2022 Acura TLX Type S - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2022 Acura TLX Type S

Is th Acura TLX Type-S Foreshadowing a New Generation of Acura Performance Cars?

LISTEN 09:25

June 2021 was an important day for Acura and their TLX Type-S, as the new performance sedan finally hit the market. To recap, Acura will only produce 2,000 examples of the TLX Type-S. It is unknown at this point how many of the 2,000 will be the model year 2021 and how many 2022. The real question is whether or not Acura is testing the waters to decide whether it should expand production beyond the initial run of 2,000 cars.

Drivetrain & Performance

2022 Acura TLX Type S Drivetrain
- image 990180

The Acura TLX Type-S has the 3.0-liter V-6 engine, featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger. The V-6 is developed by the same team that worked on the Acura NSX.

The unit produces 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet (480 Nm) and is coupled to a specially-tuned 10-speed automatic that has been beefed up in order to effortlessly handle the power from the turbocharged V-6.

Power is sent to the ground via Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system (SH-AWD). All this allows for a 0 to 6 0 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.5 seconds.

This is a marginal improvement in straight-line performance, compared to its predecessor -the 2004 Acura TL Type-S, which boasted a 5.1-second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) thanks to its 3.5-liter normally-aspirated V-6 with 286 horsepower and 256 pound-feet (347 Nm).

At the same time, Type-S is capable of a reasonable economy. You are looking at an EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city and up to 25 mpg on the highway.

Acura TLX Type S specifications
Engine 3.0-liter V-6
Power 355 HP
Torque 354 LB-FT
Transmission 10-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 4.5 seconds
2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 990211

The TLX Type-S also benefits from the specially-tuned double-wishbone front suspension and adaptive dampers. It also utilizes the NSX electro-servo braking system and four-piston Brembo calipers with signature red shims. All this is accompanied by a strengthened chassis for that extra composure and sporty feel.

Exterior

2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 988464

The TLX Type-S can be had in two well-equipped trims. As standard, you get 20-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli Centudato P7. Or, you can opt for the “Wheel and Tire” package, which gives you lightweight dual-spoke wheels, inspired by the NSX wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero summer tires. The wheels also reduce unsprung weight by over 21 pounds (9.5 kg).

In terms of exterior features, you will be able to tell this isn’t your average TLX.

You get a more aggressive front end, with a larger front grille, for better cooling as well as larger side vents, and a pronounced front splitter.
2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 990201

While on the side, things are largely the same (except the wheels), but the rear definitely gives out the sportier aspirations of the car. We now have a small, but noticeable decklid spoiler and a new diffuser, complemented by the now black area for the number plate and the new quad exhaust tips.

Interior

2022 Acura TLX Type S Interior
- image 990190

There are a couple of changes to the interior that set apart the Type-S from your average TLX. On the dashboard, we see a chunkier, flat-bottom steering wheel, and hand-stitched leather with contrasting stitching on the dashboard. We also have slightly more aggressive seats, which are highly adjustable (16-way), including the side bolstering. There are also the obligatory Type-S logos throughout the interior. Other than that, it’s the same interior like on the normal TLX.

2022 Acura TLX Type S Interior
- image 990193

A good thing too, since the interior was already very well-executed and with perfect ergonomics. You also have a physical button for many of the functions, which makes the TLX much easier to live with, on a daily basis.

The 10.2-inch infotainment screen is easy to use and you get an easy-to-read gauge cluster, but best of all, you can switch to “Sport mode” with the press of a single button.

Practicality

2022 Acura TLX Type S Interior
- image 990181
The Acura TLX Type-S might be more about performance, but it’s still very much a family sedan.

You’ll be glad to know, it still does a perfect job as one. With 42.4 inches 1,077 mm) of front legroom and 34.9 inches (886.5 mm) of rear legroom the TLX Type-S is not that far off something like a Toyota Camry TRD, and that’s front-wheel-drive only.

In terms of cargo capacity, the Acura boasts just 13.5 cubic-feet due to the chassis bracing in the back. If you feel like removing it, you will get a more usable trunk space.

Price

2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 990203

The Acura TLX Type-S is already on sale and has an MSRP of $52,300. If you want the “Wheel and Tire” package, the price becomes $53,100. With destination, it comes up to $53,325 and $54,125 respectively. Considering the level engineering and the luxury sedan segment, The Acura TLX Type-S is competitively priced, if not a bit ambitiously.

Model / Trim MSRP2 MSRP with Destination3 EPA Mileage Rating4 City/Hwy/Combined
2021 TLX Type S $52,300 $53,325 19 / 25 / 21
2021 TLX Type S with High Performance Wheel & Tire Package $53,100 $54,125 19 / 24 / 21

Competition

Toyota Camry TRD

2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 805032

Since the TLX Type-S is a performance version of a normal sedan, it’s only fair we pit it against another performance version of a Japanese sports sedan. Enter the Toyota Camry TRD. It debuted in August 2020 as the exciting version of the rather dull front-wheel-drive Camry. That said, Toyota’s racing division has given the Camry a sportier look, as well as some performance modifications, most of which involve tweaking the chassis and suspension.

The Camry TRD offers more interior space, overall. While the front legroom is slightly less than the Type-S at 42.1 inches (1,069.3 mm), the rear legroom is 38.0 inches (965.2 mm). At the same time, Camry TRD offers 15.1 cubic feet (427.6 liters) of trunk space. Price-wise the Camry TRD is a bargain, starting at $31,040.

