The Type S name is making its return with the 2021 Acura TLX. We’ve known for quite some time that the second-generation TLX would get a hotter version bearing the brand’s iconic Type S nomenclature. But the Type S name has a longer history than you might imagine, and we’re taking a look at the Type S models that came before the 2021 TLX.
2001-2003 Acura CL Type S
Believe it or not, the Type S name is nearly two decades old. The mark was first applied to the 2001 Acura CL, and it brought a comprehensive list of upgrades to the coupe. Power from the car’s 3.2-liter V-6 (which—no surprise—included the brand’s VTEC variable valve timing tech) rose from 225 to 260 horses. Additionally, the CL Type S boasted other sporty bits such as bigger wheels, thicker seat bolsters, and stiffer springs for a more buttoned-down ride.
2002-2003 Acura TL Type S
The original CL Type S was accompanied by the launch of the mechanically similar TL Type S one year later. Whereas the CL Type S eventually benefitted from the addition of an available six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential, the original TL Type S soldiered on strictly with a five-speed automatic transmission.
2002-2006 Acura RSX Type S
The RSX hatchback also benefitted from the Type S treatment. Opting for the RSX Type S replaced the standard model’s five-speed manual transmission with a six-speed unit that corralled 200 hp (or 210 on later models) from the car’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine—a noteworthy improvement over the regular RSX’s 160 ponies. The Type S also got much thicker anti-roll bars, larger front brakes, and sportier springs and dampers (later models even traded the standard RSX’s 16-inch wheels and tires for a set of 17-inchers).
2007-2008 Acura TL Type S
The most recent Acura to bear the Type S badge was the third-generation TL. The upgrades were more comprehensive than ever before, too. The TL Type S traded the standard model’s 258-hp 3.2-liter V-6 for a bigger 3.5-liter six-cylinder with 286 horses. The engine mated to either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Opting for the manual added a limited-slip differential, too.
Additionally, the TL Type S included reworked door sills, a racier front fascia, new taillights, and an exhaust setup with four pipes. Dark, multi-spoke wheels covered a set of Brembo front brakes, too.