Honda is shifting its Acura luxury brand upmarket by highlighting its efficiency chops. It is a method that started with the return of the NSX sports car at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and has proven more moderen success with the arrival of latest Acura RDX in 2018. The compact crossover’s further athleticism got here at a value, although, and the most recent RDX noticed its value leap $3,000 relative to that of its predecessor. Acura is following the identical plan with its 2021 TLX that goes on sale on the finish of September.
And sure, the sports activities sedan’s value takes an enormous leap, with the entry-level TLX 2.0T and its turbocharged four-cylinder engine beginning at $38,525. That is $1,300 greater than the outgoing TLX with its non-obligatory V-6. The base 2020 TLX with its 2.4-liter four-cylinder, in the meantime, wears a sticker value of $34,025. It’s not all unhealthy information, although, as even with all-wheel drive, the 2021 TLX is priced barely beneath bodily smaller opponents such because the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The 2021 TLX is the second era of Acura’s sports activities sedan and it’s a complete new animal. It all began with a clean sheet of paper, giving Acura the liberty to dictate dimensions from scratch to develop a automobile for sedan fans with the sort of standout proportions they search, Jon Ikeda, vp and Acura model officer of American Honda Motor Co., mentioned.
Ikeda is aware of what he’s speaking about: he’s a sedan man himself and spent a lot of his profession as a designer. This means he is aware of the affect of giving the TLX a dash-to-axle proportion that’s 7.eight inches longer than the outgoing mannequin. Overall, the automobile is longer, wider, and decrease, harkening again to the Legend and Integra from Acura’s early days. The lengthy hood and brief overhangs belie the very fact the brand new TLX is a front-wheel-drive automobile. The purpose was the seven-second knockout: a right away good first impression primarily based on the design, TLX product planner Jonathon Rivers mentioned.
The 2021 TLX rides on a brand new structure developed for the mannequin and the return of the performance-minded Type S sub-brand. Acura executives insist the physique construction and chassis are unique to the TLX and the automobile doesn’t share elements with different Honda or Acura fashions. Ikeda doesn’t rule out future derivatives utilizing the platform.
The new bones made it attainable to modify to a double-wishbone entrance suspension and five-link rear—efficiency underpinnings that marked the unique Acura autos.
Powertrain Lineup Changed
And the engine lineup is totally revamped. Gone is the outgoing TLX’s 206-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder. In its place is a brand new 272-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter. It is a small however highly effective substitute with output on par with that of the 2020 TLX’s non-obligatory 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6. A 355-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 powers the TLX Type S.
Both engines mate to a 10-speed automated transmission and work with the most recent iteration of Acura’s so-called Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, which is customary on the Type S and a $2,000 possibility on all different trims.
Acura TLX Type S Coming Next Spring
The Type S launches within the spring of 2021 with a beginning value of about $52,000. There aren’t any plans to provide the TLX an electrical motor or two, both.
While Acura is discontinuing the RLX, the TLX is not going to change into the brand new flagship of the model—that honor stays with the NSX, Ikeda mentioned. Still, the TLX’s development spurt means there’s nonetheless a spot for the smaller ILX and maybe even a brand new entry-level automobile.
Opting for the TLX Type S provides quad exhaust tubes, a entrance splitter, and a rear diffuser to the sedan’s exterior styling. Black matte accents exchange chrome ones, whereas 20-inch wheels come customary. The dubs are wrapped in all-season tires, although stickier summer season rubber is accessible, as effectively. Type S fashions additionally profit from a further drive mode—Sport+—whereas stopping energy comes courtesy of Brembo. Adaptive dampers are customary tools.
“With the NSX and [TLX] Type S, people will view Acura differently,” Ikeda mentioned.