By on July 30, 2020

With the historic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb delayed — but miraculously uncancelled — this year, Acura has decided to showboat its updated TLX sedan. While the Type S everyone wants to see take a whack at the course will sit out the competition to serve as the event’s pace car, two gently modified sedans from the 2021 model year will be on hand to dazzle prospective customers.

They may even perk up a few disenfranchised Acura enthusiasts who’ve strayed from the brand.

The prototype TLX Type S comes with the much discussed 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque) while the more pedestrian racers come with modified 2.0-liter inline-four engine. Those units would have made 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque unmolested, but Acura has assured us they aren’t factory spec anymore  giving them an air of mystery, albeit slight.

None of the vehicles previewed seem any more hardcore than the specially modified MDX and RDX racers the company has sent to Pikes Peak for the last couple of years, however. We’re not seeing any hyper-aggressive aerodynamics or roll cages fitted to the TLXs. That may have been the result of the pandemic obliterating any prep time for the cars, or simply the result of Acura wanting to keep the vehicles more grounded. There’s also a part of us that desperately wants to believe that Acura is trying to show do-it-yourselfers what’s possible with a handful of modifications and a tune.

The pair are base TLX SH-AWD sedans running a larger turbocharger and an upgraded intercooler. Brakes have been ripped off the Type S, supported by 19-inch HRE wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber and an improved suspension system that’s been dialed-in for the Hill Climb. How that all stacks up in terms of overall power and road holding has been left to our imaginations, though. Acura doesn’t want us to know more than we need to, preferring the vehicles speak for themselves next month when the event finally takes place.

What is known is that the duo will race in the exhibition class with slightly different states of tune in regard to both powertrain and aerodynamics. One of the cars will also be running slicks instead of performance-focused street tires and will have a slightly different suspension setup  which Acura wouldn’t elaborate upon further. Jordan Guitar, who saw previous seat time in the RDX and MDX modified for the peak, will pilot the more hardcore of the two. Engineer Justin Lumbard will take the wheel of the other.

We don’t think Acura will top any of its existing Pikes Peak records with the cars, but this should help them garner more attention — and maybe even boost sales a bit. The 2021 TLX goes on sales in the fall, with Type S variants arriving early next year.

And, if you want to see something a little more extreme, Acura has James Robinson coming back to take the Time Attack NSX up the mountain against a stopwatch. Considering the garbage track conditions and delayed launch that torpedoed his 2019 attempt, we’re betting he’s looking for a little payback. Robinson’s previously used the NSX to set a hybrid production car record in 2018 and announced he wanted to take another whack at the event following last year’s run using the model.


[Images: Acura]



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12 Comments on “Acura Bringing New TLX to Pikes Peak Hill Climb...”

  • avatar

    Why do I like this thing so much?
    I guess the price will be the sticking point. A CT5-V with no options is about $48K MSRP. A G70 3.3T is $47K MSRP. Both of those have all the “performance” stuff standard too. So if Acura can do around the same it’ll be pretty nice.

    • 0 avatar

      ..and they make more power and torque through twin turbos instead single turbo like Audi 3.0T.

      • 0 avatar

        The acceleration of the CT5 and G70 are about equal. If the TLX matches those then the on paper difference won’t matter. If the Acura is slower then that could be an issue.

        The Germans are faster but they’ll be about $10K more in real world pricing. The Model 3 LR is right around that sub$50K price too, and it might be the fastest option, but I have too much range/infrastructure anxiety for that.

        • 0 avatar

          The G70 Sport should have around 420 hp.

          That delta won’t matter as much as buyers wanting RWD driving dynamics will pick the G70 (and live with the cramped rear) or another RWD model.

          For those who are willing to compromise on that front and want more interior space, the TLX will be a good option.

          • 0 avatar

            “The G70 Sport should have around 420 hp.”

            And what will the price be compared to the current G70? M340i speed is great but $10K more than a Type-S is walking around money.

          • 0 avatar

            RWD models are always going to be more expensive than transverse/FWD models.

            Pricing will depend on how Genesis specs out the Sport; hopefully the Sport will come in 2 flavors – a lower priced variant with just the essential safety tech and a higher equipped one for those who want all the latest tech/amenities.

            For those who find the price delta too high, they never were going to pony up for a higher performance variant of a RWD machine.

          • 0 avatar

            “For those who find the price delta too high, they never were going to pony up for a higher performance variant of a RWD machine”

            If it performs well enough they might. If Genesis want people to pay M340i money then they need to turn in at least M340i numbers.


  • avatar

    Acura should be showcasing the evolution of hybrid platforms from years past. But you know how that ended…DNF.

    So HMC EV for Acura cars and SUVs.

  • avatar

    I stopped reading article after seeing the first photo of TLX. They have to hire better stylists before asking that amount of money for something that may pass for clown car.

  • avatar

    So is the 4 cyl turbo going to be available with SH-AWD?

    Asking for a friend. ;-)

    (Killing the manual in the 2.0T Accord could sway some buyers to Acura with the right price/performance delta.)

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