• How the Acura Type S Badge Came to Be

With Type S you get the perfect mix between comfort and performance

Acura is bringing back the Type S badge on the 355-horsepower 2021 TLX which is going on sale in May. To properly mark the return of the Type S badge, Acura is taking a trip back to the nameplate’s origins.

How the Acura Type S Badge Came to Be
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We know that whenever the Type S nomenclature is mentions, things tend to shift on to the sportier side. In other words, Type S-labelled cars are a combination of mechanical spices applied in the right places so that they stand out from the crowd.

Acura says that when a Type S version is created, it gets passed through a “filter” during R&D. This filter is defined by three talking points: stop, turn, and go. So, a Type S has to do these tasks better than a standard car. This means more horsepower and a stiffer suspension.

How the Acura Type S Badge Came to Be
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At the same time, the Type S badge also has to offer the creature comforts that are not available in a Type R model.

In this regard, the Type S becomes a bridge that fills in the gap between standard cars and Type R variants, which are typically hardcore models focused on driving performance. With Type S, the customers are basically getting the best of both worlds, according to Acura.

As for origins, the Type S moniker debuted in Japan on the 1997 NSX. Unfortunately, the NSX Type S wasn’t sold in the United States but the Type S philosophy did reach America’s shores with the AC-R concept, a show car that could reach 166 mph which eventually spurred Acura to produce the Acura 3.2CL Type S, aka North America’s first Type S.

How the Acura Type S Badge Came to Be
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The 3.2CL Type S had a short lifespan of just three years (2001-2003). However, it packed a 3.2-liter V-6 good for 260 horsepower, which was a sizable increase from the stock 225 horsepower. In addition, Acura’s engineers tweaked the steering response and the suspension. Tires and wheels were upgraded, too.

After the 3.2CL Type S came the 3.2TL Type S, then the RSX Type S which made 210 horsepower (40 more than the standard RSX). The meanest Type S in the States was the TL Type S, which packed a 286-horsepower V-6 engine, four-piston Brembos, and quad exhausts.

How the Acura Type S Badge Came to Be
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Fast-forward to present day and Acura is gearing up for the market launch of the 2021 TLX Type S, which features a 3.0-liter turbo V-6 good for 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque sent to all four corners by a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Type S story goes on.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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