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Acura's Type S badge returns, brings turbo V6 to Detroit

Get your Gucci loafers ready. It's almost time to start enjoying Acuras again, as it redoubles its effort to make fun performance cars.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
2019 Acura RDX Prototype
Nick Miotke and Nate Reed/Roadshow

People have been ready to write off Acura for years now. Its lineup has been among the least interesting in the industry, with its once great performance vehicles fading into memory. It turns out that we were all wrong about Honda's fancy sibling -- it was merely waiting until the time was right to strike. That time is now, here at the Detroit auto show, with the relaunch of the Type S badge and a brand new twin-turbo V6.

The last time we saw a Type S badge was way back in 2008 with the TL Type S. That car had a screaming naturally aspirated V6, a limited-slip differential and was available with a manual transmission. It was a genuine delight to drive. Since then, the only real performance Acura we've seen has been the new NSX, which retails for over $100,000. Acura is looking to make something more attainable.

2019 Acura RDX debuting in Detroit with sharp new looks, tech

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"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, CEO of American Honda. "Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand's rightful place as the performance division of Honda."

The heart of the plan for the Type S revival is a new turbo V6 of unknown displacement and output, which will snake its way through the Acura model lineup. Whether Honda will repurpose the Civic Type R's monster of an engine for use in an ILX performance variant remains to be seen, but it would be awesome. Acura also remains mum on the availability of manual transmissions though their omission would be a serious misstep, given how good Honda manuals typically are.

Acura is also expanding its A-Spec trim level to encompass the entire model range, based on the success of the TLX and ILX A-Spec. The A-Spec package typically includes a few looks-fast aesthetic changes but no real performance add-ons.