Concept Cars

Acura Type S Concept previews the brand's very attractive future

Look for the Type S Concept to heavily inspire the design of the next-generation Acura TLX.

Bring some cut-resistant gloves -- this concept looks sharp.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Acura's Precision Concept previewed a look that still applies to today's design language, and the Precision Cockpit Concept gave us a very early peek at its new infotainment layout. Acura's concepts have been pretty straightforward ways for the automaker to say, "Hey, here's what's coming down the pipeline," and that bodes well for its latest concept.

Acura unveiled the Type S Concept on Thursday, as part of its Monterey Car Week activities. Not only does the car give us a pretty darn good idea of what to expect from future Acura models, it also previews the return of the Type S trim, which is good news for those hoping that Acura would get its performance lineup back in order -- aside from the NSX, natch.

"Everyone at Acura is aligned around performance," the brand's vice president, Jon Ikeda, said at the Type S Concept's premiere. "This is the time for Type S."

What you see here is a pretty strong preview of what the upcoming TLX Type S will look like. The front end is wide and sharp, echoing more than a little influence from the NSX. I'm a huge fan of how the hood has just a little bit of lip as it hangs over the right-sized grille and thin headlights. The rear end looks positively futuristic, with lots of interesting angles that extend to the taillights, as well as four monster tailpipes at the bottom of everything. The concept appears to lack an interior, given the opaque glass on all sides.

The long dash-to-axle ratio and short rear deck give the Type S concept rear-wheel drive proportions, but the production car will have front-wheel drive architecture.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

While it looks like a beefy rear-wheel drive sedan, that's not the case. Considering all the wheels wear 285-width summer performance tires, there's a pretty strong indication we'll be looking at a car with all-wheel drive. Behind the rollers are four-piston Brembo brake calipers.

Acura didn't confirm anything about the powertrain, but we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. We first learned of Acura's determination to revive the Type S badge at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. At that time, the automaker said it was working on a twin-turbocharged V6 that will accompany at least one of the two vehicles first destined for buyers. We don't know anything about the latter, but it will likely be a crossover to complement the TLX sedan.

The Type S badge previously saw life on four different models. The 3.2CL and 3.2TL Type S models debuted in the early 2000s with a 260-horsepower V6, followed by the RSX Type S with a 200-hp I4. The last Type S to grace this mortal coil was the TL Type S, which was introduced in 2007 and wielded a 286-horsepower V6. A manual transmission was available on all but the 3.2TL Type S, so here's hoping that Acura has yet another stick shift up its sleeve for the future.

Originally published Aug. 13.
Update, Aug. 15: Adds live photos and quotes from the debut event.