The NSX has given Acura the confidence it needs to force the rest of its lineup into the performance arena.
Once upon a time Acuras were known for sublimating tires with little regard for the safety of anyone or anything in the near vicinity. There's still the NSX out to thrill those that can afford it, but aside from that the notion of performance has been relatively absent from the modern Acura lineup. Maybe Acura wised up on its own or maybe it listened to us, but either way the performance drought is to be no more. During the 2018 Detroit auto show, Acura announced that it will be reviving its old performance line, known as Type S.
The backbone of the Type S line will be a newly developed turbocharged V6 power plant that'll be exclusive to Acura. "We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products," said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda." Gearheads will laud the fact that the turbo V6 will continue the direction started by the NSX supercar and utilize Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system to send torque to the wheel or wheels that can get the most use out of it.
That should sit well in Acuras with a Type S badge, which we last saw on the 2008 TL that featured a track-tuned chassis, high performance tires and brakes, sporty interior and exterior upgrades, and engine tweaks to back that bark up with bite. In addition to Type S models, Acura will introduce A-Spec variants to every core model in its lineup. A-Spec packages add a more aggressive tune to certain components such as the suspension to give buyers a hotted-up option than the base car it's on, but A-Spec could become the middle ground tuning option once Type S is back. While it's currently available on the TLX and ILX sedans, the newest vehicle to receive the new version of A-Spec will be a TLX coming in 2018 with a 2.4-liter power plant.
With Acura back in the performance game, this marks the last major Japanese luxury automaker to up the performance ante—a mark that the Island nation is ready to take another step forward in the fight against the Germans.