Type S Origin Story: A Look Back at Acura’s Type S History
- New video revisits the origins of Acura’s Type S performance nameplate
- 2021 Acura TLX Type S signals return of high-performance brand to Acura showrooms
- 2022 MDX Type S will be the first Acura SUV to wear the Type S badge
With Type S performance models set to return to the Acura lineup, a new video released today celebrates the history of Type S and the iconic vehicles that have worn the high-performance badge. From 2001 through 2008, Type S models played a significant role in Acura’s performance lineup. Type S variants of the CL, TL and RSX delivered a dynamic driving experience with more power, improved handling and stronger braking, all without sacrificing the creature comforts and daily drivability of the core models.
Type S Origin Story
The concept for Type S performance models began with the 1997 NSX Type S in Japan, which led Honda R&D engineers in America to create a prototype coupe called the AC-R.
“The AC-R was basically a show car capable of 166 mph and 1.0g of grip on a skidpad, but its real value was getting everyone inside the company jazzed about creating this kind of model under the Acura brand," said Erik Berkman, former President, Honda R&D Americas, LLC and the development leader of the AC-R and the original Type S models. “Ultimately, we decided to bake all of that goodness into the Acura CL and the result was the 3.2CL Type S, the first Type S in North America."
This spring, Type S returns in an exciting way with the 2021 TLX Type S followed later in the year by the upcoming MDX Type S – the first Acura SUV to wear the Type S badge.
Acura Type S Model History
- 2001-2003 Acura 3.2CL Type S: The Type S performance line debuted in North America with the 2001 3.2CL Type S. The high-performance coupe featured a 3.2-liter V6 engine with 260 horsepower (upgraded from the standard CL’s 225 hp), a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift function, quicker steering, 17-inch wheels and tires and a sport-tuned suspension. In its final model year, a 6-speed manual transmission was available. More information on the 2001 Acura 3.2CL Type S.
- 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S: Debuting a year after the coupe, the 3.2TL Type S sedan featured the same performance-tuned 3.2-liter engine including its innovative dual-stage induction system, a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift function, and similar suspension, wheel and tire upgrades. More information on the 2002 Acura 3.2TL Type S.
- 2002-2006 Acura RSX Type S: The RSX Type S also joined the family in 2002, powered by a new 2.0-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder with 200 horsepower (upgraded from the standard RSX’s 160 hp) connected exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. In 2005, the RSX Type S received a power boost to 210 horsepower, with styling changes that included a larger eye-catching rear wing. More information on the 2002 Acura RSX Type S.
- 2007-2008 Acura TL Type S: The third-generation Acura TL rejoined the Type S lineup in 2007 powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 286 horsepower (upgraded from the standard TL’s 3.2-liter V6 with 258 hp). A 6-speed manual transmission, 4-piston Brembo brakes, sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires and distinctive quad exhaust were all standard. More information on the 2007 Acura TL Type S.
A New Generation of Type S
- 2021 Acura TLX Type S: Type S returns to Acura showrooms with the all-new TLX Type S, the best performing Acura sedan yet. Powered by the new Type S Turbo V6, the TLX Type S boasts 355-horsepower, 354-lb.-ft. of torque, a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, standard torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (a Type S first), a sport tuned suspension and Brembo® front brakes. More information on the 2021 Acura TLX Type S.
- 2022 Acura MDX Type S: The first Acura SUV to ever wear the Type S badge, the 2022 MDX Type S builds on the critically acclaimed and all-new fourth-generation MDX, Acura’s new flagship model. The MDX Type S will be powered by the 355-horsepower Type S Turbo V6, and will also feature standard SH-AWD®. More details about the MDX Type S will be available closer to its launch. More information on the 2022 MDX.