In case you missed all the buildup, let us be the first to tell you that the 2021 Acura TLX is here and so is the new TLX Type S. We were among the lucky few outlets to see Acura’s hot new sedan in person and spend some time with both Advance and Type S trim levels on camera.
There’s a lot to unpack with the new TLX, which was originally supposed to debut in April at the New York International Auto Show. The second-gen car gets quite the makeover with a completely new design and plenty of revised hardware to go with it. The car rides on a new dedicated platform, which has a double-wishbone front suspension for improved handling. This TLX is lower, longer, and wider, with a huge 7.8 inches added to the dash-to-axle ratio. In the metal, the shift in proportions makes the TLX a mean-looking sedan with tons of visual drama going on in the bodywork.
We love smaller details like the new lighting signature in the headlights – which matches that of the ARX-05 racecar – and the strong character line that curves upward through the car’s midsection. The angular taillights are crisp and clean on an otherwise simple rear end. All in all, the standard TLX’s styling is eye-catching but maintains a certain subtlety to go with it. The Type S dials up the drama quite a bit more with dedicated styling cues like enormous quad exhaust tips and 20-inch wheels. Type S also darkens out the front grille and intakes for an extra aggressive look.
Finally, Acura dramatically reworked the interior, swapping in the RDX’s 10.2-inch infotainment system and touchpad interface along with a new ELS Studio 3D audio system. Materials are nicer than before, with new wood trim and thin strips of LED lighting found throughout the dash.
The 2021 TLX and TLX Type S feel like a true return to form for Acura, with a restored focus on performance and style. While we have to refrain from final judgment until we drive the car, this early first look fills us with hope for what’s to come.