Acura’s Getting Serious About Performance: A Sneak Peek at the 2021 Acura TLX 

Acura Tlx

NSX, ELS, diamonds and jewels: So much of what we love is promised in this newly redesigned sedan. 

There are two things we love: A really great-to-drive car and a really great-to-rock-out sound system. We can’t wait to meet the 2021 Acura TLX.

The original Acura TLX has an esteemed history: It was the car that Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl climbed into for a listen of the final cut the band’s live album. He liked the sound so much from the TLX’s ELS sound system that he not only approved the cut, he bought the car.

Related: You Need to Hear This: A Concert Quality Car Stereo, From Acura and Grammy Winner Elliot Scheiner

And, under the skin of the TLX lurks another heritage: The DNA of this car is shared by Acura’s vaunted, race-winning, thrill-to-drive NSX supercar. 

These two facts alone make us glad that finally the renewed and redesigned TLX is making its way to dealers soon—as early as this fall.

Related: Why Do People Buy Luxury SUVs? The 2020 Acura RDX Answers That Question

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2021 TLX A-Spec rear and front ends.? Acura

Two TLX Models to Choose from: Good and Great

It’ll come in two models: a 2.0-liter Turbo 272 horsepower (that’s a 66 HP increase from prior model), or the Type S high performance model, with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that’s expected to generate 290 HP (Acura hasn’t yet said what the final power output will be, so we’ll have to wait) which arrives next Spring.

When the first models begin to arrive at dealerships they will carry a MSRP starting in the mid-$30,000 range, and we hope that the full Type S experience tops off somewhere under $50,000.

Related: Can You Really Drive a Supercar? 12 Things To Love About the Acura NSX

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The interior of the 2021 TLX A-Spec2.? Acura

Here’s What the New Acura TLX Will Also Deliver: 

That gem of a face! The TLX will build on the new look of Acura with it’s “jewel-eye LED headlights” (?) and diamond pentagon grill, one of our favorite front grilles of all time. It’s deep, complicated and keeps your gaze. Never mind the jewelry references, which are completely fitting for such a beautifully crafted front end. 

A longer, sleeker, wider and lower to the ground body than the last generation. Designers like to call this look “athletic” because it conveys the idea that this car will hug the road and curves. With the lower center of gravity and wider-set wheels, it should keep that promise. And, the longer, wider  body adds to both the luxury look of the TLX and increases the interior space.

Related: The Performance Family 3-Row SUV: 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec

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The newly refined center console in the Acura TLX.? Acura

Speaking of interiors, we have become fans Acura’s touchpad infotainment controller. It works with a 10.2-inch HD display screen that houses your apps, Apple CarPlay, navigation, climate control and more. It takes some getting used to, but we’re game; by the end of a solid test drive we’re ready to keep going. 

Related: 2019 Acura ILX Review: The Best Sports Sedans Have the Heart and Soul of a World-Class Race Car

Acura Tlx

The ELS Sound System is one of our favorite Acura options.? Acura

The ELS sound system is a gem in itself: Engineered by Grammy winning producer Elliot Scheiner for Acura, the system is customized to the cabin of each model to deliver truly concert hall quality. It literally sounds like Dave Gohl is serenading you from the passenger’s seat. 

Acura Tlx

A view from the driver’s seat in the 2021 Acura TLX A Spec.? Acura

Acura’s innovative gear selector and center console structure: again, this isn’t new, but it is refined and we’re fans. The gear selector is electric and pushbutton, freeing up space and giving the cabin a tech-forward, de-cluttered and streamlined feel. 

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The Acura TLX Type S will have distinct details like the branded headrests.? Acura

The DNA of the NSX infused into the Type S: Acura has spent the last few years working on ways to use what they have learned from the NSX—in the research lab, on the track and on the road—to integrate systems and engineering into their full range of models. While the TSX will no doubt deliver some of this, it’s really the whole point of the Type S: A daily driver with all the conveniences that is as much fun to drive as a race car when the conditions are right. 

Acura Tlx

Safety systems like lane departure assist and adaptive cruise control will be displayed on the driver information screen in the 2021 Acura TLX

We can attest, the NSX is pure fun. But also, not all that convenient if you need to carry anything with you, like a handbag or a bag of groceries, especially when you have a passenger along for the ride. And everyone wants to go for a ride. For that fact alone, we can’t wait to take a test drive in the new TLX Type S. Even if we have to wait a year.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss