By on August 13, 2019

Image: Acura

Acura pulled the digital wraps off its Type S Concept two days ahead of its public debut at Monterey Car Week, heralding the Type S designation’s return to the brand’s model line. The car seen here hints at what to expect of the looming next-generation TLX and its confirmed Type S performance variant.

“Performance.” That implies something more than just a racy appearance package and maybe an upgraded brake and suspension setup, right? Ideally, yes, but in this case Acura does promise more “go” to back up the show.

Looking somewhat rear-drive in profile, the Type S Concept’s proportions may not carry over to the next TLX 100 percent, though it’s hard to imagine much deviation. The concept arrives nearly absent of specs, so we can only assume the TLX will maintain its front-drive configuration while adding a bit of dash-to-axle acreage.

Image: Acura

It’s a very handsome and doable concept compared to a lot of the vaporware that gets shuttled around these days. Enormous side vents and lower air opening minimize a svelte interpretation of the brand’s corporate diamond pentagon grille, while creased flanks and a pronounced, flowing bulge over the rear wheel wells adds muscularity. The short rear overhang emphasises the rear-drive-like profile, with the roofline flowing into a short trunklid capped by a lip spoiler. Below, four chrome exhaust tips peek from a perhaps too-aggressive bumper valance.

Too aggressive, you say ⁠— the Toyota Avalon is getting a TRD variant. Let Acura do what it wants below the belt.

When viewed from behind, the Type S Concept temps eyeballs with wide rubber, “Chicane” LED tail lamps (what’s the resemblance here? Supra? Maserati?… Fisker?), and what may or may not be functional air curtain vents.

Image: Acura

Replying to comments on Twitter, Acura PR head Matt Sloustcher stated “all Type S models will carry stronger braking, quicker acceleration and nimbler handling than conventional models. Relative to Type S models of the past, the new generation will be a step up.”

A gutsier engine, which would be true to Type S variants of the past, and almost assuredly the addition of Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system will greet buyers looking for excitement in the dwindling midsize sedan segment. While the TLX will be the first new model to carry the Type S badge when it appears later this year, a second Type S variant model will drop within two years.

[Images: Acura]

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37 Comments on “Acura Type S Concept: It Feels Like the First Time?...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    FINALLY!!! And it isn’t a crossover. I have to think there are just enough Honda/Acura fans that fondly remember the golden age of Honda, take a look at a real performance sedan from them, and come back into the fold.
    [email protected]*n it…this just complicated and possibly delayed my car hunt a bit longer. Refreshed 2020 CTR or TLX Type-S. Mmmmm…

    • 0 avatar
      cprescott

      I’m shocked. A Japanese car that is not hideous! Where did this come from? And from A-cure-uh on top of that – the maker of the ugliest front ends ever conceived with that hideous blade grill. This thing has stunning designed all over it! Now if it can just come with a manual transmission I might think they were serious instead of playing a very late April fool’s joke on us!

  • avatar
    Fred

    Can I pay for it with photoshop dollars?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it (more than the Kia Stinger, for example), and that’s saying something for me as a Kia partisan with an anti-Honda bias.

    But it needs to be rear drive.

    • 0 avatar
      labelnerd

      Very nice looking car but will cost waaay more than your Stinger……or mine.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        How so?

        This would be the next TLX and the current TLX in top spec PMC Edition tops out at $49k.

        Kia is working on a higher-performance variant w/ the 3.3TT and that, itself, will eventually be replaced by a 3.5TT.

        Anyhow, if the production version is close to the concept, will be the best looking Acura since the TL from a few generations ago.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Better performance? You mean they are going to put a different intake and exhaust on the current engine for 15 more HP? Ohhhhh sign me up (not!). If they want to be serious it better have around 350HP. This rendering does a nice job at hiding its 4 door nature, something tells me the real deal will not have these proportions.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      A 350+hp version of the “Sport Hybrid” system for this car should be very doable. The one in the RLX already is rated at 377hp.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The RLX Hybrid match 5-Series with 335 hp, but falls behind in Motor Trend handling test. The Lexus GS450h also handles better.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Rumor elsewhere has it that this is going to be turbo V6 (one assumes with SH-AWD), not hybrid.

        There’s not much incentive to keep developing hybrid tech when some regulatory environments are focusing more on a switch to EVs and others (cough, Trump) are seemingly forsaking fuel economy rules altogether.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          @dal20402: “Rumor elsewhere has it that this is going to be turbo V6”

          …complete with gas in the oil.

          The farther Honda goes away from their core lightweight, 4 cylinder, manual transmission cars, the worse the cars get.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Have you heard anything about gas in the oil of the NSX’s V6? This is likely to be a less-expensive-to-produce variant of that engine.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      A FWD with 300 hp is all acura buyers want. All they’ve done here is make it look like an M4

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Looks nice. I especially like the flares on the rear fenders – good touch.

