Acura to Revive the Type-S Badge, Introduce Turbocharged V6

Acura joins the horde of manufacturers pledging to make more enthusiast-oriented cars.

byJames Gilboy|
Acura to Revive the Type-S Badge, Introduce Turbocharged V6

During the North American International Auto Show Monday, Acura announced that the performance-signifying Type-S badge would return to adorn its cars, the expansion of its "A-Spec" sport trim to the rest of its range, and that an exclusive turbocharged V6 will become commonplace in future Acuras.

The Type S designation was last used by Acura on the 2008 TL Type-S, with the RSX Type-S going out of production just prior. Both cars featured bumped-up power figures, appearance packages, the option (or mandate) of a manual transmission, and other performance enhancements, such as altered suspension, improved brakes, and limited slip differentials. Acura has stated "multiple Acura models" will receive enhancements befitting of the Type-S designation, but no specifics are given.

Acura will spread its A-Spec package over its lineup like butter over toast, and A-Spec options will soon encompass "every new core model in development." At present, the ILX and TLX sedans are the only models on which A-Spec upgrades are offered, but the TLX A-Spec will be upgraded this quarter with a 2.4-liter four-pot option, and the 2019 RDX A-Spec will arrive later this year.

Details on the upcoming turbocharged V6 are sparse, as Acura has not shared information on its displacement, projected power figures, fuel economy, or even the number of turbochargers it will utilize. Like the A-Spec and Type-S badges, it will be available in multiple Acura products in the future and will be linked with the super handling all-wheel-drive system, which will also be available on the 2019 RDX.

Toyota, homeland rival of Acura's parent company, Honda, is expanding its own enthusiast offerings under its Gazoo Racing marque, which presented a 1,000-horsepower concept car at the Tokyo Auto Salon and is reported to be offering the new Supra in four flavors of performance. The lack of any formal links between Toyota-owned Lexus—one of Acura's chief competitors—and Gazoo Racing may limit competition between Acura's soon-broadened enthusiast lineup and Lexus, however.