One small step for Type S, one big step for Acura.

For a brand with such a storied sports car history, Acura’s offerings over the last few years have been pretty tame. Save the NSX supercar, Acura hasn’t built a single performance-oriented car in over a decade. The 2021 TLX Type S is here to change that, and hopefully, reconnect Acura to its go-fast roots.

After sampling the new Type S around the bends of Laguna Seca, we brought it back home to run through the canyon roads of LA, along with one of its most famous relatives: the 2007 TL Type S. Our video review above has everything you need to know on Acura’s newest product and takes a look back at the Type S badge’s phenomenal history in the US market.

This new Type S has its work cut out for it with solid competition in the Audi S4, BMW M340i, and Mercedes-AMG C43. Acura tried to make its car stand out – literally – with a bold, crisp design. We love the Type S’ long hood and enormous quad exhaust pipes, both of which give it an appropriately aggressive look. Although the shade of Tiger Eye Pear paint is take it or leave it depending on the sunlight.

From a performance perspective, the Type S offers enough to satisfy but falls short of overwhelming. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 puts out 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet, which in the right setting provides a healthy amount of fun. A 10-speed automatic transmission is the only available pairing, which provides decent feedback. But only in Track Mode does the car give back the noise that we really want out of a fast Acura, although when the V6 does kick in it sounds fantastic.

2021 Acura TLX Type S Exterior

We’re excited to see Acura back in the performance game, with a renewed focus on adding driving excitement back to its lineup. While the TLX Type S marks the first big step in this direction, stay tuned for more significant launches like the MDX and RDX Type S to take things a step further.

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Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX Type S: First Drive

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