    I suspect the market will take one look, though, say, “but…no CUV…”

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Honda has a habit of putting out beautifully detailed concept cars and then taking off all the nice details from the production version for cost or practical reasons. Expect the same silhouette, but with higher ride height, much plainer fascias and surface detailing, smaller wheels, normal mirrors, and much less interesting lighting.

    That said, for a transverse-engined sedan it’s really not a bad silhouette. Call me cautiously optimistic, although I expect a manual/V6 powertrain is too much to hope for. If you compare the concept version of the TLX from 2014, this is a lot more aggressive.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Just like dal said. I’m surprised they didn’t paint it red – that’s what Acura usually does with its preproduction show cars before they disappoint with yet another production turd.

      Honda has started to ditch its terrific V6 across the line, but this car needs a twin-turbo V6. Badly.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        A sideways, front-engined TT V6?
        It is doable, but I don’t know if that’s really optimal. Their hybrid system seems like a better fit.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          aj, they’ve got the combination of the naturally aspirated V6 and the hybrids/electric motors on the RLX. Most who’ve driven it say it’s pretty fast on paper, but feels video-game remote from the road. And there’s no point recycling that drivetrain, which has absolutely no takers except in SUVs, into a car with no rear seat (if this is going to have the same dimensions as the current TLX).

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Plenty of transverse turbo V6es in various Ford products.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            None of which have lit the world on fire with either their sales success or engaging driving experience.

            They might actually be better off keeping it naturally-aspirated and working it as a Jinba Ittai value play. This is a contracting segment and it isn’t 1993 anymore so “it’s a Honda” won’t be its own USP.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            My father is the prototypical customer for this, having put about 400,000 miles on two TLs over the last decade plus. He’s starting to talk about replacing his 2014, and if Acura won’t sell him a naturally aspirated V6 sans hybrid, then Lexus will.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Like the side view and really like the rear clip. The front has a crap ton of creases and angles on it but glad to see there is no vestigial can opener on the prow.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    For some reason the front reminded me of an Opel. But it looks pleasing to the eye, unlike most Opels.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    I was hoping it would be something for the ILX, but alas no, its the TLX which is already getting some attention (and motor/tranny). Instead the comparatively ancient ILX is left to wither on the vine when it could be a home run for Acura. As a result of what they are doing now, I’m thinking Acura will cancel the ILX and exit compact cars entirely. Using some made up excuse like, oh oh, nobody is interested! When its all them.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    OK….Acura may be on to something here. I had an ‘08 TL Type S 6MT which was a great car despite being wrong wheel drive. This I could be the first Acura that has peaked my interest since my TL-S…..they haven’t screwed up the styling which is a good start….

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    Why can’t GM’s pseudo-luxury Division (not you, Buick) make a car like this ?
    It’s not electric, but it’s Electric Blue.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Given how generic recent Acuras have been, until the production version is revealed to the public, there’s no reason to believe this concept will evolve into anything more than a slightly modified version of the current TLX with fancier character lines.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Nice looking Camaro

  • avatar

    “Quicker acceleration” does not mean more power, IMO. What it does mean is the AWD system will be there putting the power down and perhaps improving some speed metric.

  • avatar
    raph

    Sharp looking car. Nice to see a good looking Acura again!

  • avatar

    This car comes at a good time for Acura since Cadillac has pretty much neutered their high performance lineup. Acura will soon have both the performance and quality advantage over Cadillac. Actually, Acura’s quality is much better than Cadillacs. It has always been that way.

    What a disgrace!

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Cadillac has done no such thing.

      They just rejiggered their performance lineup where the V takes the spot of the V-Sport and Blackwing now being the equivalent to the previous V.

      Even w/ the rumored turbo-6 for Acura, they are not going to compete w/ the Blackwing performance variants.

      • 0 avatar

        In the fine tradition of cancelling a GM vehicles when it finally becomes world class, the CT6-v is being phased out. Let’s be honest GM has also destroyed the styling of current Cadillacs. The CT6-v is the only Cadillac that looks good.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          The thought is that the CT6 is being “phased out,” not just the CT6-V, but according to GM’s plans (granted, they aren’t set in stone as plans can change), the CT6 is merely going on hiatus.

          The CT6 is the only GM/Cadillac model underpinned by the Omega platform, so not exactly conducive to efficiencies and GM wants to shut down the Detroit/Hamtramck plant.

          However, there are plans for next gen CT6 – which will share its underpinnings (the VSS-R platform) w/ a # of other future Cadillac models – which will all be built at the same plant.

          The next gen CT6 will be Cadillac’s 5 Series/E Class competitor and there should be a CT6 Blackwing forthcoming (as well as a lower performance CT6-V).

          No doubt Cadillac has been doing so many things wrong, so have my doubts that they will do this proper.


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