the TLX Type S has 10 percent better cooling than the standard car thanks to its unique front end. Type S variants also get a black front splitter. Wide tires measuring 255/35R20s on 20-inch wheels are standard on the TLX Type S regardless of whether you get one with the all-season tires or the optional summer tire option. There’s also an available set of 20-inch wheels that cut weight by 28 pounds in total. In the rear, the TLX Type S can be distinguished by its massive quad active exhaust tips.
Under the hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. This unit is good for 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque routing power through all four wheels via Acura’s SH-AWD system, which has a torque-vectoring rear axle. Like its predecessor, the 2021 Acura TLX Type S isn’t just a higher horsepower version. The 10-speed automatic transmission has been tweaked to handle more power. Bigger brakes and extensive suspension and structural tweaks are also part of the formula to create the TLX Type S.
What Features Are the Same or Not Available?
Despite being at the top of the model range the 2021 Acura TLX Type S doesn’t get every feature found in the four-cylinder model. For example, you can’t get a head-up display in the Type S model. You can’t get a full digital cluster either even though it’s available in the TLX’s crossover sibling, the MDX. There’s also a structural brace that cuts into the opening of the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks. The front sport seats also have more bolstering and have heating and ventilation. You also get unique metal interior trim for the Type S but you can also swap to carbon fiber and other materials via dealer-installed accessories. The steering wheel is a flat bottom design with the Type S logo embedded in it.
The rest of the TLX Type S’ interior is the same as its lesser siblings. You get the same dash layout with the 10.3-inch display controlled via a touchpad with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Dynamic mode knob is front and center, allowing you to select between five drive modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+, the latter of which is accessed by clicking and holding to the right. Pressing the knob allows you to access Individual mode, which lets you customize the powertrain, steering, adaptive suspension/dampers, interior ambient lighting, and engine start/stop feature.
We hope all of these have you looking forward to our driving impressions on the 2021 Acura TLX Type S. Make sure you stay tuned on May 20 when we can finally talk about how this new sports sedan stacks up against the competition and whether it’s worthy of that iconic Type S badge.