Acura has spent the past few years reinventing itself as a performance brand, and the Type S Concept at the Pebble Beach Car Week takes a big step toward solidifying that image. The concept previews the second-generation TLX sedan, specifically the Type S version, but also gives us an idea what to expect from future Type S models. Hint: actual performance.
The Type S concept draws inspiration from the Acura Precision concept of 2016, but also pays homage to the top-dog NSX supercar as well as past Type S models. Up front, you have side vents lifted almost directly off the NSX, which are positioned beneath what might be Acura’s best execution of its Diamond Pentagon grille yet. The front end is aggressively styled with a sculpted hood that that forms the top edge of the grille and a new interpretation of the Jewel Eye headlight setup, which is recessed slightly. In front and back you’ll see Acura’s new “Chicane” light signature, born from the ARX-05 Daytona Prototype racer. The large four round exhaust tips are a nod to the 2007 TL Type S.
What you immediately notice in person are the car’s proportions. The Acura Type S features a relatively long dash-to-axle ratio, which gives the appearance of rear-wheel drive. Because this is a design concept, Acura didn’t give us any details on drivetrain. However, it’s probably a safe guess that the production TLX Type S won’t be rear-drive-based as Honda doesn’t have a platform to support that. Though we didn’t get any specs, Acura did hint at what it’s planning.
“For Acura, Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is a performance technology that we’re heavily invested in, from NSX on down, and that’s something that will continue,” a spokesman said. We also know that Acura has been working on a new turbocharged V-6, and that seems like a good fit here.
Even if the next-gen TLX continues to be front-drive-based, the new more cab-rearward look goes a long way in communicating sportiness. The concept has no problem getting that message across, riding low on 21-inch multi-spoke wheels wrapped in 285-series summer tires. Behind those two-tone alloys are drilled Brembo brake rotors clamped down by four-piston calipers.
Throughout the body you’ll find forged carbon accents. In case you’re not familiar, forged carbon bonds layers of carbon to achieve higher strength compared to carbon fiber, which is woven. The process also results in a very distinctive look. Forged carbon can be found on the front lip and side intakes, side skirts, rear valance and diffuser, ducktail rear spoiler, and even decorating the wheel spokes.
To help the Type S concept stand out on the lawn at Pebble Beach, Acura finished it in a shade it calls Double Apex Blue Pearl. The paint uses the same nano-pigments as the NSX, and also gets a tinted clear coat that helps accentuate the car’s sharp body lines. Acura says the color is inspired by the blue Type S models from its past.
The concept will certainly inspire the TLX Type S, but Acura says it will deliver a second Type S model within the next two years. We’re thinking the RDX would be next in line to get the treatment. The RDX A-Spec is already pretty sporty, so we’re looking forward to what a Type S model might bring. There’s also a next-gen MDX on the way, which is a likely candidate for the aforementioned turbocharged V-6.
Whichever Acura model gets a Type S badge next, we hope this Pebble Beach Car Week concept closely previews the level of performance we can expect.
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