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Acura TLX Type S Review

 Acura TLX Type S Review

Acura TLX Type S Review

Acura TLX Type S Review - Acura keeps sending forget-me-nots. First came the second-generation Acura NSX, a 573-horsepower mid-engine message that the brand had been working on itself, made some major adjustments, and wanted to have a heart-to-heart chat about performance. The car's mid-engine configuration was a sign that the company had been working on itself. Now, the 2021 TLX Type S sports sedan has arrived at our location, and its torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system and V-6 engine with 355 horsepower are the type of wooing that completely works on us.

The Type S, which brings back Acura's high-performance line, should not be confused with the comparatively mild-mannered 272-horsepower TLX that was debuted the previous year. The TLX Type S is designed to compete with vehicles such as the Audi S4, BMW M340i, and Cadillac CT5-Vs of the world. It is not intended to take on the more extreme RS models, M cars, or Blackwings because it is optimized for use on the street rather than necessarily with track driving in mind, which is where the brand's Type R moniker comes into play.

The new 10-speed automatic transmission pairs well with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine that Acura has just introduced. As the engine approaches its maximum boost pressure of 15.1 pounds per square inch, there is a touch of low-rpm turbo lag. The engineers have assured us that this DOHC V-6 is a novel design, and the only thing it has in common with previous Honda and Acura engines is the bore spacing. The boosting is handled by a single twin-scroll turbo. The camshaft bearing cap has been integrated into the cam cover in order to lower the overall height of the engine. Because it takes up less room and fewer components, it begs the question of why anything like this hasn't been done in the roughly 120 years that overhead-cam engines have been in use.

However, the V-6 engine has to contend with a curb weight of 4201 pounds, which slows down the acceleration despite the rapid increase in power. We timed it at 4.9 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, and a quarter mile at 103 miles per hour took 13.6 seconds. The all-wheel-drive system in the Acura effortlessly transfers power to the road, and the 10-speed automatic transmission shifts cogs without being noticed by the driver. When driving on highways with hills, having a surge of power at low rpm helps save the transmission from having to seek for lower gears. However, the TLX Type S is not as quick as its rivals, such as the Audi S4, which has the same amount of power but is approximately 300 pounds lighter and can reach 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and complete a quarter mile in 12.7 seconds at 110 miles per hour.

It only takes a few rotations of the TLX Type S's thick-rimmed steering wheel to realize that the Type S is about more than simply driving straight. This is in part due to Acura's decision to switch back to a control-arm front suspension from the struts that were used in earlier models of the TLX. This vehicle's steering and turn-in characteristics give the impression that it weighs far less than its curb weight of 4201 pounds because of its delicacy and liveliness. On the skidpad, the optional 255/35R-20 Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires record 0.96 g of grip. This indicates that the grip levels are high. If you go with the summer tires that cost $800, you'll also get NSX-inspired 20-inch wheels. These wheels have a weight savings of a little over five pounds each corner in comparison to the basic alloys.

The TLX is comparable in length and breadth to the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-series, despite the fact that it is somewhat longer and broader than the German competition that it is priced against. Despite the fact that the TLX's increased breadth makes it appear less agile than its more compact competitors, the vehicle's body control is exceptional. When compared to the standard TLX, the Acura TLX Advanced has front springs that are 40 percent more rigid and front and rear anti-roll bars that are bigger. When you apply more power, the all-wheel-drive system in the Acura Type S overdrives the rear axle, giving the impression that the vehicle is rear-wheel driven. If you accelerate quickly out of corners, the system will prevent power understeer by moving torque rearward. This torque is then vectored side to side by the torque-vectoring rear differential, which results in the vehicle having a rear-steering effect. Simply pressing down on the accelerator will cause the TLX to perform the necessary calculations to convert the motion of your foot into an increase in speed.

Because the front rotors are 14.3 inches and the calipers have four pistons, hitting the other pedal will confidently and quickly wipe whatever speed you have built up. It takes 165 feet to come to a stop from 70 miles per hour, which is a little more feet than the brake feel implies is necessary. A brake booster that is helped by electricity is often set to create a very firm pedal that has a decent amount of bite. After driving for a short distance, we have become accustomed to the little distance the brake pedal travels and are able to appreciate its benefits. Acura allowed us to take a few laps around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca so that we could get a comprehensive feel for the all-wheel-drive system in a controlled setting. However, in order for those on-track TLXs to withstand the rigors of journalistic abuse on a road course, Acura had those TLXs fitted with track-oriented pads, which the company promises to recommend to customers who are interested. After being taken off the canyon road and put back on the street, the brakes did not exhibit any symptoms of fading despite being fitted with the factory pads.

When the Dynamic Control knob of the Type S is turned to the Sport+ position, the adaptive dampers of the vehicle become more restrictive and respond more swiftly to inputs from accelerometers located at each corner. Through an increase in the rear-steer impact of the torque-vectoring rear end, the Sport+ mode also makes the vehicle more inclined to twist around turns. The 10-speed transmission also responds better in Sport+, but you'll also want to select the transmission's Sport mode separately. This mode, which seems to channel the brain of racer Alexander Rossi as it calls up the appropriate gears under braking and fires off quick upshifts at the engine's redline, is what you'll want to use. The 10-speed transmission also responds better in Sport+. There are paddle shifters mounted on the rear of the steering wheel, but we didn't feel the need to use them because the gearbox does such a good job of selecting the appropriate ratio from among its 10 available options.

Leather and Ultrasuede seats, metal pedals and trim, and a stitched instrument panel are all in line with what other rivals provide; nevertheless, simple and attractive analog instruments may be an exception to the usual of a glass-cockpit in a sports sedan. Even though the automobile has a wheelbase measuring 1130 inches, the rear passengers are only provided with a bench seat that provides adequate support. The space and legroom in the back are not what we would consider to be ample. Even at highway speeds, the Type S's cabin maintains a peaceful silence, despite our testing equipment recording 71 decibels at 70 miles per hour. The quantity of V-6 drama that is poured into the cabin is increased when the driving mode is changed to either Sport or Sport Plus.

It is clear that Acura wants to be considered and remembered by purchasers of sports sedans, as seen by the pricing of the Type S. The minimum purchase price is 53,325, and the only additional costs are for wheels and tires ($800) and paint ($500) if you want a color other than silver. Although a stripped-down version of the S4 may be purchased for a price that is lower than that of the TLX Type S, the German competitor is more expensive overall. The price of a Cadillac CT5-V can be lower than that of an Acura TLX, but once again, when equipped with all-wheel drive and equivalent accoutrements, the Cadillac jumps above the Acura and into the mid-fifties thousand dollar range. The Genesis G70 3.3T comes standard with more features than the Acura TLX, but it has a smaller footprint and costs less than the Acura. Keep an eye on this place if you think it sounds like a fascinating comparison test.