2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 805014

However, it’s severely outgunned in terms of performance. The 3.5-liter normally-aspirated V-6 produces 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet (362 Nm) and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. This allows for a 5.5-second sprint to 60 mph. Power goes to the front wheels only. Fuel economy is good, with an EPA of 22 city and 31 highway.

Read our full review on the Toyota Camry TRD

BMW M340i

2019 BMW 3 Series
- image 798247

With an MSRP of over $50,000, the Acura TLX Type-S goes into German territory. And when we talk about German performance sedans, the benchmark is still considered the BMW 3-Series. More specifically, the M340i, which starts at $54,700 - just a hair over the TLX Type-S pricetag.

Like all modern BMWs, the M340i is a tech-fest. However, it’s still very much a proper performance sedan, powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. This is where the Type-S might be in trouble, as the German inline-six produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm). Power goes to the rear or, optionally, all four wheels, through a ZF eight-speed automatic. The M340i is capable of a 4.1-second sprint to 60 mph, which is also quicker than the Type-S.

2019 BMW 3 Series
- image 798257

Interior space is adequate with 42.0 inches (1,067.8 mm) of frontal legroom, 35.2 (894.1 mm) at the back, and 17.0 cubic feet (481.4 liters) of trunk space. As with most German propositions, any optional equipment comes with a hefty price tag, which can bring the M340i’s price well over the $54,700 mark.

Read our full review on the BMW M340i

Conclusion

2022 Acura TLX Type S Exterior
- image 990199

By introducing the Type-S, Acura has turned the TLX from a sedate luxury cruiser into a proper performance sedan. The TLX Type-S retains what’s best about the model – the excellent interior – and combines it with the technical ingenuity of the team, responsible for the NSX drivetrain. In addition, the SH-AWD system gives the sporty sedan previously unthinkable levels of traction.

One question remains: Would Acura go through all this research and development just for a limited run of 2,000 cars? Or are we in for a pleasant surprise, later on? The Type-S moniker came to us with a bang, back in 1997, with the Honda NSX Type-S and gave birth to various mild performance versions, sitting under the Type-R models.
With this in mind, could we be witnessing the rebirth of the Type-S too, or is the TLX Type-S a single exercise in whether Acura is still good at making performance versions of its cars?

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
About the author

May 20, 2021 — TORRANCE, Calif.
Acura’s best-performing sedan yet goes on sale June 23 with a starting price of $52,3001
Pre-sale activities begin today with Type S microsite launch, Build & Price and dealer reservation process for prospective customers
Available in limited quantities, fewer than 2,000 model year 2021 TLX Type S to be built
Performance standard, Type S features a 355-horsepower Turbo V6, sport-tuned double wishbone front suspension, Brembo® brakes and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™
The all-new 2021 Acura TLX Type S, the first in a new generation of Type S performance variants, will begin arriving at Acura dealers nationwide next month with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $52,3001. Beginning today, prospective Type S buyers can learn more about the 2021 TLX Type S by visiting Acura.com/Type-S, build and price their desired configuration, and contact a local dealer to reserve their spot in line.

The 2021 TLX Type S is available in two well equipped variations. Starting at $52,300, the TLX Type S features 20-inch multi-spoke wheels with Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-Season tires. Buyers seeking even more performance can opt for the TLX Type S with High Performance Wheel and Tire Package for $53,100, which brings NSX-inspired split 5-spoke wheels, reducing unsprung mass by more than 21 lbs., and 255-series Pirelli P-Zero summer tires.

TLX Type S strengthens the fundamentals of Precision Crafted Performance with significant enhancements to all elements of the driving experience and a distinctive visual character inside and out. With performance validated on track, Type S models cater to spirited driving enthusiasts and the well-equipped TLX Type S features an impressive list of standard high-performance hardware.

The all-new 355-horsespower1, 3.0-liter Type S Turbo V6 engine was developed by some of the company’s most experienced powertrain engineers, including team members who developed the bespoke twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid power unit that powers NSX. A specially-tuned 10-speed automatic transmission also is standard, along with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) with true torque vectoring. The TLX Type S sport-tuned chassis features a double-wishbone front suspension, Adaptive Dampers, NSX-derived electro-servo braking system and Brembo™ 4-piston front calipers with larger front rotors and matching red calipers at the rear.

Acura engineers created the TLX Type S as an emotional and exciting premium performance sedan without sacrificing the everyday usability and comfort of the critically acclaimed second-generation TLX. The 2021 TLX Type S also comes with 16-way driver and front passenger sport seats with power adjustable bolsters, supple Milano leather with Ultrasuede® inserts, Type S embossing on the headrests, an ELS STUDIO 3D® 17-speaker premium audio system and a 10.2-inch audio and information display operated with Acura’s award-winning True Touch Interface™.

Standard safety and driver assistive equipment includes the AcuraWatch™ suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, and the world’s first front passenger airbag designed to reduce head rotation in a collision.

Model / Trim

MSRP2

MSRP
with Destination3

EPA Mileage Rating4
City/Hwy/Combined

2021 TLX Type S

$52,300

$53,325

19 / 25 / 21

2021 TLX Type S
with High Performance Wheel & Tire Package

$53,100

$54,125

19 / 24 / 21

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

Performance-Spec Acura TLX Type S Arrives With A V-6 And A $52,000 Price Tag

2021 Acura TLX Type S Could Put Acura Back On The Performance Map

The 2021 Acura TLX Type-S Really Could Be the Dominate Compact Sports Sedan

The 2021 Acura TLX Is a Luxury Sports Sedan that BMW and Mercedes Should Worry About

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: