Acura TLX, 2020 Toyota 86, ATS RR Turbo

Marco Green
May 31, 2020

Next spring, Acura will introduce the long-awaited TLX Type S. The company wasn't ready to delve into specifics, but confirmed the model will have a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that delivers "Type S levels of performance".

Back when we first saw the Type S Concept, it was clear that the auto wasn't far from being production-ready.

"With this new TLX, we're doubling down on what today's sport sedan enthusiasts are asking for - a more stylish, personal and performance-focused driving experience", said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. The wide rear fenders and long hood in particular make the vehicle look quite muscular.

The new TLX sees a 3.7-inch longer wheelbase, a 2.2-inch wider body, and a slightly lower roof, by.6-inches. The body is 2.2-inches wider, with the front and rear tracks up 1.2-inches and 1.6-inches, respectively.

Its design is somehow toned down compared with the Type S, but don't think less, this sedan is still a dream.

Matching "Chicane" tail lamps - also in LED - and dual exhaust outlets pick up the same themes at the rear.

The interior is, likewise, all-new, and it sits further back than before, with inward-sloping pillars meant to emphasize the muscularity of the overall design. If the TLX drives half as well as it looks, Acura could have a victor on its hands.

The new TLX will hit dealer lots in the Fall of 2020. It's a combination of aluminum and press-hardened steel for the most part, with a new ultra-rigid center tunnel. Besides the big proportions changes you also get top-shelf electro-servo brake technology (from the NSX), new front double-wishbone suspension, and available fourth-generation "super handling all-wheel-drive" (SH-AWD). Now, the engine can send up to 70% of its torque to the rear wheels, while the torque-vectoring rear differential can split that torque from between zero to 100% between the left or right wheel. The rear axle will also be continuously overdriven by 2.9-percent, Acura says, amplifying the yaw moment effect when the torque shifts from side to side.

The 2021 TLX range will be fueled by a 2.0-liter turbo I4 motor - a similar one you'll discover in the RDX crossover- and utilizes a 10-speed gearbox. It gets even more aggressive bodywork. Both turbocharged engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing last year's 8- and 9-speed automatic units.

Those who want more power, meanwhile, may want to wait for the new 3.0-liter, 24-valve DOHC twin-turbocharged V6 engine. They also noted drivers can expect more than a 50% increase in low-end torque. At the rear, there'll be a special decklid spoiler and a special rear diffuser, along with large quad exhaust outlets. The Type S gets a new 3.0L turbo V6.

The new Acura TLX is longer lower and wider and adopts a clear fastback shape
The new Acura TLX is longer lower and wider and adopts a clear fastback shape

Visually, you might get a sense of déjà vu checking out the 2021 Acura TLX, and for good reason. There will also be two TLX models.

Inside the new TLX, there's the promise of more high-end trim and comfort.

Acura explains that the newest variant of its TTI tech comes with "more accurate swipe zones" and "other performance improvements". The 2021 Acura TLX Type S builds upon the appearance package of the A-Spec with some serious performance upgrades.

If the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan and the 475-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT can coexist in the same driveway, then Americans can also learn to get along.

On the high-tech front, there's a 10.25-inch, high-mount infotainment touchscreen, as well as a 7-inch multi-information display. Other options include the AcuraLink telematics system which includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi and over-the-air update capabilities.

Acura's Type S Concept clearly influenced the final design of the 2021 Acura TLX.

The center stack houses the electronic shifter below the overly broad drive mode selection dial.

On the safety and assistance side, all 2021 TLX trims will get AcuraWatch.

The suite includes new features such as a driver awareness monitor, a traffic sign recognition system and traffic jam assist. It also uses Acura's new front passenger airbag system, which has three chambers created to embrace the head in a crash like a baseball catcher's mitt.

How much horsepower and torque are on offer in the 2021 Acura TLX?

Acura says that it'll confirm full pricing closer to the sports sedan's arrival at dealerships early this fall.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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