Since 2001, the Type S moniker has been a representation of Acura’s highest-performing models, offering drivers an unparalleled experience behind the wheel with precision handling, assertive braking and powerful performance.
For nearly a decade, Acura redefined the expectations of a Type S model, through vehicles such as the Acura CL, TL, RSX and CSX. Now, after another decade of automotive evolution and the absence of a Type S model, Acura has introduced a new generation of high-performance variants with the 2021 TLX Type S and the 2022 MDX Type S.
To honour the new models, we’re looking back at the history that led to them. This is a brief history of the Acura Type S lineage:
Acura CL Type S
The first North American Type S arrived in the 2001 Acura CL. The sedan was Acura’s first commercial attempt at delivering the highest level of performance for a vehicle class, with a 3.2-litre V6 engine outputting 260 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque between 3,500 and 5,500 rpm. As the years progressed, the five-speed automatic transmission with the manual gear-change system evolved to a 6-speed manual transmission, along with a sport-tuned suspension, quicker steering and 17-inch wheels.
Acura TL Type S
Several TL models held the Type S moniker over the first decade, the first debuting one year after the CL Type S. The 2002 Acura TL Type S had similar performance components as the CL until its third-generation appeared in 2007. This new TL Type S featured a 3.5-litre V6 engine making 286 hp and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Acura RSX Type S
In 2002, the RSX joined the lineup with a new 2.0-litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder putting out 200 hp and also connected to a 6-speed manual transmission. This model later underwent additional aesthetic and performance changes, receiving a larger rear wing and a 10-hp boost.
Acura CSX Type S
Nearing the end of the decade, the 2007 CSX Type S took to Canadian streets exclusively with a 2.0 litre I4, i-VTEC engine (197 hp) and a 6-speed manual transmission. The sporty rear spoiler featured embedded LED brake lights, while the cabin received an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth and USB integration.
Acura TLX and MDX Type S Models
Now, a new generation of Type S models are arriving with the recent announcement of the 2021 TLX Type S and the first Type S SUV with the Acura MDX, Acura’s latest flagship model.
The TLX is set to be the fastest, most powerful and best handling Type S model in the lineage. It’s powered by the Type S Turbo V6, outputting 355 hp through an upgraded 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2022 Acura MDX builds on the fourth generation model, with the Type S Turbo V6 with 355 hp.
Both the TLX and MDX models feature the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive. For a more in-depth history, check out this video put together by Acura.