Acura TLX Type S specs, 0-60, quarter mile, lap times –

2021 Acura TLX Type S, By the Numbers

  • Base Price: $53,325
  • Powertrain: 3.0-liter turbo V6 | 10-speed automatic transmission | all-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 355 @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 354 @ 1,400-5,000 rpm
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.0 seconds
  • Top Speed: 155 mph
  • Curb Weight: 4,221 pounds
  • EPA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city | 25 highway | 21 combined
  • Quick Take: Classic Acura values in a modern form.

We’ve got a whole explainer on the Type S name if you want the full history—Acura fans need not click—but the long and short of it is that Acura used the label in the mid-2000s for its higher-performance trims with genuine mechanical upgrades that stopped short of track rat status. Think along the lines of BMW M Sport models; more powerful engine tunes, upgraded gearboxes and limited-slip diffs, stiffened suspension, that sort of thing. The Acura Integra Type R is what commands the most attention from that era, and rightly so, but the Type S name developed its own dedicated following before it was discontinued in 2008. 

Its return in 2021 was plainly telegraphed with the 2019 Type S concept, that low-slung vision in blue that took Monterey Car Week by storm and had us all crowing about Acura’s planned performance comeback after a decade mostly in the wilderness. That concept materialized mostly unchanged as the 2021 Acura TLX sedan, whose rear-drive proportions, double-wishbone front suspension and rigid chassis seemed like a winning formula. But the end result wasn’t quite there, let down in spirited driving situations by a sluggish powertrain and disconnected steering. Now, at last, we have the real deal.

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2021 TLX Type S: Exterior Interior

Type S Exclusive Exterior & Interior Features

  • Open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille
  • Front splitter
  • 20-inch wheels
  • Quad exhaust outlets
  • Rear diffuser
  • Tiger Eye Pearl paint
  • 16-way heated and cooled seats with Ultrasuede® inserts
  • Orchid Milano Leather interior
  • Embossed Type S logo on head restraints
  • Type S badges on grille, trunk lid, fenders, key fob, steering wheel, sill plates

Overview As with the entire TLX lineup, the styling of the 2021 Acura TLX is heavily derived from the   Type S Concept from 2019. The Type S is distinct from any angle with unique touches such as an aggressive front splitter, large quad-exhaust outlets and a purposeful rear diffuser.

ExteriorNumerous Type S signatures distinguish the TLX performance variant, including an exclusive open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille increasing engine airflow by 10-percent, splitter on the front fascia, in addition to gloss black grille and matte black window surrounds. Type S also features headlights with a blackout treatment, better matching the dark theme.

In the rear, Type S adds a more pronounced gloss-black diffuser to the bottom of the rear fascia, and large quad-exhaust finishers which incorporate the Active Exhaust system. Type S badges are found on the grille, front fenders and trunk lid. Both 20-inch wheel options showcase the bright red brake calipers in front and rear. Similar to the front end, the taillights have a dark finish.

Additionally, Type S is available with carbon fiber decklid lip spoiler, carbon-fiber diffuser, and lower side sills as dealer-installed accessories to even more closely match the Type S Concept.

TLX Type S will be available in six exterior colors: Modern Steel Metallic, Majestic Black Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Performance Red Pearl, Apex Blue Pearl and a Type S exclusive Tiger Eye Pearl.

Interior Inside the cabin, exclusive Type S features include 16-way power adjustable front seats with power adjustable bolsters, contrasting stitching and piping as well as the Type S logo embossed on the head restraint. Three interior colors are available: Ebony, Red, and the Type S-exclusive Orchid, all with Black Ultrasuede® inserts. Type S also features an NSX-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with a prominent Type S logo, authentic aluminum trim on the doors and dash, Type S door sill trim and French stitching on the dash top and door armrests.

TLX TYPE S INTERIOR COLORS

TLX TYPE S EXTERIOR COLORS

Ebony

Red

New: Orchid

New: Tiger Eye Pearl*

Performance Red Pearl*

Majestic Black Pearl*

Platinum White Pearl*

Apex Blue Pearl*

Modern Steel Metallic

* Premium Paint offered at an additional cost

The critically acclaimed and award-winning Acura ELS STUDIO 3D® 17-speaker premium audio system is standard, along with Acura’s innovative and driver-oriented True Touchpad Interface™, with its “Absolute Positioning” console-mounted touchpad and high-mounted 10.2-inch HD center display.

Major Features Comparison

2021 TLX 2.0T

2021 TLX Type S

Full-LED Exterior Lighting

True Touchpad Interface™ with 10.2-inch HD display

Acura Navigation with 3D View

w/ Technology Package

CarPlay® / Android Auto™ Integration

Wireless Charging Pad

w/ Technology Package

ELS Studio 3D® 17 Speaker, 710 watts w/ Twin Telford™ Subs

A-Spec and Advance Package

Integrated Dynamic System (IDS)

4 Mode: Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual

5 Mode: Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+,Individual

16-way Power Front Seats

w/ Advance Package

Heated & Ventilated Front Seats

w/ A-Spec, Advance Package

Heated Rear Outboard Seats

w/ Advance Package

Flat Bottom Sport Steering Wheel

w/ A-Spec Package

Heated Steering Wheel

w/ Advance Package

Available

Geometric Brushed Aluminum Trim

w/ A-Spec Package

IconicDrive™ Ambient LED Lighting

w/ Technology Package

Remote Engine Start

w/ Advance Package

Power Folding Side Mirrors

w/ Advance Package

Rain Sensing Wipers

w/ Advance Package

4G LTE WiFi Hot Spot

Surround View Camera System

w/ Advance Package

Head Up Display

w/ Advance Package

AcuraWatch™

Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)

More information on the 2021 Acura TLX exterior, interior and safety features is available here.

2021 TLX Type S: Overview

For the first time in more than a decade, Type S returns to Acura showrooms with the debut of the 2021 Acura TLX Type S, simply the best performing sedan in Acura history. The new TLX Type S is powered by the Type S Turbo V6, a new Acura-exclusive 355-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter engine. It also features a specially tuned double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension, Brembo® front brakes and new Sport+ driving mode for the Integrated Dynamics System.

Previously available on select models from the 2001-2008 model years, Acura’s Type S performance brand is recognized by driving enthusiasts seeking a more dynamic driving experience with additional power, improved handling and stronger braking. The 2021 TLX Type S pushes this philosophy to new heights and will be followed by the first-ever Acura MDX Type S.

Previewed by the Type S Concept in 2019, Acura’s engineers have created an emotional and exciting premium performance sedan without sacrificing the everyday usability and comfort of the critically acclaimed second-generation TLX. The new TLX Type S is about 25-percent quicker to 60 mph than the standard TLX with a 0-60 time around 5 seconds and has a significantly higher top speed, increasing from 130 mph to 155 mph (electronically limited). Braking performance is also improved and with standard SH-AWDÒ with torque vectoring, 20-inch wheels and available summer tires, it’s the best performing Acura sedan ever.

TLX Type S is instantly recognizable by its open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille that improves engine cooling, quad exhaust outlets, a front splitter and rear diffuser. Its driver-focused interior features an NSX-inspired flat bottom steering wheel with the Type S logo, 16-way adjustable Milano leather seats with adjustable bolsters and Type S-embossed headrests.

The critically acclaimed and award-winning Acura ELS STUDIO 3D® 17-speaker premium audio system is standard, along with Acura’s innovative and driver-oriented True Touchpad Interface™, with its “Absolute Positioning” console-mounted touchpad and high-mounted 10.2-inch HD center display.

Like the rest of the TLX family, Type S comes standard with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. It also features the proprietary new three-chamber front passenger airbag, which is designed to more effectively cradle and protect the front seat occupant’s head to help mitigate injury in obliquely angled frontal collisions.

Type S also is designed with advanced levels of collision protection performance with Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which helps TLX achieve a TOP SAFETY PICK + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

More information on the 2021 Acura TLX is available here.

Type S Grows Up

Inside, the Type S is the same TLX, just with some nicer touches like a flat-bottomed steering wheel, metal trim, Milano leather seats, a standard 17-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system, customizable LED accent lightning, heated and ventilated seats, and Acura’s driver-assistance safety suite that includes radar cruise control. Though it’s admittedly more feature packed and a bit louder overall than what was found in the Type S cars of the past, I think it fits a 2021 vision of subtle luxury quite nicely.

Combine that with its thoroughly updated driving dynamics and you arrive back at the point I made at the outset. The 2021 TLX Type S may be going about its business a bit differently, but it’s still doing exactly what its predecessors did—standing out as a competent and comfortable performance car, one that you wouldn’t think twice about daily driving or taking the scenic route home. It’s a real achievement for Acura, especially when you consider how lost the company seemed in the early 2010s. Not to mention how blah the previous-gen 2020 Acura TLX was.

It’s typically reductive and pointless to judge automaker efforts based our nostalgia for their past. More than most others, Acura makes nostalgia its business; its whole current turnaround is predicated on reminding 30-50 year olds that yes, it IS still the Acura we remember from our youths. That does seem to be the case here—even if Type S had to grow up a bit, too.

Kyle Cheromcha

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