2020 Acura TLX Type S Spotted Testing Against S4, AMG C43, Could Get New V6 Turbo

Acura has come a long way in the past few years and it’s certainly rebuilt its performance reputation with the introduction of the new NSX. The company appears poised to capitalize on the latter as spy photographers have caught a high-performance TLX undergoing testing in Europe.

Spied being benchmarked against an Audi S4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG C43, the heavy camouflaged prototype is believed to be the range-topping TLX Type S. This makes sense as Acura announced plans to revive the Type S moniker back in January.

The name was last used on the 2008 TL Type S and Acura confirmed there will be multiple Type S models in the future. Given the name was last used on the TL, it makes sense that it would return on the TLX.

Getting back to the car itself, the model features a new front bumper with a massive air intake in the middle. The camouflage hides additional styling details, but we can see the car has lightweight wheels that are backed up by a high-performance braking system. The biggest change occurs out back as the sedan sports a four-tailpipe exhaust system with massive tips.

Engine options remain unconfirmed, but the TLX currently features a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 hp (216 kW / 294 PS) and 267 lb-ft (361 Nm) of torque. While that’s no match for the engines in the Audi and Mercedes, Acura has already confirmed it is working on a new turbocharged V6 which won’t be shared with Honda.

Acura has been tight-lipped on specifics, but previously described the engine as a “high-performance powerplant” which will be paired with the latest-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The engine seems like an obvious choice for the TLX Type S and Acura has already confirmed it will eventually find its way into “multiple products in the years ahead.”

more photos...

Picture credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Craig

    I gave up DECADES ago being excited about future Acura products.

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      You might want to think again after seeing the new RDX I suppose..

      • ErnieB

        Seen the RDX in person .. was not impressed at all.. too close to a Honda CR-V

        • no25

          Same. Saw one in person, and it was not like seeing the new Q8, or the new X5, or the current GLC, or the current RX (I know these are not all the RDX’s competitors, but I am making a point). These actual luxury brands – whether you love or hate their style/design language – know how to make cars that stand out.

          • ErnieB

            Look at the Volvo xc40.. that is a direct competitor that has that unique design..

        • Bananarama

          Except that the RDX isn’t based on the CRV and they share nothing…

      • Craig

        There is some hope wrapped up in that – that’s for sure.

      • NormT

        Car & Driver called the RDX Aspec more Bspec or Cspec. Motor Trend did not see it advance in their SUV of the year testing. Not a glowing reviews at all.

        • HardWir3d

          I shopped the RDX and liked it because of the price. It drives better than just about all of its competitors and has way more standard features. This is proven in sales figures as it’s the #1 seller in its segment. It’s not the best you can buy, but it’s the best you can buy for 40k, which is why it sells well and why it isn’t winning reviews/awards.

    • HardWir3d

      so you gave up on them… after the integra got killed? I gave up on them (kinda) after the shield got released. However… they can win me back if their new stuff starts looking good and if offer some real sport offerings. A real 435/a5 sportback competitor would be amazing…

      • Craig

        I gave up when they replaced the Legend with the RL. I owned an NSX at the time and wanted to buy a flagship sedan to go along with it. But Acura has never build anything worthy of the honor. THAT and the fact that my mom’s 2002 TL Type-S was a lemon didn’t help much either.

  • no25

    yay. new acura. cant wait to see it. wow. im full of joy right now.

    • #donglelife

      Likewise, great to see Acura bring back the Type S!

      • SpongeBob99Swell

        Agreed.

        What will be better however is the Type S variant joining as part of the next TLX which I hope comes out soon. (given how impressive the new RDX was, I’m giving Acura a chance in making badass vehicles again)

      • ErnieB

        I thought that was just sarcasm

        • no25

          my comment was sarcasm…im not sure he understood that lol

  • Merc1

    “Acura has come a long way in the past few years and it’s certainly rebuilt its performance reputation with the introduction of the new NSX.”

    Is that supposed to be a joke?

    Anyway this is good news, the first relevant Acura sedan since the 90’s.

    M

    • Dude

      Acura was hardly more than the Japanese Buick in the years before the new NSX kept alive by the MDX. The NSX’s performance is nothing to scoff at but more importantly it was the first sign of life for Acura in a long time.

  • Mr. EP9

    Hopefully this sells better than the NSX. I mean, that shouldn’t be too hard.

