Reminder: Acura is Working on a Turbo V-6 Engine and Type S Models are Coming to Offer the Performance A-Spec Models Won’t
Yeah, the A-Spec trim is disappointing if you don’t understand its purposeby Robert Moore, on
We were shocked at first sight of the MDX A-Spec. It had all of the looks that scream killer performance, yet we were left wondering just where the extra performance was at. As it turns out, there was a reason for the lack of extra performance, and it will always be this way for Acuras that wear the A-Spec badge. That may seem like a letdown but don’t go switching brands just yet. In case you forgot, Acura has big plans, most of which revolve around the long-lost Type S moniker that is set to make its return sometime in the fairly near future. Arguably more important is the fact that Acura is working on a turbocharged V-6 engine that could be associated with future Type S models. It’s not fresh news, but it serves as an explanation to why the A-Spec trim is what it is.
What is A-Spec All About
Unfortunately, the A-Spec package doesn’t come with suspension and upgrades; that much we know. It certainly leaves us wanting more, naturally, so Motor Trend set out to learn why in an interview with Jon Ikeda, Acura’s General Manager. According to Ikeda, the A-Spec line is basically meant to talk the talk but not really walk the walk, so to speak. To understand this, we need to look at the MDX A-Spec a little closer.
The MDX A-Spec
Standard features on the MDX A-Spec included a revised exterior that is a bit more aggressive – think larger air intakes and honeycomb mesh – and some blacked out trim to make it a bit more menacing to look at. Of course, it also got a set of 20-inch wheels with wider, low-profile tires which do offer better performance as far as traction was concerned. There was even a rear diffuser in the back. The interior was revamped with a healthy dose of Alcantara on the seats, new gauges, sports pedals, and even carbon-look trim. These are the kinds of upgrades you can expect from any model that proudly displays an A-Spec badge.
The Flip Flop
It seems almost counterintuitive to write a check out can’t cash, but that’s basically the point of the A-Spec line. The idea is to give people that performance image “at a reasonable cost.” So, in that regard, the MDX A-Spec plays its part and plays it well. But, what if you want to walk the walk too?
To be clear, we already knew the Type S was returning. That was confirmed by Toshiaki Mikoshiba, the President and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., back at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. He even said that the name would return on “multiple Acura Models… in the coming years.” That was big news considering the last time we say the Type S moniker was on the Acura TL some 10 years ago. And, along with the reintroduction of the Type S will come a turbocharged V-6 that will probably be a detuned version of the 3.5-liter V-6 that’s stashed in the middle of the Acura NSX. In NSX form it uses a twin-turbo configuration so some minor fuel tuning and the deletion of a turbo could bring power down to around 400 horsepower. Along with this will come suspension and chassis updated and all Type S models should get the same next-gen SH-AWD system found in the recently revealed 2019 Acura RDX.
What model will get the S Type treatment first is as big a mystery as what lies beyond our own solar system but the RDX, MDX, and RLX are all prime suspects, with the lean angled toward the MDX or RDX considering the popularity of SUVs and how many performance-oriented SUVs have popped up in recent years. Now, if only we could convince Acura to turn that Precision Concept into a real-life coupe. After all, Acura’s lineup is lacking a true-to-life coupe, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the prelude, RSX, or Integra names to make a reappearance either. If the brand did them right, 90s fanboys everywhere would be more than happy to get in line for a piece of that very sweet, delicious pie. I know I certainly would.
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Source: Motor Trend