The all-new 2021 TLX is the first Acura sedan created from the ground up based on Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance brand direction. It continues the performance focus of Acura established with the launch of the second-generation NSX supercar, the brand’s return to motorsports competition, and by new approaches to Acura design and technology first seen in the Acura Precision Concept and Precision Cockpit and later evolved in the Acura Type S Concept and in the newest-generation Acura RDX. This new generation of TLX also marks the return of Acura’s celebrated Type S performance line after more than a decade-long hiatus. The new TLX Type S will supplant previous models as the most potent Type S model ever, deriving power from an all-new 3.0-liter DOHC turbochargedm V-6 engine developed exclusively for Acura and Type S. Moreover, the new TLX Type S will be the first Type S to utilize Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), now in its fourth-generation of advancement. The 2021 Acura TLX takes a dramatic step forward as the most performance-focused sedan Acura has ever offered, built on an all-new platform, developed exclusively for TLX, and geared to the desires of today’s sport sedan enthusiast.
The TLX sport sedan and its predecessor, the TL sedan, are historically Acura’s top-selling sedan models, with cumulative U.S. sales of more than 1.1 million units since the launch of the first-generation TL in 1995. Since the launch of the second-generation model, in 1998 (1999 model year), all TL and TLX models have been designed, developed and manufactured in the U.S. using domestic and globally sourced parts. The 2021 Acura TLX launches with four distinct grades: TLX, TLX with Technology Package, TLX A-Spec, and TLX with Advance Package. Eight exterior colors grace the exterior, including five premium colors: Phantom Violet Pearl (new), Majestic Black Pearl, Performance Red Pearl, Platinum White Pearl and Apex Blue Pearl. Interior color schemes, depending on grade and exterior color, include Ebony, Expresso, Parchment, Graystone and, for A-Spec, Ebony or Red with Black Ultrasuede® inserts. The new TLX launches on the heels of a successful new RDX sport-utility and integrates a number of the next-generation Acura technologies and features first deployed on RDX, including its 2.0-liter turbo engine, 4th-generation SH-AWD®, ELS Studio 3D® Premium Audio, 16-way sports seats, and the latest iteration of Acura’s innovative True TouchPad Interface™.
All grades of TLX can be equipped with the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), with performance-elevating torque-vectoring capability. Acura’s 4th-generation SH-AWD® system has 40 percent more rear torque capacity and 30 percent quicker front-to-rear torque transfer than the 3rd-generation system in the previous TLX. The system can transfer up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear axle, continuously apportioning 100 percent of that rear-axle torque between the left and right rear wheels. Additionally, the rear axle is continuously overdriven by 2.9 percent, which amplifies the yaw moment effect of left-to-right torque transfer, elevating performance through sharper and more accurate turn-in, enhanced and improved traceability when cornering. The 2021 TLX’s new standard powertrain is the same 2.0-liter DOHC, direct injected and turbocharged engine and 10-speed automatic transmission that debuted in the latest-generation RDX sport-utility vehicle. The 2.0-liter turbo, with peak output of 272 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, boasts the highest standard horsepower in the TLX’s core competitive set and delivers major gains in torque when compared to the previous model’s normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 (+13 lb.-ft. at peak, +48 from low rpms) and its normally aspirated 2.4-liter 4-cylinder (+98 lb.-ft. at peak, +123 from low rpms). Acura’s 10-speed automatic (10AT) offers a wider ratio range, more discrete gears, 4-gear direct downshifts, and a lower first gear for exceptional launch performance when compared to the previous 9AT, making exceptional use of the new turbo engine’s high torque output.
In addition to the double wishbone front suspension, the TLX chassis employs a multitude of performance-focused technology and engineering upgrades. These include a new high-capacity, belt-driven and variable-ratio electric power steering system, NSX-derived electro-servo brake-by-wire technology, and available Adaptive Damper System, which provides for more responsive and also customizable ride and handling performance. The 2021 TLX is built on an all-new, Acura-exclusive body and chassis architecture designed for Type S levels of driving performance and shared across the full TLX lineup. The new Acura sedan platform heralds the return of the double wishbone front suspension as a foundational component of the TLX’s handling prowess. The Acura TLX’s new chassis is anchored to an advanced new body structure – the most rigid ever offered on an Acura sedan – delivering major gains in rigidity, including a 50 percent increase in global torsional stiffness and up to a 100 percent improvement in localized rigidity, where the suspension is mounted to the body. The new structure uses 64 percent (by weight) advanced, lightweight materials, such as aluminum and press-hardened steel, more than any previous Acura sedan. An ultra-rigid new center tunnel serves as the backbone of the TLX’s higher structural rigidity and is complimented by triangulated front strut tower bars, front and rear underfloor braces, and Acura-first cast-aluminum front shock tower mounts.
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