Vintage & Classics

The tale of Acura's Type S is generations old and about to make a comeback

Acura is bringing back the Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura
Just in case you've been living under a rock for the last year and haven't heard, Acura's excited about bringing back the Type S brand to its portfolio. Like, really excited.

Type S models will shape the modern Acura lineup with the 2021 TLX Type S arriving at dealerships this spring and 2022 MDX Type S models coming a little later in the year. There's also a good chance that we'll see other performance-centric Type S vehicles down the road as the Acura lineup evolves.

What makes a Type S? Back in the days of the Acura CL, TL, and RSX, the answer was more power, improved handling, and stronger braking. That was all leveraged without sacrificing the creature comforts or daily drivability of the model.

Acura Type S – Origin Storywww.youtube.com

That all began with the 1997 NSX Type S. The Japanese model led Honda's research and development team in America to create a prototype called the AC-R.

"The AC-R was basically a show car capable of 166 mph and 1.0g of grip on a skidpad, but its real value was getting everyone inside the company jazzed about creating this kind of model under the Acura brand," said Erik Berkman, former President, Honda R&D Americas, LLC and the development leader of the AC-R and the original Type S models. "Ultimately, we decided to bake all of that goodness into the Acura CL and the result was the 3.2CL Type S, the first Type S in North America."

Here's a closer look at the models that made Type S so popular with words provided by Acura.

2001-2003 Acura 3.2CL Type S

2001-2003 Acura 3.2CL Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

The Type S performance line debuted in North America with the 2001 3.2CL Type S. The high-performance coupe featured a 3.2-liter V6 engine with 260 horsepower (upgraded from the standard CL's 225 hp), a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift function, quicker steering, 17-inch wheels and tires and a sport-tuned suspension. In its final model year, a 6-speed manual transmission was available.

2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S

2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

Debuting a year after the coupe, the 3.2TL Type S sedan featured the same performance-tuned 3.2-liter engine including its innovative dual-stage induction system, a 5-speed automatic with a manual shift function, and similar suspension, wheel and tire upgrades.

2002-2006 Acura RSX Type S

2002-2006 Acura RSX Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

The RSX Type S also joined the family in 2002, powered by a new 2.0-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder with 200 horsepower (upgraded from the standard RSX's 160 hp) connected exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. In 2005, the RSX Type S received a power boost to 210 horsepower, with styling changes that included a larger eye-catching rear wing.

2007-2008 Acura TL Type S

2007-2008 Acura TL Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

The third-generation Acura TL rejoined the Type S lineup in 2007 powered by a 3.5-liter V6 making 286 horsepower (upgraded from the standard TL's 3.2-liter V6 with 258 hp). A 6-speed manual transmission, 4-piston Brembo brakes, sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires and distinctive quad exhaust were all standard.

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Subcompact SUV

Honda details all-new 2023 HR-V

The Honda HR-V is all-new for 2023.

Honda

The HR-V is Honda's smallest and most affordable SUV, slotting into the automaker's catalog beneath the long-running CR-V. The entry-level HR-V got a complete overhaul for 2023 that brought a new powertrain, updated technology, and refined styling that aligns closely with the new Civic Sedan.

2023 Honda HR-VThe new SUV features more refined, upscale styling, better tech, and new safety features.Honda

Honda offers the HR-V in three trims: LX, Sport, and EX-L. While the 2022 HR-V got a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the 2023 model gets a larger 2.0-liter engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The new SUV comes with hill descent control for the first time in a Honda, and three drive modes are included.

Inside, a 7-inch touchscreen comes standard that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger 9-inch screen comes in the top EX-L trim that adds wireless smartphone connectivity. The EX-L trims also gets wireless charging and navigation. Both touchscreens come with a physical volume knob for easier interactions with the system. All models are wider and longer than before, which improves interior passenger and cargo space.

All 2023 HR-Vs come with Honda Sensing safety equipment. The package has been updated for 2023 with a traffic jam assist feature and traffic sign recognition. Honda offers blind spot monitoring for the first time in an HR-V, and a driver attention monitoring system comes standard.

2023 Honda HR-VThe HR-V picked up sleek styling for the new model year with hints of Honda Civic sprinkled in.Honda

The new HR-V starts at $24,895, including a $1,245 destination charge. The range-topping EX-L all-wheel drive model starts at $30,195. Honda says the new SUV will go on sale soon.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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