We're sure you all remember that stunning Acura Type S Concept from yesterday. Acura said it's meant to influence the next-gen TLX's design, and lo and behold, here is the next-gen TLX. Of course, Acura has no intentions of letting us see the production car anytime soon, so we're treated to a heavily cladded prototype in the photos here. Looking at it in profile, the camouflaged car looks a whole lot like the Type S Concept we saw yesterday. The short rear overhang is similar, but the front of the production car looks like it hangs out over the front wheels a little further – it still shares the concept's overall long-hood/short-deck proportions, though. The roof tapers down into the decklid at a shallow angle, similar to the concept car. We're sad to see the same quad exhaust isn't protruding from the rear bumper of this tester. Instead, it gets a dual exhaust with wide, rectangular outlets on both sides. We think the car we're looking at here is likely a regular TLX, and not the spicy Type S variant most likely seen last year. There's one interior photo our shooter was able to snag, showing a similar infotainment screen as that used in the new RDX, something we fully expect for the production car. That touchpad system is far superior to Acura infotainment systems of the past, but it still isn't perfect. An analog tachometer is visible off to the left, indicating that the regular TLX trims probably won't introduce a fully digital instrument cluster. Not that we'd expect that; even the new RDX maintains analog gauges in its top spec. However the TLX story plays out, it won't hurt if the production car looks just like the well-received Type S Concept. It's unclear how long we'll have to wait to see the car in full, but we'll keep you posted.
Acura is bringing the Type S badge back with authority. While the Acura Type S Concept is, as its name implies, a concept, it looks and sounds a lot more like a design preview for the next-gen TLX in Type S flavor. Acura says it will debut two Type S performance variants within the next two years. The first will be the TLX, and our guess would be that an RDX Type S will follow. But let's dive into what Acura has given us today. From the company: "The Type S Concept sets the stage for re-introducing Type S performance variants to the Acura line-up after a decade hiatus, and will heavily influence the character of the upcoming, second-generation TLX Type S." If you were hoping for a design and powertrain preview, we're sad to report that Acura is not using this opportunity to showcase the engine coming to the TLX Type S. Not all is lost when it comes to mechanical details, though. This concept rides on 285-width summer tires on all four corners, which is positively huge for an Acura sedan. Four-piston yellow Brembo brake calipers are used, shining brightly through the 21-inch wheels. Instead of the fake vents all over the Civic Type R, Acura says the venting and grille space up front is functional, allowing air to get through to the "high-performance engine and brake package." Though again, we don't know what that high-performance engine will be just yet. Just like other Acura concepts of late, this one is a real looker. Its LED lights in front and back signal a new style for Acura that it calls "Chicane." The shape doesn't resemble much of a chicane in front with the DRLs/turn indicators, but it's much more plausible for the taillights. While the headlights may look a lot like those on the NSX, Acura says this fixture is the debut of its new four-lamp "Jewel Eye" LED lamps. Instead of squares, we get rectangular eyes, and they look even cooler than before. You'll notice a bunch of elements scattered throughout that look a little bit like carbon fiber. Acura says it's forged carbon, and it's visible on the front splitter, along the front vents, side sills, wheels, rear spoiler and rear diffuser area. While not as flashy as glossy carbon fiber, it looks even better in the photos we're scrutinizing here. The stunning blue paint is also special. Acura calls it "Double Apex Blue Pearl," and it uses nano pigments and a color-infused clear coat to enhance the appearance. The hue pays homage to the blue TL Type S offered in the 2007 and 2008 model years. If you want to see it sparkle in person, it'll be shown at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering on Friday and at the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday.
At next week's 2019 New York International Auto Show, Acura will reveal a pair of new models, the 2020 TLX PMC Edition and MDX PMC Edition Prototype. The duo will be limited-run models that get final assembly at Honda's Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, along the same production line as the Acura NSX. The TLX PMC Edition goes on sale this summer with a starting price of around $50,000. Production will be limited to just 360 models hand-assembled over a six-month period. The production version of the MDX PMC Edition will be built sometime after the TLX PMC run is complete.
Think of the TLX PMC as an A-Spec performance model with features available with the Advance Package like a surround-view camera and AcuraWatch driver assistance features. Currently, the two packages are mutually exclusive. There are no performance upgrades beyond what the A-Spec already offers. Power from the 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is sent to all-four wheels through a nine-speed automatic. The TLX PMC uses Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) to manage the power at each wheel. It also gets the A-Spec's stiffer dampers and quicker steering ratio.
Honda and Acura have issued two separate fuel pump-related recalls for Ridgeline pickups, as well as Accord and TLX sedans, and MDX SUVs. Affected Ridgelines could have an increased risk of fire, while the Accord, TLX, and MDX could potentially stall out while driving.
According to NHTSA campaign No. 19V053000, Honda is recalling 106,683 2017-2019 Ridgelines because the fuel pump feed port could crack when exposed to certain acids, including car wash soaps. If it cracks, it could leak pressurized fuel, which could catch fire. Vehicles with this defect are subject to a free fuel pump replacement, as well as an extra fuel pump cover.
Acura has released the first pictures of the TLX-L ahead of a rumored debut at Chengdu Motor Show later this month.
Previewed by a concept earlier this year, the production model has a familiar design but adopts a slightly less aggressive front bumper and angular fog lights. Of course, the biggest change is the car's extended wheelbase which helps to create a spacious rear passenger compartment.