- The Type S Concept.

Acura TLX Type S - Opinions and Predictions

A few of my thoughts on what Acura has in store for us with the first iteration this this name's revival.

1y ago

First off all, if you're more interested in hearing me talk, you can watch my new video on this here. If you prefer reading, I'll get on with it.

The TLX Type S has been known for a while now, since the Type S badge was announced in January of 2018 and a TLX Type S prototype was spotted last December. One thing I've noticed is confusion over powertrain. Acura announced that they were developing a brand new, turbocharged V6 (at the same time they announced the return of the Type S badge) mainly for the Type S models but which may also be used for lower level models. What I'm going to say next we should all take with a grain of salt, because it is information from an Acura salesman, specifically the sales manager of Superior Acura of Dayton. For power, he says he has heard that it is a twin-turbocharged V6 producing in excess of 400 horsepower. I would hypothesize a power number somewhere in the 420s using the F80 M3 as a benchmark, which has 425 horsepower in base spec.

Onto the transmission and powertrain. For the powertrain, since the power numbers are high, FWD is illogical and knowing that Honda and Acura do not currently make RWD cars, the obvious answer is SH-AWD or an evolution of the SH-AWD system. Now, we come to the unknown variable: the transmission. I will say that everything about this topic is my opinion and thoughts, since absolutely no information on the transmission has been revealed.

The transmission has three likely options, in my opinion. These are in no particular order. The first option, since they are developing a new engine, is to take the German route and design the engine around the ZF 8-Speed Automatic architecture. This would be affordable and effective, though Acura might want to take a more bespoke approach. One option for said approach is to design the engine around Acura's own 9-Speed Dual Clutch from the NSX. It would be using an already designed part, so affordable and easy, while still keeping the Type S bespoke.

A side note: I have also seen in an article that a new 10-speed automatic transmission from Acura is in the works, but I have not been able to find the article again and have not seen the information from any other credible sources, so I have not included this option in the article or video. Remember that this could still be what happens, and I would say it is still significantly likely, though maybe not to the degree that the former two are.

There is still a likely alternative, however. This is Acura's revival of an amazing badge, known by many enthusiasts for being fun to drive; it still maintains much credibility today. Acura may want to cater to these same enthusiasts and keep that credibility, and considering how much the fan base of the Type S badge has been requesting it, a 6-speed Manual Transmission doesn't seem all that unlikely. Sure, one may argue the issue of sales, but this isn't the RDX, MDX, or regular TLX. This is an enthusiast's car, so why not cater to them? Besides, although it would be a new transmission, it would only be a manual, so somewhat cost-effective to develop, very bespoke, given it would be a newly developed transmission and a rather rare one, and great to drive. I will warn that this option is less likely than the above two, so don't get your hopes up. I guess we can only wait and see.

There are, of course, two unlikely options as well. One would be to waste money and develop a brand new automatic or dual-clutch transmission. The other would be for Acura to ignore many, many complaints, be completely stupid, and stick the current TLX transmission, the ZF 9HP 9-speed automatic, in the Type S (if even possible, considering it's a new engine and the fact that this transmission can only handle 450 NM, or approx. 332 lb/ft of torque, which are numbers the Type S will likely exceed).

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Comments (4)

  • If they indeed have a manual option, then I might just be interested, otherwise chances are I’d pass, but the numbers seem promising

      1 year ago
  • Honestly, I like pretty much everything you've said in your article above, very well thought out and very possible. however, just in my hopes for the new vehicle, I'm hoping that there will be a bit of "Type R Civic" in this car along with some of that old school JDM type feel as well. Not saying that I want the car to be "Boy Racer" in any way, but the car needs a few Options from Acura to make this thing legit. First of SH-AWD is a Must on this vehicle as is a minimum of 425hp/425tq. The car needs to be just as agile as the Civic Type-R if not better plus it needs to have a stellar exhaust note. Powerful, deep and mature with exhaust valves for different modes controlled by the driver. Granted this is no 2020 Mustang GT Bullitt, but it needs to sound really good. Black optioned exhaust tips are a must for this car as well. The car also needs to have a factory optioned aero package including a set of side splitters and a different rear spoiler. (a larger, more aggressive but still tasteful duckbill spoiler would work. Something similar to what the Alfa Romeo Giulia QF has would work) The car also needs to have a staggered set of wheels with the wider wheels in the back, with the car having the SH-AWD setup, this would work as the car would not be a strictly FWD setup and it would give the car better stability. What would really be nice under the hood would be a longitudinally mounted FWD setup (kind of like what Chrysler had back in the day with the 300M) and still give it the AWD setup, this would also help to give the car a more natural, balanced feeling. I hope that Acura is smart enough to use a variant of the NSX transmission in this car, that would help immensely with the performance of the vehicle. Heading inside, this car should have a true Type-S interior, blending elements of the Civic Type and the NSX together to create a truly perfect environment. Personally i would like to see auto dimming mirrors both inside and out along with a premium performance stereo like Pioneer or something inside this car as well. it the car meets all of those standards. I will definitely be in line to buy one. Hopefully in black with a black and red interior.

      1 year ago
    • Thank you for the compliments! I do agree, this needs a lot of substance to really kickstart the Type S moniker. For the sound specifically, I'd like to see it close to or on par with the F-Type V6S or C43.

        1 year ago