After a long series of teasers, the 2021 Acura TLX sedan is now unveiled. The new TLX is the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sedan in the brand’s 35-year history.
With a model-exclusive body structure and chassis architecture, all turbo engine lineup, and an athletic stance with bold proportions, the new TLX delivers dramatic gains in both style and dynamic performance. The first Acura sedan fully designed around the brand’s Precision Crafted Performance ethos, the 2021 TLX will arrive at dealerships early this fall with a manufacturer suggested retail price starting in the mid-$30,000 range.
The second-generation TLX marks the return of Acura’s Type S high performance variant after a decade-long hiatus. The TLX Type S, arriving next spring, will be powered by an all-new Acura exclusive 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine developed for Type S levels of performance. Additionally, the new TLX Type S will be the first Type S model to feature Acura’s torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, making it the best handling and most performance-oriented Acura sedan yet.
In fulfilling its mission as a thoroughly modern sport sedan, the 2021 TLX integrates a multitude of performance, comfort and connectivity technologies first deployed on the highly successful third-generation Acura RDX. These include a high-output 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged engine, 4th-generation SH-AWD system, award-winning Acura ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio and the latest iteration of Acura’s driver-focused True Touchpad Interface.
The 2021 TLX features an athletic and powerful exterior design with proportions, stance and silhouette heavily influenced by the Acura Precision Concept and faithfully translated from the Type S Concept. The new TLX’s performance intentions are conveyed through its low and wide stance, long dash-to-axle ratio, expansive hood, tapered greenhouse and pronounced rear haunches. Relative to the previous model, the new TLX features a 3.7-inch longer wheelbase, 2.2-inch wider body with wider front and rear tracks (+1.2 in. and +1.6 in., respectively), lower roof (-0.6 in.) and an extended dash-to-axle dimension (+7.8 in.).
At the front, a bolder and more upright diamond pentagon grille is flanked by signature, next-generation Acura lighting cues previewed in the Type S Concept. These include new Jewel Eye LED headlights with four LED elements and bright-white “Chicane” LED daytime running lights inspired by the championship-winning Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype race car.
The 2021 TLX is a sport sedan at its core, built on a new dedicated Acura sedan platform designed for Type S-levels of performance. The new chassis heralds the return of double-wishbone front suspension to Acura’s top-selling sedan, offering more precise handling and cornering grip, as well as greater mechanica l compliance for improved ride quality. In addition, the TLX chassis incorporates multiple new performance-focused engineering upgrades, including a variable-ratio steering system, electro-servo brake-by-wire technology applied from the NSX and an available driver selectable Adaptive Damper System.
Standard power comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged engine with VTEC, mated to Acura’s incredibly responsive 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift. With peak output of 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE Net), the TLX’s 2.0-liter turbo boasts the highest horsepower in its core competitive set, delivering dramatic gains in horsepower (+66) and torque (+98 lb.-ft. at peak, +123 lb.-ft. at 1,500 rpm) when compared to the previous model’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Compared to the previous TLX’s optional 3.5-liter V6, the new 2.0-liter turbo delivers an additional 13 lb.-ft. of peak torque, as well as an additional 48 lb.-ft. at 1,500 rpm.
Acura’s 10-speed automatic, with Sequential SportShift and standard paddle shifters, takes full advantage of both turbocharged engines’ high-torque output, offering a wider ratio range, more discrete gears, four-gear direct downshifts and a lower first gear compared to the previous 8-speed dual-clutch and 9-speed automatic transmissions. Type S models will receive unique transmission tuning to provide an aggressive and responsive characteristic during performance driving scenarios.