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2021 Acura TLX: The Return of the Type S Luxury Sports Sedan

Acura Gets Sporty With its Latest Mid-Sized Sedan

2021 Acura TLX Type S

Based on an all-new chassis the 2021 Acura TLX is ready to get sporty. For 2021 we see the return of the top performance Type S model, an all turbo engine lineup, and some now aggressive new styling.

We’ll see the new TLX hit dealer lots in early Fall 2020, with the 2021 Acura TLX Type S coming in Spring 2021. The base price for the 2021 Acura TLX will start at around $35,000.

Unique Styling?

When I first look at images of the 2021 Acura TLX I see a  Mustang nose, Supra rear end, and a side profile that could be any number of luxury mid-sized sedans on the market. All of these things do combine to create a seriously aggressive sporty look, however. The wide rear fenders and long hood in particular make the car look quite muscular. Acura is no doubt injecting some of its NSX sports car DNA into the new TLX.

“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. “Our designers and engineers really took the gloves off, rethinking what an Acura sport sedan should be, right down to its most essential elements – stance, proportion, platform and powertrain. This is unquestionably our most ambitious redesign of an Acura sedan.”

2021 Acura TLX

The new TLX sees a 3.7-inch longer wheelbase, a 2.2-inch wider body, and a slightly lower roof, by .6-inches. 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). You also get adaptive dampers in the 2021 Acura TLX. You can select from a variety of ride modes that instantly change the character of the car; Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual (a new customizable mode), and Sport+ on the Type S model. All of these things combine to offer a more precise driving experience. A lower ride height, more traction, and more precise steering make this possible.

The big news is the fully turbocharged engine lineup in the new TLX. The new base engine is a 2.0L VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder. This new power plant not only puts out an impressive 272 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque but should offer improved fuel economy over the outgoing V6. A 3.0L turbo V6 can be found in the new TLX Type S, but performance numbers are yet unannounced. A 10-speed automatic transmission backs the new TLX engines. It has a lower first gear for better off the line acceleration.

Inside you get real wood accents, Milano leather all over the place, and an updated touchpad interface for the infotainment system. A ton of available ambient LED lighting throughout the cabin sets the mood. There are actually 27 interior different lighting schemes to match your mood. Acura says the new car has more shoulder and hip room than the outgoing model. We take this to mean it’s no doubt geared towards the U.S. market.

2021 Acura TLX A-Spec

The A-Spec is a popular sports package for the Acura TLX. With the package for the 2021 TLX you get grey 19-inch wheels, gloss black exterior accents, darkened light covers, and a rear spoiler.

The Acura TLX Type S Returns!

The Acura TLX Type S returns for 2021, after a nearly decade absence. The 2021 Acura TLX Type S builds upon the appearance package of the A-Spec with some serious performance upgrades. The Type S gets a new 3.0L turbo V6. It also gets AWD for the first time. Four-piston Brembo brakes up front, 20-inch wheels wrapped in 255-series rubber, a quicker steering ratio, and a stiffer chassis round out the performance upgrades.

Of course, the Type S is also upgraded even further with a more sporty and muscular look. It gets even more aggressive bodywork. This includes larger side intakes, an open-surface Diamond Pentagon grille, front splitter, rear diffuser, and large quad exhausts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the price of the 2021 Acura TLX?

MSRP is expected to start at around $35,000.

What engines are on offer in the 2021 Acura TLX?

The base engine for the 2021 TLX is a 2.0L VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder. A 3.0L turbocharged V6 is found in the 2021 Acura TLX Type-S.

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

The 2.0L VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder puts out an impressive 272 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque. We don’t yet know the performance numbers for the 3.0L turbo V6 found in the TLX Type-S.

When will the 2021 Acura TLX be available?

The new TLX will hit dealer lots in the Fall of 2020. You’ll have to wait until Spring 2021 for the TLX Type S.

About Bryon Dorr

AutoWise Editor-in-Chief Bryon Dorr has been a lifelong automotive enthusiast. From the supercar posters on his childhood walls to the massive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection, Bryon has been dreaming about automotive adventures his entire life. For the past decade+ Bryon has pursued a career in automotive photography and journalism. He's worked for a wide range of the top outlets in the overland, off-road, adventure motorcycle, and general automotive media. His current household automotive quiver includes a custom overland 2013 GX460, a 2020 Ioniq Electric, and a 2006 KTM 950 Adv. He recently sold his 996TT, and is on the hunt for a new performance car.