Buildup for the 2021 Acura TLX started more than a year ago when Acura released the stunning Type S Concept. It was long, low, wide and graced with gorgeous rear-drive proportions. Plus, it was slathered in some of the best blue paint we've ever seen. Acura could not have thought of a better way to say, "Hey, we're back!"
It's no surprise that the Type S Concept is a dead ringer for the production TLX. Acura designers told us the car was just about finished when the concept debuted. So yeah, the new TLX and TLX Type S were always going to look this good. The latter won't be arriving until next spring, but our first drive of this next-gen base TLX has us hopeful for the Type S and its 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. And maybe just a little nervous, too.
The bones are really good. Acura developed a new, unique platform for this TLX that was built with performance in mind from the get-go. It's not just an Accord in a fancy suit. With crossovers on the rise, Acura says its shrinking number of sedan buyers are more passionate about driving dynamics than crossover buyers, allowing them to focus on performance to an even greater degree. It makes sense. We heartily approve.
The result of this performance focus is the most rigid body in any Acura not named NSX. You’ll find more advanced materials like aluminum and press-hardened steel in its makeup than any previous Acura sedan. It has a wider track (+1.2-inch front and +1.6-inch rear), a 2.2-inch wider body, a 3.7-inch longer wheelbase and a 0.5-inch shorter height. Lastly, the dash-to-axle dimension is 7.8 inches longer, giving it those sweet rear-drive proportions despite being a front-wheel-drive platform.