Here’s How the 2021 Acura TLX Type S Compares to the BMW M340i and Audi S4
Acura finally released power figures for its handsome new TLX Type S. Here’s how it stacks up to its rivals from Germany.
When Acura unveiled the gorgeous 2021 TLX Type S a couple of months ago, the company made a lot of noise about the car's brand new 3.0-liter V6—but frustratingly refused to reveal any power or torque figures. Now, though, the cat's out of the bag. As part of its announcement that the TLX would participate in this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Acura has confirmed that street versions of its upcoming sport sedan will make a healthy 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.
In other words, it feels like the TLX has finally arrived. With that kind of power and Acura's admittedly great Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive, plus a dedicated Acura platform, the car has, at last, moved beyond the "fancy European Accord" thing to something that may be truly competitive in the sport sedan space.
Without context and comparison, however, 355 and 354 are just numbers. Here's how Japan's latest four-door luxury athlete stacks up against the German competition, namely, BMW's M340i and the Audi S4. To keep things fair, we've used figures from the M340i xDrive, seeing as both the Acura and Audi come standard with all-wheel drive.
2021 Acura TLX Type S
- Price: TBA
- Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 | 355 horsepower | 354 pound-feet of torque
- Transmission: 10-speed automatic
- Curb Weight: TBA
- Dimensions: 194.6 inches long x 75.2 inches wide x 56.4 inches high
- Suspension: double-wishbone front | multi-link rear
- EPA Passenger Volume: 93.4 cubic feet
- Brand-Specific AWD Moniker: Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
2020 BMW M340i xDrive
- Base Price: $57,695
- Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 | 382 horsepower | 369 pound-feet of torque
- Transmission: eight-speed ZF automatic
- Curb Weight: 3,968 pounds
- Dimensions: 185.7 inches long x 71.9 inches wide x 56.8 inches high
- Suspension: MacPherson strut front | multi-link rear
- EPA Passenger Volume: 94 cubic feet
- Brand-Specific AWD Moniker: xDrive
2020 Audi S4 Premium
- Price: $50,895
- Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 | 349 horsepower | 369 pound-feet of torque
- Transmission: eight-speed ZF automatic
- Curb Weight: 3,847 pounds
- Dimensions: 187.5 inches long x 79.6 inches wide x 56.2 inches high
- Suspension: multi-link front | multi-link rear
- EPA Passenger Volume: 90 cubic feet
- Brand-Specific AWD Moniker: quattro
While we patiently wait on Acura to announce a price, let's unpack what we can. All three cars are powered by 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder engines. All three cars, as we've already mentioned, feature all-wheel-drive. The Acura's 355 HP is a slight win over the Audi but a step below the BMW's mighty 382. Meanwhile, the TLX's 354 pound-feet lags behind the two Germans' identical torque figures but not dramatically so.
Without knowing the Acura's curb weight, it's hard to really say how it would fare on the drag strip against the other two but unless they've carved the TLX's chassis out of granite, it looks like it'll have the stones to at least keep up with the group. For what it's worth, Acura says the new TLX's frame uses more lightweight materials than any Acura sedan before it.
While the Bimmer and the Audi both source their eight-speed gearboxes from ZF, Acura has done its own "more gears" homework, opting for a 10-speed developed and built in-house—at the company's transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia, to be specific. It's presumably the same 10-speed unit found in the RDX, a transmission that yielded few real complaints when we drove the crossover a couple of years ago.
Breaking out the measuring tape confirms what we already kinda knew from looking at the thing: the Acura TLX is the longest car of this trio, measuring more than seven inches lengthier than the S4. Its lean posture and—dare I say it—four-door coupe-like look hasn't hurt much when it comes to outright passenger space, though, losing out to the taller BMW by just 0.6 cubic feet of interior volume. Of course, spec sheets can only tell us so much and we're looking forward to seeing how the Acura TLX Type S ranks once we get behind the wheel. Look for more details and impressions on the Acura sport sedan in the coming months.
Which one would you take home?
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