  • ErnieB

    Please please keep it covered!!!!!

  • Honda NSX-R

    Hopefully it doesn’t have that shitty 9 speed ZF tranny

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      Yeah, a RWD chassis (replacing the FWD unit) with more necessities would be epic.

      But then again, considering Acura’s comeback with the new RDX, I can tell the next TLX will be awesome too.

      • Honda NSX-R

        Yeah, if the next gen RDX is anything to go by, then the next gen TLX should be pretty good. That’s kinda why I’m a little let-down that it just seems like a current gen TLX based model, which is at best mediocre. Being that this is Acura, I doubt that we’ll see anything RWD based. Anyways, I’m very interested in seeing that new twin turbo V6.

        EDIT: Haven’t mentioned this yet, I’m digging those exhaust pipes.

        • NormT

          The new RDX 2.0T has had a very rough intial launch for a new vehicle with many owners complaining about poor quality for the price.

          • Honda NSX-R

            What kind of issues?

          • NormT

            Acurazine and Facebook for 3rd gen RDX are reporting numerous unresolved issues like harsh shifting transmission to locked or blank infotainment screen.

          • Honda NSX-R

            Similar issues to the current gen TLX it seems. Hopefully Acura will take their head out of their ass and fix these issues for the next gen TLX, and other Acura products. Hondas just don’t seem to be built the way they used to nowadays

      • Merc1

        Acura’s comeback? Funny.

        M

      • NormT

        The RDX 2.0T is anything from awesome according to the their owners.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    hmmm but Acura testing this car in Spain!? kinda weird since Acura doesn’t sell cars in Europe… maybe could be rebranded as a new Honda Accord in Europe!?

  • Dude
  • CC

    I really hope this thing is nice but I’ve been burned many times by Acura. My wife’s RDX is nice, but the interior needs to improve dramatically to pull me away from Cadillac. Lexus, too, for that matter. Their interiors are super plasticy. At least Cadillac has the good sense to make their cheap materials look premium. Lexus and Acura are both like, “Here’s some plastic. Eat crap.”

    • no25

      After sitting in the new ES, LS, and LC, Lexus interiors are definitely not “plasticy.” Acura, plastic hell.

      • CC

        Fair enough. But I only buy small-ish cars. As such, I shopped for the Lexus IS, Infinity Q50, etc. The ES, etc. are further up market.

  • john1168

    I’m really looking forward to this! I just hope we’re not all disappointed like we were when the TLX first came out…. The quad exhaust tips are promising. Give it 400hp/400tq, a greatly improved 9 speed (the current one is crap) and a nicer interior and I think we may have something here.

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  • Dude

    True. Honesty they need to rethink their whole strategy

  • SteersUright

    All performance Acura’s have greatly disappointed for decades so they really need to get this very, very right. It shouldn’t be as good as an S4 or C43, it should be better.
    Audi is a master at turning nose-heavy cars into performance machines. I truly hope Acura has the engineering talent to beat them and produce a truly spectacular car.

    • Trackhacker

      Audi sucks

  • U8INIT

    Welp, at least those wheels looks sexy 🙃

  • Dude

    Image is important. It’s not really quantifiable how important, since global car sales are down across the board. But Acura sales haven’t taken a huge hit. I want to campare them to Buick but they already sell more and their sales fluctuate pretty wildly every few months. And on Genesis, they would and should be worried about them. Though they could distance themselves if they build on the more luxurious design language seen on the new RDX.

    • Merc1

      And Acura’s image is crap. NO where near the Germans or even Lexus.

      Comparing sales to Buick means they’ve failed. Buick isn’t a luxury brand.

      M

      • Dude

        “And Acura’s image is crap. NO where near the Germans or even Lexus.”

        That’s why they’re trying to improve it obvi

        “Comparing sales to Buick means they’ve failed. Buick isn’t a luxury brand.”

        Buick also outsells Lexus. Does that mean Lexus has failed? I compared Acura to Buick because their cars are similarly boring.

        • Merc1

          Do you even know what you’re talking about or why you’re saying it?

          NO, it means that Buicks don’t sell for Lexus prices.

          Warming over more Hondas isn’t going to do anything for Acura’s image. Don’t you get that? That is why they’re stuck now.

          You comparison of Acura to Buick is a race to bottom.

          M

  • ChunklikeButterfinger

    Those pipes are f/n huge. This sounds like it is going to be some engine.

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