LOS ANGELES — Acura's second-generation TLX has big shoes to fill.
Honda Motor Co.'s luxury brand is discontinuing the bigger RLX, elevating the midsize TLX to flagship sedan status. Acura is banking on the redesigned model to add cred that a strategic shift to performance is taking hold — even as Americans abandon the traditional sedan in all stripes.
The Japanese automaker detailed the features of the re-engineered TLX in a 15-minute video on Thursday that served as a global reveal. The latest sedan was scheduled to appear at the New York auto show in April before the event was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The 2021 TLX is longer, wider, lower and has a more expansive hood to give it the classic proportions of a sports sedan. It echoes the well-received 2019 Type S Concept that was a thinly veiled precursor to the production sedan. Acura's Type S performance variant is also being revived on the latest TLX after a decade-long hiatus.
The outgoing TLX, based on Honda's last-generation mechanicals, is considered a good value for its low price, and a chief reason it was the fourth best-selling midsize luxury car in 2019, even with a 13 percent decline in volume.
Overall, U.S. sales of midsize luxury cars slipped 9 percent to 225,765 in 2019 and have dropped 32 percent since 2010.