The next chapter in Acura's journey back to its performance roots was delayed along with the New York auto show in April because of the coronavirus outbreak. But the big reveal of the second-generation TLX sedan is back on schedule, the automaker said, with a short film coming on May 28 to fill in the highly anticipated details.
For now, Acura released a teaser image of the rear of the redesigned TLX in the revived Type S performance trim. The image "showcases the new TLX's wide rear silhouette and imposing stance with muscular curves, large diameter quad exhaust outlets and rear diffuser strakes," the company said in a release on Wednesday.
With Acura's announcement last week that it is discontinuing the larger RLX sedan for the U.S. market after the 2020 model year, the midsize TLX takes on the role as the brand's premier sport sedan, particularly with the return of the Type S variant after a decade-long hiatus. The smaller ILX sedan is due for a redesign next year.
"Delivering dramatic gains in style and performance, the new TLX will be the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sport sedan in Acura history, with the Type S being the model's performance pinnacle," the company said. The TLX teaser image had badges for both the Type S variant and the brand's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.
Acura fueled interest in the second-generation TLX last year with the Acura Type S Concept that debuted at Monterey Car Week in August. The concept has been featured in the brand's "Less Talk, More Drive" ad campaign and in a Web-based driving game. The brand's new design language is inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted in 2016.
If Acura can deliver on final design similar to the Type S Concept, the 2021 TLX is likely to be well received. The concept stood out as fresh and exciting even amid the serious eye candy present at the Monterey event. It also looked like a near-production vehicle with the exception of no interior, no door handles and cameras in place of side mirrors.
The automaker will also offer a new motor for its sport sedan. Acura will debut a 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 in the Type S trim, although the company is not revealing any numbers for now. The current TLX has an available nonturbo V-6 making 290 hp. The NSX supercar has a 3.5-liter turbo V-6 making 500 hp. So, somewhere in between.
The TLX is the second of the brand's four core models to be restyled in the new design language, following the RDX compact crossover two years ago. Nonperformance versions of the 2021 TLX could get the RDX's 4-cylinder turbo that makes 272 hp. The current base TLX motor is an older, nonturbo with 206 hp.
The TLX is also likely to see a version of the RDX's redesigned interior, with more luxurious materials and an infotainment screen mounted high on the dash with a new touchpad interface. The revamped TLX is likely to offer clues on what is coming in the next-gen MDX midsize crossover that should debut over the summer.