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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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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The 2023 Acura Integra is a very good thing
Acura

After years of rumors and speculation, we finally got confirmation that the Acura Integra is returning. The iconic Japanese sports car left the market in the early 2000s, and has been notably absent since. Now, though, Acura is bringing it back. Today, the automaker announced that production had begun. The new Integra will be the first to be built in the U.S., and production will take place at Acura's Marysville Auto Plant. Interestingly, Acura's five other models are built in the Ohio facility.

2023 Acura Integra2023 Acura Integra reservations begin soonautomotivemap.com

The Integra will start arriving on dealers' lots in early June, and will carry a starting price of $30,800 before destination. The car is the only liftback in its segment, and gets a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. A six-speed manual is available, but buyers can opt for a continuously variable transmission.

2023 Acura IntegraThe new Integra comes as a five-door only. Acura

Acura says the Integra rolls down the same production line as the TLX sedan. The car required a rethink of Acura's production processes, and COVID-19 threw a wrench in development efforts. Acura notes its team worked rmotely and traveled to Japan to collaborate with home-office engineers. The Integra will also usher in a new training process for Acura, where associates learn the vehicle, the production process, and tooling before ever seeing the actual car.

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