2021 Acura TLX outed in European patent images

Jonathon Ramsey


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Acura brought its Type S concept to last year's Monterey Car Week as a glimmer of what we could expect from the all-new TLX coming next year. Since then, we've had better glimpses of the sedan in unintended leaks, the first in Acura's own infotainment system, now in patent images from the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Discovered by French forum Worldscoop, the details in the grayscale drawings match the color image from the infotainment software, giving us another look at hotly anticipated sedan that will infuse much-needed excitement into Acura's lineup. Even though the images show rear bumper cutouts plenty large enough to house quad pipes, the patent is presumed to show the standard TLX trim, not the Type S trim we know is coming.

Even so, we can see plenty of Type S concept influence even with the less aggressive bodywork, such as the narrower upper grille and more pronounced lower grille, the garnish on the lower intakes, the side mirror design, and flared rear fenders. The rear end in the patent shows the same taillamps and decklid shutline, aero vents in the bumper, and the reshaped license plate holder moved from the trunk to the bumper. 

The bodywork will sit on a new platform, and the bulk of betting money has Honda's 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo four-cylinder from the RDX as the base engine. That mill making 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in the RDX, compared to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the current TLX that makes 206 hp and 182 lb-ft. The Type S is expected to inaugurate a brand new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 developed specifically for Acura with more than 350 hp, a meaty bump beyond the 290 hp and 267 lb-ft in the present range-topping 3.5-liter V6. The TLX comes in two standard flavors now, so the question is whether Acura will give the 2021 model another engine or output option between standard and the Type S. The MDX Sport Hybrid crossover fits a 3.0-liter V6 powertrain producing a combined 321 hp and 289 lb-ft. On the 2021 TLX, a 10-speed automatic will manage shifting duties, sending power either to the front wheels or to all four through Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. 

The automaker had planned on debuting the car at the New York Auto Show, and the rescheduled debut will come online and is likely not far away. If Acura doesn't show the Type S at the same time, an unveiling of that should come by early next year.

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