Back to the Future: Acura TLX Ditches the MacPhersons

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
back to the future acura tlx ditches the macphersons

We’re still a day away from the (online) debut of Acura’s next-generation TLX sedan, and already there’s catnip to be had for the performance and handling crowd. And for lovers of tradition and heritage, too.

Late Tuesday, Acura revealed that the TLX won’t just feature a slinky body and potent — yet unspecified — powertrain. The new sedan will also break from its predecessor by reaching further into the past, returning to a suspension type that made past Acuras top performers in their class.

We’re of course talking about double wishbones, which Acura confirmed will be found up front in the 2021 TLX. If you were worried the TLX would end up as a flashy retread of your basic Honda Accord or the like, breathe easy — the new car rides atop a dedicated platform, with the eradication of the current-generation model’s MacPherson strut setup lending credence to Acura’s promise of the “quickest, best-handling, and most well-appointed sport sedan in Acura history.”

The source of the upcoming TLX’s power remains to be seen, but the architecture and chassis seems to meld with the brand’s promise of a legit sports sedan. Recall that this is the car that returns the Type S designation to the fold.

While the current TLX, which debuted in 2014 for the 2015 model year, made do with a front suspension you’d find on most pedestrian vehicles, its TL predecessor boasted double wishbones for better road-holding in hard cornering. Keeping a car planted, at speed, in turns becomes much easier when all available rubber maintains contact with the road.

Indeed, Acura used this suspension setup to tempt customers during the brand’s heyday in the 1990s and early 2000s, foisting it on the Integra and Legend, too — as well as the NSX that actually sold. Speaking of which, Acura had best hope there remains an itch out there for a premium Japanese sedan that hustles.

Acura TLX sales fell for each year of the current generation model’s existence, falling from more than 47,000 units in the U.S. in 2015 to just over 26,000 last year. Back in the pre-beak mid-2000s, Acura sold more than 70,000 TLs each year. That was a different era, of course, and it remains to be seen whether this new TLX can rekindle some of the old magic.

[Images: Acura]

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  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on May 28, 2020

    Nobody cares. Sales will tank. Acura is deader than dead. And I like Honda’s.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on May 29, 2020

    Wow, that's...actually good looking from the side. Almost rear wheel drive proportions. This thing vs. a Stinger, anyone?

  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
  • Master Baiter "I like the Earth."The idea that modern combustion engines are incompatible with the ongoing survival of the Earth, or of humanity, is breathtakingly stupid. Climate alarmism is akin to a religion--one to which I do not subscribe.
  • Skippity Key takeaways.Toyota is run by competent businessmen.Art doesn’t like Toyota.
  • MaintenanceCosts Audi has been a full player in the German luxury club for 20 years. It started to get there with the first A4, which was a 500-foot home run, and then achieved full recognition with the spectacular D3 A8.
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